BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 14. It is possible to defeat the strongest opponents – if there is a team spirit and, I repeat, if there is professionalism and patriotism, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said receiving members of the Azerbaijan national minifootball team who won the European Championship in Slovakia, Trend reports.
"Azerbaijan pays attention to both sports and athletes. Athletes are always taken care of by the state, and this is natural. Because our victories in sports raise the international prestige of our country, but also promote a healthy lifestyle, and I think this is even more important. Because we all want the people of Azerbaijan to be healthy, and young people to go in for sports on a large scale. The state always pays great attention and takes care of the athletes, clubs and federations in order to expand the popularity of sports and achieve victories in it. I am sure that from now on our minifootball federation will be provided with the same care by the state.
With your victory, you have demonstrated that where there is a will and professionalism, where there is love of the Motherland, one can achieve what is inaccessible to others. I am sure that no one in Azerbaijan expected your victory. I don't know if you were expecting it or not, probably as the championship progressed you began to feel that it was possible. But I am sure that no-one in Azerbaijan, including myself, expected this victory, and this is the reason for the double joy of this victory. In other words, it shows that it is possible, it is possible to defeat the strongest opponents – if there is a team spirit and, I repeat, if there is professionalism and patriotism," the head of state said.