Virginia vows to seize his opportunity
As if playing in-form Manchester City, by far and away the best team in the country this season, isn’t daunting enough for Everton in their FA Cup quarter-final this evening, the Blues will have to go into the game with both of their two international goalkeepers out through injury.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed yesterday that both England number one Jordan Pickford and Sweden’s Robin Olsen have been ruled out which means Joao Virginia is set to get the nod after making his Premier League debut as a substitute against Burnley a week ago.
Looking forward to the match, Virginia is quoted by Sport Witness as telling O Jogo in his native Portugal:
“I feel ready to play and it’d be great to play against a team like City.
“I’ll try to seize this opportunity, I hope it’ll be this one, but I have to be prepared for all possibilities, even if I return to the bench in the next game. I have to be aware that this was just a game. But I don’t want to play just one game, I want to play 100, 200, 300, many more.”
Speaking about his top flight bow against the Clarets seven days ago, the former Arsenal man added:
“I was warming up for ten minutes and, in the game against Leeds, about a month ago, I had also been warming up and I didn’t enter. I was next to Pickford, while he was getting assistance, and he was the one who told me he couldn’t carry on – that’s when I knew it was my moment.
“He told me to play simple and be cool. I went in with a goal kick and, for the rest of the game, it was like I was in some other game, I didn’t even think if it was in the Premier League or in the youth team. I
” had already played a game in the League Cup but this was in the Premier and it was to play in this that I came to England. This was one of my first goals.
“The phone kept ringing and for an hour after the game I didn’t even see messages. I came home and it was only afterwards that I was able to respond to everyone.”