The son of a Porto goalscoring legend who rubs shoulders with Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, Goncalo Paciencia is well placed to pick up the goalscoring mantle from the departed Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic at Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Portugal international joined Frankfurt before this summer's exodus of star strikers Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic. Paciencia has risen to the challenge of replacing the trio, scoring eight goals and providing three assists in 19 Bundesliga appearances so far.
Joined now by Bas Dost and Andre Silva, the 25-year-old tells bundesliga.com he wants to show the world of football what he is capable of, and feels he's in the perfect place to start doing it at the Commerzbank-Arena...
bundesliga.com: Eintracht Frankfurt have 14 points after eight games and sit in seventh place. What do you think about your side's start to the season?
Goncalo Paciencia: "We lost a lot of players, important players, but considering that, we're doing well. We're still in the three competitions in which we started the season; the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the Europa League. This is a difficult time for many teams in the world but for us especially after losing players such as Ante [Rebic], Luka [Jovic] and Seb [Sebastian Haller] and other players too but now we're in a good place."
bundesliga.com: How have the departures of Rebic, Jovic and Haller changed the dynamic and style of the team?
Paciencia: "I think last season we were playing more on the counter-attack. We defended more in the game; we just put the ball forward and the guys would resolve it. This season is a different way to play because we're playing with the ball, playing more football. As we're changing a lot it will take time to be accustomed to each other. I've never played with Bas [Dost] before this season, I have played with Andre [Silva] but we played at youth level which is not the same. In the last two or three games, we have improved a lot and we'll see what comes. I think we're in a good place."
bundesliga.com: You've had much more game-time as a result of the departures and seen a positive development within the team since then. How would you rate your performances so far?
Paciencia: "For me, it's good. I'm playing, scoring goals, I feel important to the team, more important than last season. Of course, it's a change because they left; I get more minutes which is the most important thing for a football player: to feel confident, that the team believes in you and you feel that you're on the pitch more than you're on the bench is a good thing. I'm happy now but I want more. I want to score more goals because I have a lot to show and many things to show to the world of football."
bundesliga.com: You have a good example to follow to become one of the best in the world, in fellow countryman, Cristiano Ronaldo. What are your thoughts on him?
Paciencia: "For us Portuguese people, he's the best example we can have. It's also good because you can share this example with the world because he's one of the most famous people in the world. Wherever you go people know Ronaldo. Us Portuguese people have to be proud of him because we're a small country with 8-10 million people, we have many good players and one of them is the best on this earth. I think people should talk less and enjoy more. People search for his flaws, him missing the goal or things off the pitch. Come on, we have to enjoy this guy because he'll end his career in two or three years and then you'll have time to criticise him or Messi. We have to enjoy it now."
bundesliga.com: You came through the youth academy of Porto, in Portugal. How has your style of play changed in the Bundesliga since those days?
Paciencia: "I think I've improved a lot since two years ago. Before, I was a player who was more out wide and not too much in the penalty area. Now, as I've come to Germany, I've improved my game by playing more in the penalty area, to be there for the crosses because I'm strong when it comes from the wing. I'm also a strong player, I can keep the ball, I can play with the team. I like to be a part of the whole game, not only scoring goals, not only attacking and not only being in the defence. I like to get hold of the ball, to get assists, to dribble and to defend. I think I'm not a typical No.9 who stays in the area but more of a No.10. I think this is my style of play; to be in the area, scoring, I don't need too many chances to score when I am 100 per cent."
Do you feel you're forming a new trio upfront, with Bas Dost and Andre Silva, who have similar qualities to Haller, Jovic and Rebic?
Paciencia: "Bas is a typical modern-day No.9. He's a guy who can keep the ball, has a fantastic first touch, the direct contact is fantastic but he's a different player to Andre and I. Andre is a player who is more out wide, he likes to be a winger but he's also a No.9. Andre is not so technical, he's more like Ante Rebic, he's the same kind of player. He fights a lot, runs a lot and has a lot of quality so in the area he's very good to have."
Watch: Paciencia scored the winner this season vs. Fortuna after Dost's first goal!
bundesliga.com: How does it help to have a fellow countryman around the club in Andre Silva?
Paciencia: "We played together at Porto in the youth team since we were 12 or 13. I started earlier but he came at 13. We spend a lot of time together outside of training, off the pitch, because he's also Portuguese like me. It's different when you have a friend from the same country, you naturally spend more time with him so we have one past, we come from the same past and almost have the same story. It's easy to be a friend with him."
bundesliga.com: Your father, Domingos Paciencia, played 34 games for Portugal and is a goal-scoring legend in Porto. How is your relationship with him?
Paciencia: "Yes, my father was a big guy in Portugal and at Porto. He was an example to follow for me, a better example than Ronaldo because he's my father. He was very good at that time in Portugal. I only remember his final years with Porto and I also remember a little when he was in Tenerife too. I notice it because when I'm with him the attention goes to him and not to me. Although in Germany no one knows my father so then they come to me. We make jokes about this because it's just about my father and here it's more about me."
bundesliga.com: What pressure have you felt throughout your development as a footballer with your father being a renown legend at Porto?
Paciencia: "I'm proud but it's not so good in Portugal because they talk a lot. People constantly compare and try to find differences when you play. It's good in the sense that people speak more about you but when you play badly people will always speak about you. Sometimes I have difficulties because I play a bad game and people think: 'Goncalo is not like his father'. When I score and start to play better they say I will be better than my father or the same. This is how the world is, we have to accept this, and my father is the best example in my life. If you ask me whether I want to be like him, of course I do."
bundesliga.com: You've made one international appearance so far for the senior Portugal team. How strongly is he hoping to return to the national team?
Paciencia: "It's always a dream but I don't care. I just work, just do what I can control on the pitch and outside the pitch I wait for my chance. For me, it's not an obsession. I think you can be a top player even if you don't play for the national team. I will just focus on my game, on my training and we'll see."
bundesliga.com: What dream do you have as a footballer?
Paciencia: "As many goals as possible. Of course, I have my dreams to play for big teams but at the moment I'm so happy to play here. For me, it's already a big team. However, I have to be ambitious as I want more and more. If I stay here for a long time it's okay, because it's a good place to be. The people accepted me here, they treat me well, I feel at home already after one year. This is the most important; when your family thinks of you and knows you're fine. I don't know the future, we will never know. I'm happy here but I also have my dreams."
bundesliga.com: What is it like to score in front of 50,000 people in a Bundesliga match?
Paciencia: "In those moments, I remember all the things I've gone through. I arrived in Frankfurt, it's not easy when you come to a club that has invested in you and you get an injury a month later. This is the feeling I get when I score because I thought the people were disappointed when I came and got injured and was out for six months. When you score, you just want to scream out loud and you remember the things you have gone through. My first goal was a fantastic moment for me, it was perfect. It was a good way to start scoring in the Bundesliga and for Eintracht Frankfurt."
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