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Author Topic: Ricardo Quaresma: Portugal's flamboyant former star and his stand for Roma right  (Read 410 times)

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A mobile phone was a luxury that a young Ricardo Quaresma could not afford.

In May 2000 he was away in Israel with the Portugal Under-16s. He'd woken up feeling unwell and was desperate to get in touch with his mum back in Lisbon.

Burning up with fever, there was only one thought on his mind: how to get back home as quickly as possible.

Instead Quaresma was convinced to stay, and despite his condition he went on to play in the European Under-16 Championship final. He scored twice as Portugal beat Czech Republic 2-1 in extra-time to lift the trophy.

Those two goals would forever change his life.

Watching from the stands in Tel Aviv was Romanian manager Laszlo Boloni, who would take charge of Sporting Lisbon a year later. One of his first moves was to promote Quaresma to the senior side.

By the end of the 2001-02 season, Sporting were champions and Quaresma the breakout star of a campaign that paved the way for what was to come for him: moves to Barcelona, Inter Milan, and for a loan spell, Chelsea.

During Portugal's victorious Euro 2016 campaign he was involved in every game. He scored the winner against Croatia in the last 16 and converted the decisive penalty against Poland in the quarter-finals.