“I will be better than Ronaldo.” Vlad is 8 years old and is a Ukrainian refugee in Portugal - Plataforma Media

“I will be better than Ronaldo.” Vlad is 8 years old and is a Ukrainian refugee in Portugal

The whistle blows and the green of the pitch is filled with colored boots. It’s time for training at Clube Desportivo de Mafra. Vlad is already equipped and with the ball on his feet. He is 8 years old and arrived here from Vinnytsia, Ukraine, where he played as a forward in the local club’s children’s division. He hasn’t missed a workout since he arrived in Mafra.

“Here the turf is newer and on the field everything is more modern. I really like it”, admits Vlad to TSF. “Coaches are cool. They are always ready to explain when I don’t understand something.”

It was two months ago that Vlad came to Portugal. Vlad’s mother heard about the country and they decided to board a plane that was bringing refugees to Lisbon. It was the first time Vlad had been on a plane.

Since the conflict in Ukraine broke out, many young refugee athletes, forced to flee the war, have arrived in the country. The Portuguese Football Federation even launched an appeal for Portuguese clubs to receive these young people and give them the opportunity to play sports again. More than a dozen clubs responded to the challenge. There are, at this time, about 30 players training here. Vlad was one of those young people who rediscovered football in Portugal.

Read more on TSF

Este artigo está disponível em: Português

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