Portugal duo Pepe and Ricardo Quaresma paid tribute to the victims of the devastating forest fires in their home country following their opening Confederations Cup game.
Quaresma was on the scoresheet as the Euro 2016 winners were held to a 2-2 draw by Mexico in their Group A clash at Kazan Arena.
A moment’s silence was held prior to kick-off in recognition of the victims of the fires that have swept through the Pedrogao Grande region, which are said to have killed 61 people and injured dozens more.
Pepe was frustrated with the result but admitted the news from home had taken its toll on the players before the match.
“It’s difficult. It’s a tough day for all the Portuguese people, for what happened in Portugal,” he said. “It affects us. We get a little apprehensive, too. But apart from that, we have to take positive things out of this game and think about the next game.
“It was a very difficult game for us. It was our debut, we had some nerves, which is normal. But we have to take positive things. It was a draw with the taste of a defeat. It hurt. But we have to get up, and we have an important game on Wednesday against Russia, so we have to be prepared to play a good game.”
Quaresma echoed Pepe’s sentiments but assured fans that Portugal will succeed in progressing from the group, despite Hector Moreno’s injury-time header robbing them of three points on Sunday.
“We are with the families that unfortunately lost people they love,” the winger said. “It is a sad moment for all of us Portuguese. And we will do our best to give a little joy to our country.
“We will have time to rest and think about the game against Russia. We have two games left. I believe we will win and pass this phase.”