"Before it was really hard for a player to have any interest in playing for the national team," Semedo admits. "But today things have changed... We have examples of players who have turned down offers to play in other countries so they could play for Cape Verde instead -- and they have no regrets.
"[They] can't buy what we offer them. We give them love, caring and friendship. They aren't admired only when they score a goal or play for the team. Even after retirement, they are cared for; the friendship continues. That is one important aspect about how we and Africa must treat our players so they may contribute to their countries of origin."
They may be able to offer their players love, but former player, coach, and 40 year veteran of Cape Verde soccer Luiz Da Silva says the nation needs to open its coffers if it wants to secure longterm success.
"How is it possible that a team that has made it to the qualifiers, and then qualified [for the African Cup of Nations] must rely on donations to play?" he asks. "That's unheard of."
Cape Verde is not a rich nation, and hardly ever plays friendlies because of the expense incurred. It's a serious handicap, preventing the national coach from experimenting or introducing fresh blood from local teams. Silva argues the lack of trickle-down opportunities stymies soccer at a domestic level.
How long Cape Verde can continue to defy the odds remains to be seen. It's going to take time and money to maintain their remarkable trajectory, and sustained exposure at international level. For the players on the pitch the job is much simpler: keep on winning.
"[Soccer] happens to unify everyone," says captain Marcos Soares. "We hope to continue getting good results so that we can give a good example to the country, particularly for the youth to follow."