The beginning of League It can not be better. Even the sports director (Quique Cárcel) says he is well above expectations. Would he have imagined it?
Yes I thought so. Last year he was already watching Girona’s games and he saw that the team was doing very well. When I arrived I saw that there was still much more quality than I imagined. In the preseason I thought we could do great things.
He is being one of the sensations of the team. How does it look?
I am very happy to play for Girona. The truth is that he had never had a sequence of consecutive games playing so well. However, I know the football I can offer and the talent I have. I can give even more to my teammates and the coach. For me, the key word is mindset. This way I can improve each game.
Yes, maybe so, but it’s good to win.
For me it is finishing in the top eight and then whatever comes as a result of this. Maybe Europa League… But I’m ambitious and I’m clear that the goal is to be in the top eight in the standings.
In the preseason we already saw a great Savinho. In five days, what percentage of the best version of him has been seen?
Arguably only 70%. I’m still adapting to playing on the left, but I can perform better on the right. The coach talks to me a lot and I am happy playing on the left and helping the team. My good leg is the left even though I like to play more on the right and go inside.
Do you notice that people fall in love with your game, magic and quality?
Yes, I am aware of that. I love when I do a filigree and the fans shout or say oh! and she stands up. I like it a lot. After the last game in Montilivi against Las Palmas I reviewed videos and saw that the fans were getting up from their chairs.
Brazilians already have this. Neymar, Vinicius, Ronaldinho…
Yes of course. Many of us are like that. Furthermore, the coach gives me freedom and confidence to do so.
What does Míchel ask of you?
Personality, mentality and, above all, playing with joy. We all have quality and if I add all this, my natural game will come out.
Let him play as if he were playing on the street?
Yes. Naturally, and that we treat the ball well.
Does Stuani scold you because you sometimes don’t pass him the ball?
The day of the game in Seville he did tell me that he was alone and I could have passed the ball to him. It’s okay… I was facing him, I didn’t raise my head and I didn’t see him. Then reviewing the video I did see that he was alone, but no problem. We won. (Laughs).
I’ve been told that he shoots free kicks very well too. Do you know that Girona has not scored a goal from a free kick since 2020?
I’m a specialist and I like to shoot them. I will have to train with the team and ask permission from Aleix Garcia or Tsygankov to let me shoot them.
Are you afraid that the defenders of the League will be very hard on you?
No! No way! I always play with joy.
Does it have character? Against Lazio, in preseason, he was seen confronting a player from the Italian team.
Yes I have. If the rivals don’t like my game, I don’t care. At Lazio there was a Brazilian player (Anderson) who told me not to make hats or filigrees. I told him that Brazilians play like that and that he was too. Why should you be angry?
“I want to be better than Stuani. I am new and young and I want to learn to try to achieve what he has done here or even more”
What do you dream?
Have a great season with Girona and achieve your goals. I see Stuani and I reflect. He is a great player and a great person who the fans idolize when he scores. He has achieved many things here.
Would you like to be like Stuani here?
Yes. I want to be better than Stuani. I am new and young and I want to learn to try to achieve what he has done here or even more.
Do you give him advice?
Yes. It helps me a lot. He tells me that I am very good one-on-one, but that I must improve defensively.
Have they stopped you on the street in Girona or not yet?
Sometimes, yes. I don’t mind. People are very respectful.
How many goals and how many assists will he add this season?
We are left with the coach who would score eight goals and five assists.
Who were your idols growing up?
Before it was Neymar. Now it’s Rodrygo, from Madrid.
How old were you when you started playing soccer?
With six or seven in Espirito Santo, in Sao Mateus.
Did anyone in your family play soccer too?
Yes, my father did it, but in amateur categories.
What did your parents do?
At home we have a cow farm and I have always lived there. We make milk and also rodeo shows. Is very pretty.
Do not tell me! Do you do rodeo too?
No! I can not! I have it prohibited.
Have you noticed a lot of difference between the Brazilian milk at home and the Catalan milk or does the nutritionist, Sergi Mateo, not let you drink it?
I haven’t tried the Catalan one yet… (Laughs).
How is a kid from a farm in Sao Mateus going to end up at Atlético Mineiro?
When I was ten years old they came looking for me and told me they loved me. First I went alone and then my mother came and she stayed with me until I turned 18.
A very drastic change for such a young boy.
Yes, because in my case I had always been on the farm, very quiet. Then suddenly, he jumped to Atletico Mineiro.
He immediately became South American under-15 champion, youth international and debuted with the first team at the age of 16. Was it difficult to digest it all?
No, no problem. It’s all a matter of mentality.
Jorge Sampaoli gave him his debut.
Yes, he promoted me when I was 16 years old and then Turkish Mohamed gave me a lot of confidence and continuity.
When the City Group, via Troyes, signed you for 6.5 million euros, did you have offers from other teams?
Yes. Arsenal wanted me and also the Brazilian Bragantino.
Was it clear to you?
Yes. I knew that Troyes was in the City group and I thought that by working I could one day reach Manchester City. Of course, I will have to do very well here in Girona.
He went through PSV Eindhoven last season. How was the experience?
Very good. Was top. The people at the club treated me very well and the fans too. I played seven or eight games because I was out for four months due to injury. They were happy with me and even wanted me to come back this season, but I chose to come to Girona.
He was trained by Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
A great coach. When I signed he sent me a message that said: “Good luck at Girona.”
“My idols? Before it was Neymar. Now it’s Rodrygo, from Madrid”
With Pep Guardiola have you ever spoken?
What did you know about Girona before coming?
Not much, really. When I finished the U-20 World Cup I spoke with my wife and we said that if a team from the Spanish league came, we would like to come here because I wanted to play in the League. Then Girona appeared and here I am. It was a dream to play in the League.
Becoming an absolute international I imagine is another of his challenges.
Oh sure!. It would be the maximum. I hope I can play in the 2026 World Cup. There is still a lot of time.
At Atlético Mineiro he played with two veterans like Godín and Diego Costa. Did they advise you?
Yes. They are two top players. When I signed for City, Godín told me that it was a very good place for me. Diego Costa always said that he had a lot of talent and he gave me morale. It turns out that he played with Míchel at Rayo Vallecano. For me he is one of the best center forwards I have ever played with.