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“I think it’s one of the best sensations I’ve ever had,” he discovers Marco Rosa (Sevilla, 1995) when we asked him about the goal he scored against Copenhagen in the group stage of the new UEFA Conference League. Despite leaving Denmark with a defeat (3-1), the current player of Lincoln Red Imps He engraved his name in history after becoming the scorer of the first goal for a Gibraltarian club in Europe. “I have seen it repeated more than 50 times. For us, who are a small Federation, this competition gives us life,” he explains.

Despite occupying number 49 -of 55- in the UEFA rankings, Gibraltar managed to ‘sneak’ a team into the final phase of the Conference League. Not without effort, since to achieve it, Lincoln Red Imps had to play four heats. “We started in the qualifying phase of the Champions League. It was key to win the first tie to have more opportunities in the Conference,” recalls Rosa. They did, they defeated the Luxembourgish Flora and, although they subsequently fell to Cluj, they left their path to history somewhat clearer. In the Europa League preview, they lost to Slovan Bratislava and, yes, they defeated Riga to win a place in the new Conference League. “Everybody was crying in the locker room. I personally took three or four days to believe it.”, discovers Marco Rosa.

“Once the feat is achieved, it’s time to enjoy,” adds the Real Betis youth squad. Although Lincoln Red Imps had hoped that the draw would cross him “with Tottenham or Roma”, the fields that he is having to visit “are not bad either.” On its travel route the Tehelné pole in Bratislava, with a capacity for 23,000 spectators; the Parken in Copenhagen, one of the stadiums that hosted the last European Championship, and The Tomb of Thessaloniki, the imposing PAOK stadium. “They are very beautiful stadiums. When we played at the Parken there were 13,000 people in the stands. My hair stood on end“confesses Rosa, for whom playing this type of game is” an extra motivation “.

The Sevillian engraved his name in the history of Gibraltar football with an unforgettable goal against Copenhagen. “At that moment I did not think about what I had done, but when I began to receive congratulations I realized that that goal will remain forever. It will always be remembered and that is something very nice, “adds Marco Rosa, who believes that Lincoln Red Imps deserved more in the first two days of the Conference League:” Against PAOK at home we had five or six heads-up, a goal disallowed, a crossbar … They arrived in danger three times and scored two goals. Copenhagen was better, but we managed to draw and they beat us thanks to a penalty and a slip from the goalkeeper. We are angry, but we believe that if we continue like this, we will achieve some positive result. “His next rival, Slovan, already managed to ‘scratch’ a draw in the previous Europa League.

Whatever happens in the remaining four games, Lincoln Red Imps’ presence in the Conference League group stage will dictate a before and after in Gibraltar football history. That is why it is so difficult to focus on the day to day: “It is difficult to think about the league when the following Thursday you have to travel to Denmark, Thessaloniki or Bratislava to play a European match, but we are obliged to focus on all competitions because, to experience moments like this, it is important to be well positioned in the league. Much more in Gibraltar, where every three points are very important, “says Marco Rosa, whose trip to Europe is not only leaving great moments:” In every game I ask for a shirt because it is a memory for life. The last one I took with me was Pep Biel’s. “His, on the contrary, cannot be kept by anyone:” We are a humble team and we don’t have enough shirts. “

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Gabby is someone who is interested in all types of sports, she loves to attend watching matches live. Whenever there is a match being played in her city, she makes sure to get the tickets in advance. Due to the love for sports, she joined Sportsfinding, and started writing general sports news. Apart from writing the news, she is also the editor for the website who checks and edits every news content before they go live.