Fonte eyes more European success

By SFC Media Tue 13 Sep Saints vs Sparta

Despite his incredible triumph with Portugal in the summer, José Fonte has little interest in reflecting on that right now – instead, he simply wishes to focus on leading his club to European success.

Fonte, along with his club-mate Cédric, won the European Championship with his country, but it is not something he is clinging onto.

Instead, his attention is very much on the UEFA Europa League campaign that Saints will embark on tomorrow.

Ahead of the home game against Sparta Praha, Fonte told "As everyone saw, it was a great summer for me and for Portugal, but it's gone now.

“We have to start again and I have to start again with a clean sheet, to re-write history again and to achieve many more things.

“It was great, it was fantastic, but it's gone now. I'm focused on achieving other targets and other goals and that's what I'm going to work for in the next few months.”

While he has already moved on from his EURO 2016 success, Fonte believes it represents another platform from which he can build.

"For sure, it gave me more experience, to play on a stage like that, and it gave me more confidence and belief in myself and what we can do,” he said. 

“Everything that you do accumulates and it helps you grow. I know I am a better player after that.”

If there was such a thing as a downside to Fonte’s incredible summer with Portugal, it was that he did not get much of a pre-season with Saints at all, returning only shortly before the campaign began.

"It's very, very tough,” he said. “I didn't play the first game, obviously. I had two weeks' training. In the last two years I’ve had no holidays pretty much. I've played almost every single game and it takes its toll, but I'm a professional, I take care of myself.

“The first few games are tough, but it will get better and I will get the rhythm back and I look forward to another great season.”