As captain of the Portuguese Women Football National Team Cláudia Neto is often compared to her fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo. At 29 years old she has been playing for Linkopings, Sweden for the past three years, where she helped conquer two championships and two national cups. She recently moved to VfL Wolfsburg, Germany with the focus on winning the Champions League. Today Cláudia Neto is talking to us about her travel experience as a professional athlete.
Hello Cláudia, thank you so much for being with us today!
We, as soccer spectators, often have no clue as to what goes on outside the four lines. On matchdays what is your way of preparing for the big challenge ahead?
My preparation starts very early: I have a good breakfast, then I do a 10-minute walk to loosen my legs and lunch happens 3 hours earlier than usual. From the moment I wake up to the hour right before the game, I try to focus on myself and concentrate on the game. When I get to the resort I like to listen to good music as I get prepared.
It is known that Nuno Gomes played with his underwear inside out – do you have any lucky habits?
I have no superstitions.
Of course we’re really curious to know: what was your most exciting trip so far? Was it the European Women’s Football Championship in 2017?
Yes, this may have been one of the most exciting trips I’ve had lately, a trip to Holland that we’ve all been waiting for for a long time. It was very emotional and unforgettable!
I remember all the excitement and joy of this trip, a journey expected not only by this but by several generations of footballers who have passed and contributed to this journey to Holland. I remember arriving at the airport in Holland where we were waiting for a bus with the colors of Portugal, the enthusiasm was great and from that moment we realized where we are and that we would be disputing a great competition, a dream of us all!
Although it can’t always be a championship you’re traveling quite a lot as a professional athlete. What are your personal must haves when traveling?
Definitely my iPod for listening to music, my toothbrush and a piece of fruit. My favorite travel outfit is the training suit as I always opt for a more comfortable outfit.
So what do you enjoy doing on a plane and at the airport?
On the plane I like to listen to music, read, and play some games. My favorite airport is Amsterdam Schiphol. It’s the airport where I spend a few hours dead between flights, I enjoy shopping and eating at some good restaurants.
Last but not least: which place in the world would you love to travel to and why?
Brazil would be one of the destinations of choice, I love hot countries that have paradisical beaches.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Cláudia! We wish you a successful season!