Shamrock Rovers defender mistook international call-up for LinkedIn spam message

Shamrock Rovers defender mistook international call-up for LinkedIn spam message

A SHAMROCK Rovers defender thought his call up to the Cape Verde national football team for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations was a spam message on Linkedin. Roberto Lopes is now heading to the the tournament after the confusion.

Lopes received the alleged spam message from Rui Aguas back in 2019, Aguas was the manager at the time. The League of Ireland player ignored the message after he couldn't make heads or tails of the language. It almost cost him a chance at international football.

Lopes spoke to the Daily Mail and said his arrogance caused the blunder 

"Through sheer ignorance and probably rudeness, I didn't translate the message!" he told the paper

"I just assumed it was spam and was a standard LinkedIn greeting in Portuguese, which I don't speak."

Aguas contacted Lopes again to see if he had thought about playing for Cape Verde, he qualified through his father. Lopes used Google Translate to help him understand.

"I went back and copied and pasted the original message into Google Translate and he was asking me: 'We're trying to get some new players, would you like to declare for Cape Verde?'"Lopes  recalled.

"I was absolutely delighted as I never thought it was a real opportunity and it just presented itself in front of me - I'm just so glad I wrote back to him in time!

"Growing up, you often got prank phone calls pretending to be a club in England. You don't know how genuine the social media contact is until you get formal contact. The English message settled me and removed the skepticism I had."

Lopes made his debut for Cape Verde in 2019 in a friendly against Togo and has overcome any concerns in regards to the language barrier. The squad welcomed him with open arms. 

He said: "I was very excited to play international football but the nerves were due to the language.

"My mother's Irish and my dad speaks Creole but I never learned it. But once I landed and met the rest of my teammates, they were fantastic with me.

"Everyone spoke English, they all made the effort with me and helped me learn bits and pieces of Creole to help me when I'm on the pitch. It was brilliant, my first trip was amazing."

The squad is currently in Cameroon as preparations have got underway for their first game of the tournament against Ethiopia, which takes place on Sunday (January 9).