Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Meet Lucas Lima, the heir to Santos' playmaking throne

The first pass is all about vision – that most nebulous of attributes that most players aspire to but very few attain. A quick look up in a busy midfield. A runner. A swish of the left boot. Centre-back and full-back sliced apart. Geuvânio scampers through to score the opener.

The second is different. A good pass, sure, but that’s not the main thing. Besides, it doesn’t even go down as an assist. No, the key here is the speed of thought. A free-kick. Everyone relaxes for a second. Some moan at the referee. Opportunity knocks. Ball on the floor, Eugenio Mena released. A simple cross later and Gabriel makes it 2-0. Job done.

He did not score and he did not make the headlines, but everyone who knew anything knew. One man and one man alone masterminded Santos’ 3-1 derby win over Palmeiras on Sunday: 24-year-old midfielder Lucas Lima.

Read the rest of this profile on the WhoScored website.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Eduardo da Silva proving in Brazil that his finishing powers remain undimmed

Whisper it quietly, but it is perhaps indicative of the global standing of the Campeonato Brasileiro that players can thrive there long after they hit the proverbial wall in Europe. A fading Ronaldinho? Amazing in Brazil. Kaká, years after his peak? Doing really well, thank you very much.

The trend is testament to the fact that quickness of thought can compensate for ageing legs, particularly in a league that struggles to produce cerebral, tactically-astute players. A little bit of nous gleaned from European football, allied with technical quality, is usually enough to allow a player to stand out in Brazil.

Most appear to enjoy being the big fish in a small pond. But the recent form of one man also shows that the Brasileirão can also be a fruitful hunting ground for those who tend to prefer the quiet life.

In my latest column for WhoScored, I look at the recent form of former Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva. Read it here.