The Canadians are playing in the Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American football championship, and intend this season, which starts on 17 April, to qualify for the 'play-offs', after in 2020 they are just one victory away from that objective.
“What Portugal has and everyone knows about it is the great quality of the players, especially young people, I don't even know where to start. When I see the options, even for the national team, with André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt) scoring many goals in Germany, João Félix (Atlético de Madrid), Ronaldo (Juventus), Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton), Francisco Trincão (Barcelona), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), until you forget, Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) and Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)”, stressed the 43-year-old.
Born in Montreal (Quebec), Marc dos Santos lived in Aveiro from agr nine to 23 years old, passing through Mozambique, before returning to Canada. He said he accompanied Portuguese football “with players of very high quality” and also with “young people who are evolving”, giving as an example the role of Francisco Conceição in his debut for the main team of FC Porto last weekend.
“I had the chance to watch (on television) FC Porto-Boavista (2-2) and saw Sérgio Conceição's son Francisco, a player alot of talent and, if he continues to progress as a player, I am sure which can be a big surprise for many”, he said.
In this sense, the quality of the Portuguese players, the Vancouver Whitecaps options pass through the market in Portugal, recognizing that the “Portuguese player has quality” and the Canadian team “has a salary cap to be met”.
Marc dos Santos did not hide his interest in Otávio, FC Porto's Brazilian midfielder, who allegedly rejected a proposal of four million euros, with an annual salary of around 1.6 million euros, apart from income bonuses.
“He is a player that I like a lot, it's no secret. Otávio would make a difference in MLS, who would be one of the most important players in the league. Now I know he has other options, he has other clubs interested in him. I hope the best for him, because he deserves it”, he declared.
Another of the players that the coach confessed that he liked to see in his team, but now recognizes that it is more difficult, is the Paços de Ferreira midfielder Stephen Eustáquio.
“I never hid that going through Portugal is a dream of mine. I never hid it. I grew up and fell in love with this sport in Portugal. My father instilled in me a passion for this sport. I remember when I was younger to go to stadiums with my father, either in Porto, Aveiro or Coimbra. This started in Portugal and one day I would like to go back to train in a country that gave me this passion”, he admitted.
Marc dos Santos has already coached Montreal Impact, now called CF Montreal, another MLS team, having also worked for the youth teams of the Brazilian clubs of Palmeiras and Desportivo do Brasil, as well as Bob Bradley's assistant at Los Angeles FC.