Brazil: the talent factory 2010 featuring Eron, Casemiro, Lucas Moura, Alan Patrick, Bernardo, Elkeson and Neto Berola

September 20, 2010 at 09:09 15 comments

Check out Brazil: the talent factory 2012 here

EronCasemiro, Lucas, (photo), Alan Patrick, Bernardo, Elkeson, Neto Berolaseven names to look out for.

Mid-September. The pitches are lush; the stadiums are full(ish) because most of the major football competitions around the world have only recently kicked off. The situation in Brazil, however, could not be more different.  The football season here started way back in January with the Copa São Paulo Júnior (Brazil’s biggest youth tournament) and then the local state championships. The national league – the Campeonato Brasileiro – has already passed the halfway stage. Throw in the Libertadores, the Copa do Brasil, and the Sul Americana and it will come as no surprise to learn that some clubs have already clocked up more than 50 games and there’s still another 15 matches to go in the league.

With an endless stream of games, players get lots of exposure. There are almost six months of football before the European transfer window opens in July/August. That means plenty of opportunities for foreign scouts or investment groups to get a good idea of who could be the next big thing coming out of Brazil. Once a player is identified and signed up, the well-oiled hype machine – created (we assume) by agents and investors all keen to get a quick return on their layout – goes into overdrive. Douglas Costa was regarded as a massive star outside Brazil. But anyone who had actually seen his performances for Grêmio (now Shakhtar Donetsk) wondered what the fuss was all about. The same can be said of Wellington Silva who has been signed by Arsenal struggles to get into the first team at Fluminense.

This trend of signing players who have yet to make a first team appearance or have played a handful of times is set to increase. 19-year-old André Ribeiro played 46 games for Santos before being snapped up by Dynamo Kiev for €8 million (he was later called up to Brazil in Mano Menezes’ first squad). After negotiations involving Traffic and KGM Sports, Atlético Mineiro’s João Pedro Geraldino dos Santos Galvã was whisked off to Palermo for €2.45 million after making just 15 appearances for Galo. Clearly, Dynamo and Palermo are taking a bit of a gamble on their respective purchases. But the relatively low fees mean that the Europeans are likely to get a good return on their investments.

Brazilian clubs have finally reacted to this development in the market and as a result have begun to slap enormously inflated price tags on the heads of their youngsters. Take Internacional’s Eduardo Sasha – the Porto Alegre club have put a €40 million buyout clause into his contract and he’s only just made his debut for the team (0-0 vs Goiás 12th September). Inter are also desperate to tie teenager Andrigo Oliveira de Araújo to the club. The 15-year-old recently took part in a youth tournament in the UK and apparently is already being courted by Manchester United and Barcelona.

It’s not only the number of games that provides so much exposure. Player turnover at the clubs is relentless and bewildering. Because of short contracts, footballers come and go at an alarming rate and it’s not unusual to see entire first teams change in the space of twelve months. On 29th August 2010, Atlético Mineiro lost to Palmeiras 2-1 in round 17 of the Brasileiro. Of the teams that met in round 18 on 12th August 2009, only Marcos, Maurício Ramos, Pierre, and Danilo were still in the Palmeiras line up. Staggeringly, Werley was the only survivor for Atlético. This chopping and changing, though thoroughly disruptive, does throw up opportunities for young players to come through the ranks. And this leads us to my picks for this year’s Brazil: the talent factory post.

