They can travel thousands of kilometres and spend up to the thousands in euros, all to support their teams. Euronews chatted with a Portuguese superfan who is rooting for his team.
World Cup superfans travel thousands of kilometres and spend up to the thousands in euros, all to support their national team.
Euronews chatted with some of the most dedicated national team supporters around Europe. They tell us why — and how — they always cheer on their teams no matter the distance.
We spoke to Portuguese musician and football aficionado Nuno Gonçalves.
'The goal is not to come home earlier than the others'
Nuno Gonçalves started following the Portuguese national team during the European Championship in 2004. "Obviously the championship being played in Portugal helped. I just couldn't go to the first and last matches against Greece. After that, I've been going to all European and World Cup tournaments," he told Euronews.
He's been following the national team with a group of friends since 2004, including members from his band The Gift — which won MTV Europe's best Portuguese act back in 2005.
"The best moment I had with the national team wasn't even Eder's goal (that earned the country the European title in 2016). The best was the match against England in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals where Ricardo (goalkeeper) stopped three penalty kicks and Cristiano scored the one that made us play the semis. That moment of him pointing out to the sky is unforgettable," he said.
The biggest disappointment for Gonçalves was the following semifinal in 2006 against France. "I cried until the tears dried and I was the last to exit the stadium. I was devasted. It was our biggest chance to be world champions," he said.
"My funniest story was also during the 2006 World Cup. During the match against Holland (in the final 16) I felt my mobile phone vibrating but didn't want to pick it up because of superstition. After the match, I had dozens of messages. I appeared on the big screen completely euphoric supporting the team in the stands. Not even when Gift won an MTV Award in 2005 did I get so many messages," recalled the musician.
In Russia, Gonçalves has plans to go to every single Portugal match. "The first two are guaranteed and the rest we will see step by step. The goal in this kind of tournament is always the same: not returning home earlier than the others. The final is the main goal," he said.