The past (and who better than the top scorer Hassan Nader to embody it), the present (with the heroes on the way up) and the future – which dominated the interventions of a club that still lives days of euphoria. The Chamber of Faro honored, at the end of the afternoon of this Monday, May 29th, Farense, a historic team that is back on the big stages of Portuguese football. There were hugs, kisses, applause and a cross-cutting desire: that the club remain "forever" in the First League.
Let's go back a little in this story.
It was in the late morning of that Sunday, May 21st, that the dream began to take shape. Perhaps few believed in the slip, but it happened: Estrela da Amadora, playing at home, lost to Nacional, with an immediate consequence.
Farense, who had been relegated from the division in 2020/2021 and who, further back, at the beginning of the century, had passed the Algarve raisins, was back in the I Liga.
The party lasts ever since: there have already been processions, celebrations at the Municipal Market until dawn, one consecration game on Sunday against Tondela and a reception yesterday at the Chamber of Faro, which marked the end of the festivities.
For Cristian Ponde, the Farense striker, it was “another day of celebration”.
"We are very happy. It's a very special moment for all of us: players, institution, region... The secret of the climb was our group: the way we worked, how we understood each other», he told journalists, with a smile on his face.
For him, who grew up in the Algarve – he started out at Olhanense, very young, and did the rest of his training at Sporting -, the promotion had a «special» meaning.
«Being living this up close with my family, my friends from the Algarve... is special», he confessed.
Throughout the entire ceremony, there was a name constantly repeated: João Rodrigues, president of SAD do Farense.
Rogério Bacalhau, mayor of Faro, praised the work of the leader of the Faroese lions. Cristóvão Norte, President of the Municipal Assembly of Faro and the General Assembly of Farense, ditto.
João Rodrigues, who, in his speech, did not forget Aníbal Guerreiro, partner nº1, who is ill, and his father, who transmitted his passion for Farense, later confessed to journalists his great desire for the next season .
«Farense has to do everything to be a stable club in the I Liga. That's what we're going to try to do next year », he guaranteed.
And will it be with José Mota at the helm, the coach who took over the leadership of the Algarve mid-season and secured promotion?
«We are dealing with the situation and, for sure, there will be news about it very soon», replied, smiling, João Rodrigues.
In relation to the base of the squad for the next season, the president left more concrete clues.
“We have been renewing with several players. We're not going to keep all of them – that's obvious -, but we're going to keep an important base this year for next season», he assured.
These days of celebration, confessed João Rodrigues, have been «very important».
«Farenses deserved this outpouring of joy to give rise to all their passion. We reserved these days to give this opportunity», said the president of Farense.
For José Mota, this was also the “closing” of a “fantastic season”.
«I like to come to the Municipal Councils: it's always a good sign», joked the coach who has already managed to climb to the I Liga five times in his career and who won a Portuguese Cup, with Aves in 2017/2018.
With regard to the future Faro, the technician also postponed decisions for later… but everything seems well under way.
«I will talk to the president and José Luís [sports director]. Of course, things will naturally happen. I like Faro, the associative mass, the working conditions. We have possibilities to stay, without a doubt», the coach predicted.
The host of the party was also beaming. From the hands of João Rodrigues, Rogério Bacalhau received a painting, with a photo of the team, and a shirt with his name on the back.
«When we are in this position, which is always transitory, there are things that we would like to happen: this is one of them. We had, in 2020, the rise, but things were very different. Today I think we have the conditions to remain in the I Liga», considered the mayor, in statements to journalists.
Rogério Bacalhau admitted to being «very satisfied» because Farense is «a very strong brand in the county».
"When I go somewhere and say I'm from Faro, as a general rule, people associate it with Farense», said the mayor.
Attending the ceremony, right in one of the first rows, was one of the living symbols of Farense. Hassan Nader has his name engraved in the history of the Algarve club, where he played 10 seasons and where he was crowned top scorer in the championship in 1994/1995.
Living in Morocco, the country where he is born, Hassan watched, on Sunday, the game against Tondela, in S. Luís… and stayed for the party at the Câmara de Faro.
It's just that if Hassan is important for Farense, Farense also continues to be "very important" for the former goalscorer.
′′ I love this club and I've always said that their place is in the I League. What I dreamed of, happened. That's why I say thank you to a gentleman who appeared and whose name is João Rodrigues», said the player, to journalists.
After a «very special» day, at São Luís, on Sunday, Hassan left the motto for the next season.
«Farense has to stay in the I Liga. You have to ensure maintenance and not go crazy. You have to plan things out, step by step. This team is engraved in my heart. The important thing is that we are in the I Liga and that we stay forever».
Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação