Recognized as the Country of football, Brazil has always revealed great names for the sport. The ability to improvise, dribble and wiggle have always been part of a vast repertoire of athletes who delighted the world with the ball at their feet.
Made in the pottery of a red land, boys and girls seek their space in football and futsal far from home. Sacred land that has already produced and revealed names like Élber and Rafinha, idols at Bayern Munich, Germany, Jadson, Fernandinho, Kléberson and Dagoberto, all of whom are PSTC creators and who have consolidated their careers inside and outside Brazil.
Quiet and aware of the way to go, Lucas Mazetti, champion of the last São Paulo Junior Cup at Internacional de Porto Alegre, remembers his trajectory since the days of Londrina. “I started playing soccer at the age of five in futsal and on the field, in Londrina. At the age of 11, I went to Santos, and after a while I went to play for Coritiba, from there, I was signed by Inter at the end of 2018. I hope to achieve a lot by on here.”
The title of the most important base tournament in Brazil does not elude the right-back who has another Londoner as a reference. “We know that winning the title of the São Paulo Cup is a great showcase. My goal is to remain firm and persistent to reach the professional. I have as a reference Rafinha, from Flamengo, because he always played at a high level”, he comments.
Currently women’s football, although far from the ideal world, has gained a little more space. If the male Londrina has big names as a reference, the female one still has no one to fill this space. And that is what Giovanna Crivelari intends to do. “I hope to be a reference for girls in Londrina, I started in the most difficult way, a sieve with 2,500 girls, and I was the only one who passed. After going through other big clubs I arrived at Corinthians and I have plans to win a spot in the National Team Brazilian, playing in a big club in Europe. Playing football is a dream come true “, says the London striker.
The lack of support for women’s football is still troubling and for the Corinthians athlete the absence of a club in the city also includes the lack of encouragement from the city hall. “We always expect more support from the sponsors, but there is also a little lack of the city hall to have a good team in Londrina, I always wanted there to be a team competing in major competitions, I have a dream of one day playing for the team in my city” , reveals.
From the courts of Londrina to the Falcão team
If on the soccer field the athlete learns to play a more thoughtful, tactical game, it is in futsal that instinct speaks louder. The shortened space, the speed and dynamics of the game oblige the player to develop fundamental characteristics for the sport: technique and dribbling. That’s what João Guilherme did to get to Jaraguá, a traditional Brazilian futsal team.
Quick and top scorer, the winger started his career early. “At the age of six, I already played futsal at the former Grêmio Londrinense, then I went to Colégio Londrinense, where I won a scholarship and played for Unifil the Prata Series at the age of 17. We went up to the Ouro Series, but the project ended and I was determined to stop playing because I had no team here “, he recalls.
What he least expected was that in a moment of leisure the great chance of his life would come. “I was at the beach with some friends and I got a call talking about a test that would take place at Corinthians. I abandoned my friends and went to the test. There were 10 boys and two places for the under-20s, it was my best training week. I stayed there for two and a half years, where I was champion and top scorer for Paulista and Brazilian champion “, he says.
With the highlight, the athlete from Londrina received an invitation beyond tempting. “I was nominated for Fernando Ferreti, who was going to Jaraguá, the president of the club called me and said about Falcão, who is the greatest of all times and who made history there, I rocked and didn’t think twice” , remembers.
In Jaraguá for two seasons, João Guilherme fulfills a dream not only of him, but also of his family. “Last year was my best season. I competed in two categories in the vote for the best of the year, best wing and revelation athlete. My dream is to stay firm here for some time, get a highlight to reach the national team, go to Europe, where the futsal is more valued, and I hope one day to play for a team here in the city, it is my dream and my father’s dream too. It is sad that a city like Londrina does not have a team to compete in high level competitions “, he laments. (G.A.)
Brothers seize the chance in European futsal
Maximum football moment, the goal is an achievement for the athlete. Vibrate with the crowd, dedicate it to friends and family, celebrate with teammates, all this goes through the imagination of those who are starting their careers. But for others the function is just the opposite, it is to prevent all of this from happening. Leandro Barros started to draw attention under the goal posts at a very young age. “When I was five years old I started playing futsal, when I was 17 I trained on the Yacht and Italian representatives saw me playing and liked my performance. I went to Italy and played for 12 years there, I was even called up for the Italian base team , which was my best moment in my career and now I play in England, we are in first place, being champions we go to the Champions “, says the goalkeeper.
In search of financial independence, many athletes dream of playing abroad, but few persist and face adversity. “I realized that I had become a professional athlete when I arrived in Italy and earned my first salary. Living in futsal became my profession, but I had a hard time adapting because of the distance from my family, longing for friends, but I managed to adapt after a while and it became something pleasant for me “, he says.
In the family’s DNA, the goalkeeper position extended to Leandro’s younger brother. Evandro Barros also started his career in Londrina playing for clubs in the city. After a while, he was invited to be close to his brother. And after a few seasons playing together in Italy, today the two live in England and miss a stronger futsal in Londrina. “Sadness is the word that defines the situation of futsal in Londrina. But I understand that it is complicated for the sponsors, the public in Londrina only follows when the team is very good, when the team is close to being champion and that goes for everyone sports, I hope this situation will change one day “, concludes Leandro. (G.A.)