Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patrício has today spoken to a Portuguese court regarding his last months at Sporting.
Months before leaving the Lisbon side, the 31-year-old was one of the players attacked by a group of fans at the Alcochete Training Centre.
Rui Patrício didn’t fly to Portugal to give evidence, having done the interview by Skype, and has even claimed he doesn’t feel safe in his home country any more (via O Jogo).
“We were in panic and shock. It changed a lot in my life. Even today, walking in the street in Portugal with the family, I look to the side, there may be people revolted by all that was said and made up. There are still many bad fans against us. I still don’t feel safe after a year and a half.
“I told my family to be more careful. I had a lot of threats after that and went to file a complaint with the police. I spoke to the security of the Federation. I had more police near my house. I was more careful before I entered the garage. I had to take action.”
Speaking of the transfer to Wolves, he said: “I had to leave. I was no longer able to continue playing in Portugal. There are times when I still relive that in England.”
The investigation continues to seek those responsible for the attacks, with former club president Bruno de Carvalho being the main suspect. He had a tough relationship with the squad, with things getting intense in the last weeks of that season.
One of his lawyers, Miguel Fonseca, has spoken to the local press following Patrício’s statement, and has claimed the goalkeeper is forgetting to tell part of the story.
“So far there have been no good or bad days for Bruno de Carvalho’s defence. There have been more and less strict witnesses. Rui Patrício, in my opinion, had selective memory lapses. Whether it was on purpose or not, I won’t say. But saying he had never asked to leave before the attack on the Academy is selective memory, at least.
“What I do know is that at the beginning of the season Rui Patrício asked to leave. He expressed his interest, the management decided he would leave, but the coach didn’t want to abdicate the player and demanded that he stayed.”