Thursday 26 April 2018

Swansea couple divided ahead of crunch Wales vs Portugal Euro 2016 clash

Natalie Humphries with her Portuguese boyfriend Michael Gerardo (Natalie Humphries/PA)
Natalie Humphries with her Portuguese boyfriend Michael Gerardo (Natalie Humphries/PA)

Wales' battle against Portugal tonight will not only see Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo go head-to-head, but a Welsh fan and her Portuguese boyfriend too.

Die-hard Swansea supporter Natalie Humphries met Michael Gerardo four years ago and the pair have been together ever since.

However, the tension and excitement over the Euro 2016 match will mean the Swansea couple will be watching the semi-final separately.

Natalie, 27, quipped: "It's probably best that we won't be watching the game together. I will watch it with my family and Michael will be going to a bar in Swansea."

Benfica fan Michael added: "The two teams playing against one another gives me a bit of dilemma because I've lived in Wales for five years and it's home to me. But as much as I love Wales, I want Portugal to win."

The pair met by chance in 2012 when Michael first saw Natalie across a crowded bar in Swansea - where he was studying for a masters degree in chemical engineering.

But despite the nerves and the noise, he took the bold move to try and chat up the mystery woman in a language other than his native tongue.

He said: "She looked absolutely amazing from when I first saw her. She stood out straight away - she was so elegant.

"I can't remember what I said, but it took a lot of guts to speak to a woman in a bar in my second language!"

And the couple's romance has blossomed since, and seen them going to watch football matches together - including seeing Natalie's brother Lloyd turn out for Cardiff City's under 21 side.

And the pair have also cheered on Portugal together - especially during last month's friendly against Wales' rivals England.

But tonight will see their loyalties divided.

"Michael has got an obsession with Ronaldo," added Natalie.

"If he's in the pub and I can't hear a word he's saying I can tell when he is speaking about Ronaldo.

"I've been teasing him ahead of the game saying that one of my favourite things about Ronaldo is how bad he is at free kicks - especially considering how good Gareth Bale is.

"I can see us winning 3-2."

Michael, who hails from a small town near Lisbon, added: "I'm the first to defend Ronaldo, but I admit he hasn't been at his best in the tournament. I think he will come alive against Wales.

"I'm confident that we will win 2-1, in extra time. But if we don't then I'll still cheer for Wales in the final."

Press Association

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