Naturally, I’ve avoided including players listed in FootBrazil’s Top Ten Young Talents, which features Dentinho, Mazola, Jucilei, Neymar, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Bruno César, Zé Eduardo, Giuliano, Rafael Tolói and Leandro Damião. I should be posting the video on this site shortly. So, keep an eye out for that. (Now on the site)

In no particular order, here’s the list of the players that have made the Talent Factory in 2010. My first choice is a left-back at Atlético Mineiro. Eron made his debut in the 0-0 draw away at Flamengo at the end of August this year and as such is a real long shot. He’s been called up by Brazil at the junior levels but to date, the 18-year-old has appeared just five times for the pros at Atlético.  I’ve been able to watch most of his games and Eron made an impression. The teenager is speedy, willing to take on the opposition and extremely confident. Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has picked Eron ahead of the more experienced Leandro Silva. But with Galo struggling at the wrong end of the Brasileiro, let’s hope Eron isn’t sacrificed as Luxemburgo tries to steady his sinking ship.
Full name: Eron Santos Lourenço; Position: left back; DOB: 17/1/92; Club: Atlético Mineiro

Now on to two players being given a chance at São Paulo. Since former youth team coach, Sergio Baresi, took over at the Morumbi, he’s promised to speed up the process of getting more athletes from the club’s football academy into the first team. Defensive midfielder Casemiro made his debut vs Santos in July under then coach Ricardo Gomes. Even though he’s only 18-years-old, Casemiro is already pretty robust and is making an impact with the starters. Solid in the tackle and with an intimidating physical presence, Casemiro has already struck twice (both from corners). The midfielder displays a maturity well beyond his years. As well as being able to break up opposition moves, Casemiro has the accuracy to hit long killer passes. São Paulo believe he’s one of the most promising players to come out of their training centre at Cotia since their former centreback Breno. The defender played one season for the Tricolor before being whisked off to Bayern Munich at the end of 2007. Casemiro has a contract to 2015. See him in action here making a crunching tackle on Botafogo’s Marcelo Mattos and here scoring against Atlético Mineiro
Full name: Carlos Henrique Casimiro; Position: midfielder; DOB: 23/02/92; Height: 1.84m; Weight: 80kg; Clubs: São Paulo, Brazil U17s  links

Further up the field is team-mate Lucas (or as he used to be known; Marcelinho). I’d better get this cleared up first.  The player’s real name is Lucas but he picked up the nickname of Marcelinho after going to Marcelinho Carioca’s football school.  The teenager made his debut in August vs Atlético Paranaense as Marcelinho. But halfway through September announced that he wanted to be called Lucas. The Morumbi man has just turned 18 and is exactly the type of attacking midfielder that São Paulo have been lacking for a number of years. Lithe, speedy and with a bag of tricks that will worry even the most experienced defenders, Lucas is an exciting prospect. Captain Rógerio Ceni has already said the youngster is fundamental to São Paulo and added that he believes Lucas is one of the most talented midfielders to play for the club since Kaká and Júlio Baptista. With so many left-footers at São Paulo (Richarlyson, Jorge Vagner, Julio César, Marlos, Fernandinho) Lucas also provides some much-needed balance to the Tricolor frontline.  See him here scoring against Atlético Mineiro and here Casemiro starts the move, Lucas does the magic, Fernandão scores and scoring against Palmeirasyesterday.
Watch FootBrazil’s video feature on Lucas Moura here
Full name: Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva; Position: midfielder; DOB: 13/08/92; Height: 1.72m; Weight: 66kg; Clubs: Corinthians juniors, São Paulo

Where would this list be without naming at least one Santos player? I was tempted to go for Alex Sandro. But as one left-back has already been mentioned, I settled on 19-year-old Alan Patrick . The midfielder got his first chance at Santos at the end of 2009 with former coach, Vanderlei Luxemburgo. At the time of writing, Patrick has made just 12 appearances but already has two goals to his name. Despite the small number of games, Santos rate Patrick so highly that they’ve already earmarked him as a long-term replacement for Paulo Henrique Ganso. But the Vila Belmiro club are not the only ones to have spotted something in the teenager. Shakhtar Donetsk are said to have offered €5 million for his services. Santos turned it down flat, extended his contract until 2014 and slapped a buyout clause of €20 million on his head.  See him in action scoring here against Goiás and against Ferroviário
Watch FootBrazil’s interview with the player here
Full name: Alan Patrick Lourenço; Position: midfielder; DOB: 13/05/91; Height: 1.77m; Weight: 68kg; Clubs: Santos, Brazil U19s

