THE BIG INTERVIEW: Eder
5th December 2015
Ederzito Antonio Macedo Lopes jokingly refers to himself simply as "Mr. International" as he gets up to leave his seat at the Liberty Stadium following an afternoon of interviews.
Eder, as he is more commonly known, is reflecting on his multi-cultural background. He was born in the west-African country Guinea-Bissau before moving to Portugal as a toddler, while he now plies his trade in the English top-flight for a Welsh football club.
The majority of his family remain in Portugal, while he also has sisters living in England. He considers himself as a man of the world.
"I am like Mr. International," chuckles Eder. "I have a sister studying in Wolverhampton and I have another sister who has lived in England for a long time. My brother lives in Portugal, but I have family everywhere.
"I moved to Portugal when I was two-years-old, so I don't remember living in Guinea-Bissau.
"My family moved to Lisbon so that we could live in better conditions and have a better way of life. My father was already living in Portugal, so I moved over with my mother."
Eder enjoyed a happy childhood in his adopted country and from the age of eight boarded at a college, located on the outskirts of the Coimbra district of Portugal, called Lar "O Girassol".
"I didn't really grow up with my family; I grew up in a college," adds the 27-year-old striker, who is the eldest of three sisters and one brother. "It was really good for me. It helped me to grow into the man that I have become and aided my football career.
"Of course, at times it was a little bit tough, which is normal, but I enjoyed it a lot. I met so many of my friends there, and it was good to have that life experience."
The college, based in San Martinho do Bispo, hosts children aged between six and 21 and works using a boarding system that provides education and the necessary facilities to provide specialised care for young people.
Like many budding footballers of his era, Eder grew up idolising the "unbelievable" Brazil legend Ronaldo and, when he wasn't at school, he spent the majority of his free time with a ball at his feet imitating his childhood hero.
"I always played football in the streets with the other kids from my college," explains Eder. "Everyday and everywhere, if we had a ball, we would just play football."
Eder's ability on the pitch was quickly noticed and he was brought into the Coimbra-based ADC Ademia academy, where his talent was nurtured before he made his senior debut for Portuguese fourth tier outfit FC Oliveira do Hospital.
"I actually started my senior career with Tourizense," explains Eder, discussing the small third division club based in the Tabua Municipality of Portugal. "I went there for trials and they accepted me.
"I was there for six months but moved to Oliveira do Hospital for a season. And the next year I moved back to Tourizense."
Eder impressed during his time with Oliveira do Hospital, scoring seven goals in 23 appearances before returning to Tourizense, the feeder club of Portuguese top-flight side Academica.
Between 2007 and 2008, Eder scored 11 times in 42 games for the Touriz-based side, which prompted the attention of Academica in 2008.
After signing for Academica, he made his first-team debut for A Briosa in a 1-0 away loss to Estrela da Amadora in August 2008 before going on to help the club win its first "Taça de Portugal" - the Portuguese Cup - since 1939 in 2012.
"We won the cup, which was fantastic," says Eder. "I enjoyed my time at Academica. I grew up in Coimbra, so I was very happy to play for the club from the city that I grew up. I had some fantastic times there."
Portuguese giants Braga then snapped up the burgeoning talent in the summer of 2012 on a four-year deal.
Eder's first season with Os Arcebispos was hugely impressive as he tallied 13 goals and three assists in just 18 league appearances, before his campaign was curtailed through injury.
"It was a really good first season," reflects Eder. "But in the February of that season I suffered a knee ligament injury, which kept me out for six months.
"The next year I came back but had a few more injuries which made the season very stop-start for me."
His final season with Braga saw the rangy forward return to the form that he displayed during his debut season for the club. In 28 appearances, he scored 10 goals, taking his total to 26 goals in 59 league outings during his stay at the Municipal Stadium.
On the international front, having made his full debut for the Portugal national team during a 2014 World Cup qualifier back in August 2012 against Luxembourg, Eder has so far clocked up 21 international caps, with his solitary goal for A Seleccao arriving in a friendly against Italy in June 2015.
"I have played in the Champions League with Braga and in a World Cup with Portugal," says Eder. "I feel that those experiences have helped prepare me for the Premier League.
"But it is different when you play here. The intensity is higher and you never know what is going to happen in the games. It's very unpredictable, which is why everyone says the Premier League is the best league in the world.
"We know a lot of things about the Premier League from Cristiano Ronaldo. He did so well here, so of course he is someone we try to follow.
"I spoke to Southampton's Jose Fonte too. He encouraged me to come here. He said it was a fantastic league and a good league for me."
Having made a string of cameos from the substitutes bench, Eder made his first league start of the season against Bournemouth last month before following that up with a starting berth against Liverpool last weekend.
"It's been really good to start some games," he adds. "It is very intense here, but I am adapting and I will improve.
"There is a difference between training and actually playing games. If you don't play games then it is hard to get used to the rhythm of the matches, but that will come in time through hard work.
"Sometimes it is frustrating when you are not playing, but if you focus and work hard, then your chance will come."
Away from football, Eder feels settled in the city and is enjoying the quiet coastal life of South Wales despite the weather conditions.
"The weather is very different to Braga," laughs the infectious forward. "It rains a bit more and can be very windy, but I will get used to it.
"I've settled in really well. Swansea is a calm place, which is good for players and there are not too many distractions. It is very cosy.
"The fans are great here. When I see them in the city, they always wish me luck and say that they hope I can score many goals.
"I am currently taking English lessons because I want to improve as quickly as possible. I am trying to play golf too. All of my teammates talk about it, so I am trying my best. Federico (Fernandez) has tried to encourage me."