Fifa World Cup: This Portuguese fan is living the dream of his late friend

Goncalo is in Qatar with the memories of his friend Edgar, who died in a car crash

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Portuguese fan Goncalo with the shirt of his friend Edgar. – Photo by Rituraj Borakoty
Portuguese fan Goncalo with the shirt of his friend Edgar. – Photo by Rituraj Borakoty

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Sat 3 Dec 2022, 2:50 AM

Last updated: Sat 3 Dec 2022, 3:13 AM

Edgar had been a part of Goncalo’s life since he was six. They played football together from the sub-junior level in Portugal.

They also defended the colours of Linda-a-velha, a small club in Lisbon, with big passion and pride.

From enjoying every victory to sharing the pain after every defeat, Goncalo was inseparable from Edgar.

So it was last year that both friends planned their Qatar trip for the World Cup with dreams of seeing their national team live in the world’s greatest sporting event.

But a few months later, Edgar died in a car crash, leaving his family and his best friend with unspeakable pain.

When this reporter met Goncalo on the metro train to the Education City Stadium for the Portugal-South Korea game, the young Portuguese was chatting with an elderly couple from his country.

As he got off the train at the Education City Metro Station, I asked him the same question that I have been asking almost every fan in Qatar: ‘Do you speak a bit of English?’

“Little English, very little English,” he replied almost apologetically.

But when Goncalo saw my media credentials, he hugged me.

“Ah, you from media Dubai?” he asked me with a big smile.

Then he desperately started searching for the translation app on his mobile.

It was through the iPhone translation app that he shared his story with me.

“Edgar and I had this dream of coming to Qatar for this World Cup to watch Portugal and Cristiano (Ronaldo). But he died in November, 2021, in a car accident,” he said.

“It was the saddest day in my life. But I still came to the World Cup to live the dream that we had,” he said before pulling a shirt out of his bag.

It was the shirt Edgar wore to play for his last club, UDR Alges.

There was a glint in his eye as he showed me the shirt of his departed friend.

“He must be happy now to see me at the World Cup,” Goncalo said.

“We had been friends for 16 years. It was our biggest dream to attend a World Cup. I am living his dream now.”


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