Goiás may be struggling near the bottom of the Brasileiro but their 20-year-old attacking midfielder, Bernardo , is starting to show his potential. With Goiás in deep trouble, one could forgive a player of his age if he went into hiding on the pitch. But this is not the case with Bernardo who remains ball hungry. Despite having more experienced players up front, Bernardo is often the club’s penalty taker. That’s not surprising as he can strike the ball exceptionally well. This ability has also made him his side’s freekick taker. With Cruzeiro’s youth team in 2009, Bernardo finished top scorer of the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior with 9 goals. But promotion to the senior side came in part to the large number of injuries at the Belo Horizonte club. His spell with the first team came earlier than intended and Bernardo wasn’t quite ready. Cruzeiro saw his potential but realized that a spell at a club where he could get more regular first team action would do him good. Bernardo is getting plenty of playing time and though 5 goals is a relatively modest haul, he is the top scorer at Goiás.  See him here scoring against Avaí and a long-range shot against Santos
Full name: Bernardo Vieira de Souza; Position: midfielder; DOB: 20/05/1990; Height: 1.77m; Weight: 70kg; Clubs: Cruzeiro, Goiás (loan), Brazil U15s-19s

Vitória’s Elkeson is another freekick specialist. The 21-year-old already has two years’ experience under his belt and is a born entertainer. Elkeson loves the chapéu (literally ‘hat’ – the act of flicking the ball over another player) and is not afraid to take shots with his weaker foot (left). The midfielder was a ‘gato’ (literally ‘cat’ – a player who says he’s older than he actually is to try to gain an advantage in the junior teams). In Elkeson’s case he was 13 when he falsified his documents to appear two years younger. Vitória found out but kept him on. And the misdemeanour didn’t stop Benfica buying 50% of his economic rights two years ago. See him scoring from a freekick here and doing a chapéu here
Full name: Elkeson de Oliveira Cardoso; Position: midfielder; DOB: 13/07/1989; Height: 1.79m; Weight: 75kg; Club: Vitória

At 22, Neto Berola is slightly older than the other players mentioned in my list. Berola performed well at Vitória last season, and under the tutelage of Vanderlei Luxemburgo, looks even better at Atlético Mineiro. Berola is one of the most exciting players I’ve seen this season. What makes him so good to watch are his attacking runs. The midfielder is not afraid to take on more than one defender and has the close control to dribble his way through the tightest defences. Throw in his shooting ability and it’s easy to envisage Berola making an impact on a bigger stage before too long. For now though, the player’s immediate future is with Galo who were smart in signing him on a three year deal after picking up 80% of his economic rights.   See him here chipping Palmeiras’ Marcos and whacking the woodwork vs Palmeiras
Full name: Sosthenes José Santos Salles; Position: forward; DOB: 18/11/1987; Clubs:Buerarema BA, Itabuna BA, Vitória, Atlético Mineiro

If you have spotted any over candidates for the talent factory 2010, pleaseadd your own suggestions in the comments section.

See previous Brazil: the talent factory posts from 2009 and 2008

© Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo’s Brazilian football site, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo’s Brazilian football site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Corinthians knock Fluminense off the top Brazil squad for October 2010 friendlies: Liverpool’s Lucas, Tottenham’s Sandro Ranieri & Chelsea’s Ramires & Alex included but Neymar is dropped

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jack (SKP)  |  September 20, 2010 at 09:47

    Great article Jon!

    Neto Berola and Lucas (Marcelinho) are players I can really imagine making an impact in Europe…the latter especially.

    I like Elkeson a lot, he has that swagger that all the best players have…you can tell he steps onto the pitch thinking he’s the dog’s b*****ks every time!

