After a long relationship with Benfica, Paulo Lopes decided to hang his gloves and finish his career. At 40, the goalkeeper understood that the end had come and now, several months after leaving the pitch, is highlighted in the international press, due to a statistic that is making the English ‘crazy’.
In an interview with the BBC, the former owner of the beacons explains the impressive record of 12 titles and only 11 games in more than a decade in the emblem of Light. “Yes, the data is correct … I was born to win,” “I feel happy to get these numbers throughout my career. They are part of my achievements and how important and special moments that I have lived.”
In a Premier League where names such as De Gea, Ederson or Peter Cech shine, some goalkeepers are reminded that, in the shadow of these beacons’ sharks, they take on third choices. None of them is even close to Portuguese. “I feel a lot of pride and satisfaction because when I look at them [the trophies and the medals], I feel it was a team effort,” he explained.
The phone call of Rui Costa
After starting his career in the incarnations, Paulo Lopes left the club in 2002 to represent the Salgueiros. However, his eagle-to-chest story was not even halfway through. In 2012, and at the age of 34, the guard was invited to return to Luz and did not hesitate.
“I thought it was a joke,” he shot, recalling a phone call from Rui Costa. “It was a great pleasure to return to Benfica.” It was the recognition of my work and my value as a football professional, and there were few players chosen to represent Benfica, when I accepted the invitation, of course, I wanted to play more. I was able to do this for a long time, and I was happy because it was a success, being the first, second or third option. “he concluded.
A feeling of satisfaction
In the end, Paulo Lopes also reviewed his entire journey, recalled old comrades who helped to evolve, such as Oblak and Ederson, and the friendship with one of his references, Julius Caesar, and showed himself accomplished with everything he achieved. “I am very proud of what I did, what I gave to football and the joy of having fulfilled the dreams I had as a child,” he concluded.