Ruben Neves insists three weeks off is enough as he claimed Wolves’ involvement in the Europa League should make everyone proud.
Wolves have qualified for European competition for the first time in 39 years and will start their Europa League campaign against either Northern Irish outfit Crusaders or Faroe Islanders B39 Torshavn in the second qualifying round on July 25 and August 1.
The earlier start to the season means Neves and team-mates Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota, who helped Portugal to Nations League glory, have had the shortest break in the squad apart from Raul Jimenez and Romain Saiss, who are still on duty for Mexico and Morocco respectively.
Neves has missed just seven of the 84 League games Wolves have played since he joined them from Porto for £15.8m two years ago.
But the 22-year-old, speaking after reporting back to pre-season training on Monday with Wolves at St Georges’ Park, is raring to go again.
“We had three weeks off and that was enough,” said the midfielder to www.wolves.co.uk “We have to prepare ourselves now because we play earlier this season in the Europa League. We prepare ourselves to get fit to play on the July 25, the first game of the Europa League.
“It’s a great achievement for the club; two years ago we were in the Championship and now we’re playing in the Europa League. It should make us all proud, players and staff, all the fans and we’ll try our best.”
For Neves, winning the Nations League was his first international honour, after helping Wolves to the Championship title in 2017-18. Portugal. He is especially proud to have achieved it with three of his Molineux team-mates after he and Moutinho came on as substitutes in the 1-0 win against the Netherlands in the final, with Patricio keeping a clean sheet and Jota on the bench.
“It’s unbelievable. Wolves was the team with the most players in the national team, which is amazing,” he said. “I can play with them at Wolves and at international level. It means we’re doing a great job.”
“It was my first title with my international team. It was a really special moment for me. They were good games, against tough teams, but fortunately we have Cristiano (Ronaldo) and he helped us a lot.
“It’s special to win a title, it’s really difficult to win an international tournament, but we did it in the first version of the Nations League. I think international teams are now thinking that they want to win it, so it was good for us to win the first one.”