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Shamrock Rovers' Roberto Lopes subject to interest from European clubs after AFCON performances

Lopes and Cape Verde face Sadio Mane’s Senegal in the last-16 later today.

Roberto Lopes.
Roberto Lopes.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

SHAMROCK ROVERS’ DEFENDER Roberto Lopes has been attracting interest from European clubs in light of his performances for Cape Verde at the Africa Cup of Nations. 

Lopes was man-of-the-match in the 1-1 draw against hosts Cameroon in the group phase, which earned Cape Verde a last-16 with Sadio Mane and Senegal later today [KO 4pm; Live on Sky Sports]

The Dublin-born defender has played every minute of the campaign to date for Cape Verde, for whom he qualifies through his father. 

His club manager Stephen Bradley has confirmed Lopes’ performances have sparked preliminary interest from clubs on the continent, though none have yet tabled a formal offer. 

“There has been a few teams that have really liked him and if they make that call to us, it’s a conversation we’ll have to have with the club and with Pico”, said Bradley. 

“That’s the stage he’s on: he’s performing, and he’s getting recognised.” 

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Cape Verde reached the quarter-finals in their first AFCON appearance in 2013, though matching that feat today will be difficult, as Senegal are among the favourites to win the competition following the surprise eliminations of Ghana, Algeria, and Nigeria. 

“When you’re following Pico, it’s obviously made it so much more interesting”, said Bradley. “It’s brilliant to see him performing at that level against some of the world’s stars. He’s loving it which you would expect and it’s great to see him perform because he deserves it. He works at it every day which shows in his performances on a weekly basis and he’s showing it out there.

“I think he just has to play his game, he can’t get wrapped up in who he is against and what he’s against. I think Pico does that really well, he focuses on what he can bring to the game. You can’t affect what others are going to bring to the game, how they are going to turn up, you focus on you and he’s good at doing that. I’ve been talking to him, he’s calm and he’s enjoying it.” 

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Gavin Cooney

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