Throughout football’s history, Brazil has been one of the hottest producers of world class footballing talent. Even players who struggle to make the national team are more talented than most other players.
The biggest country in South America has forged so many legendary players, such as: Romário, Garrincha, Zico, Jarzinho, Cafu, Leônidas, Falcão, Didi, Ronaldo, Sócrates, Ronaldinho and Pelé, to name a few.
But Manchester United, the biggest football club in the world, has never hosted one of these legendary players on their pitch. None of: Kléberson, Rodrigo Possebon, Oliviera Anderson or the da Silva twins could bring any of their homeland’s Samba magic to Old Trafford.
But that might all be about to change.
19 year old Andreas Hoelgebaum Pereira, originally signed from PSV Eindhoven in 2012, has impressed at every youth level and is now making his way into the Manchester United first team.
Although born in Belgium, Pereira is the son to two Brazilian’s and has opted to play for the South American side on an international level, instead of playing for his birth land. Pereira claims:
“My heart is Brazilian.”
He was the stand out performer in United’s pre-season tour of the United States and has now made his first start, against Ipswich Town in the Capital One Cup, and scored. His goal was a sublime free kick that left the keeper stunned.
Manager Louis van Gaal had this to say about the young Brazilian:
“It was his first line-up match (start) and I think he did rather well. He scored a fantastic, important goal and I’m pleased but he has to compete, for example, with Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Ashley Young so it shall be difficult for him.”
“He can play in the no.7, 10 and 11 positions. Lingard can also play no.7, 10 and 11. I have multi-functional players but they have to compete with other players. It is dependable on the level of the players. I always put the best player in the line-up when he is working for the team.”
Andreas has also commented on his goal and first full game for the Red Devils:
“I asked Juan for the ball and he gave it to me,” Pereira recalled. “We’ve been practising and he trusted me, so I’m very happy with that. Now it’s like a relief. You know that all the work that you’ve done, and now you get to play in the first team. I’m very happy. I just want to keep working harder and harder. Hopefully I can do well, and keep learning and progressing.”
“It’s good that we play at home, for the fans here, and hopefully we can show them again what we are capable of.”
“I feel very happy, I’m pleased, and happy that we won the game tonight,”
“I was very happy, a bit nervous, but I just kept calm. My teammates helped me a lot and they tell me how to keep calm and what to do. Last year wasn’t good because we went out and we didn’t want that to happen again this year so we prepared well.”
“It’s very special for me to score my first goal, a free kick, at the Stretford End, it’s like a dream come true. I always dreamed of this moment and I’m very happy that I can impress the manager and do well for my club.”
United have managed to sign up the wunderkind to a 3 year contract, keeping him at Old Trafford until June 2018.
Andreas Pereira has the talent to change Manchester United’s poor Brazilian run.