    A couple of other youngsters I like are Misael at Ceará (great start to the season, although he has admittedly faded) and Róbson at Avaí (ex-Santos…nice clever attacking midfielder).

    Again, great list, I look forward to that video

    • 2. Rei  |  September 22, 2010 at 01:32

      Did you just say Robson? Didn’t look like much to me while he was at Santos.

      • 3. Jack (SKP)  |  September 22, 2010 at 16:23

        Yeah he wasn’t amazing at Santos, but he’s been promising for Avaí so far this season.

  • 4. Mirakhil  |  September 20, 2010 at 10:37

    I can’t believe u don’t have Jorge Henrique!!!

    • 5. pitacodogringo  |  September 20, 2010 at 11:41

      if you’re talking about Corinthians’ Jorge Henrique it’s because he’s 28 and hardly a new player – though i am a fan

  • 6. Didi  |  September 20, 2010 at 23:44

    Nice … I always love this kind of article … hope the video come soon … ? can u post it in youtube also ? … 🙂

  • 7. jzlim11  |  September 21, 2010 at 05:37

    Great one Jon!! Hope these players work hard and please don’t get cocky like Neymar.

  • 8. amilcar lewis  |  September 21, 2010 at 09:21

    really good post jon I know you had been busy so this is a really good change

  • 9. jzlim11  |  September 22, 2010 at 05:24

    Jon, Dorival has just been dismissed. What do you think about this? This is not a healthy sign for Brazilian football. And I don’t want Brazil to be another France 2010 team. I think Santos FC should change name to Neymar FC.

  • 10. Jimmy  |  September 23, 2010 at 16:01

    Jon, you mentioned in this excellent article the very high turnover with these clubs is very high. Is this something new and increasing in the Brasileirao? If so, why? What are the basic transfer rules and realities in Brasil and what is different here than other leagues? Is this trend helpful or hurtful to professional football in Brasil?

    I like the idea of transfers but in a controlled manner. Aside from the jersey, it is tough to follow and bond allegiances to a team when every other day seemingly there are changes to the roster.

    • 11. pitacodogringo  |  September 23, 2010 at 20:41

      as long as i’ve been here in Brazil, the situation has always been like this. there is a rule that a player who has made 7 (or is it 8?) appearances for a top flight side, cannot move to another Série A team. but Série B to A is still possible.

      right now, there’s another spree of transfers. so, look out for new names at many of the first division clubs.

      and with so much player turnover, you’re completely right about the difficulty in forming really strong bonds with the teams – maybe that’s why the average gates are so poor?

  • 12. litlemonsta  |  October 4, 2010 at 17:07

    good stuff jon!
    i see none of them are in menezes’s current squad. when are we going to see these players appearing for brazil?

  • 13. Tyler Perez  |  January 8, 2011 at 13:21

    How can you not place Pato on this

  • 14. JME  |  May 26, 2011 at 14:29

    Update on this please and include Galhardo of Flamengo 😉 and whaaat about Diegol Mauricio

  • […] Adryan Oliveira Tavares, Bernard), 2011 (includes Oscar, Wellington Nem, Rafael Cabral), 2010 (includes Lucas Moura, Casemiro, Elkeson), 2009 (includes Sandro Ranieri, Rafael Tolói), 2008 […]


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The man who came up with: Messi carrying Argentina. Neymar carrying Brazil. British Airways carrying England. My name is Jon Cotterill. I am an English football commentator for TV Globo in São Paulo, Brazil. Currently we're broadcasting two live Campeonato Brasileiro or Campeonato Paulista games per week plus our magazine show, Footbrazil to 180 countries. + Eu trabalho como narrador na TV Globo em São Paulo, Brasil. Atualmente, nos transmitimos dois jogos ao vivo do Campeonato Brasileiro ou Campeonato Paulista por semana e nosso programa de futebol semanal, Footbrazil.

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© Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo's Brazilian football site, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo's Brazilian football site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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