Of all the teams in Sao Paulo (Brazil) there’s a team where stars never stop shining: Santos FC. From Pelè to Neymar, the next young Brazilian talent from the Peixe (“fish” in English, because Santos is the only club next to the sea out of the 4 major clubs in Sao Paulo) could be Gabriel Barbosa.
Quick, skillful, fast, with good long range passing ability, he plays mainly at CF and RW. Predominantly left footed, he loves to play defence splitting through balls and to target the opposition defences at pace. Growing up in the youth ranks, he was he was affectionately referred to as “Gabigol” by his team mates as a result of him scoring over 100 goals for his team.
At a Height of 1.78 cms, he’s possesses good heading ability. On top of this his finishing ability for someone so young, gives him the foundations to become a top CF. He can also play as a playmaker because of his good range of passing. Although at present he hasn’t scored as much for the Santos First Team, he’s a player developing at a fast rate, and has attracted admiring glances from a number of top European clubs, who are eager to unearth the next footballing superstar from Brazil.
However, to fulfill his potential and become a future star, he has to improve his work rate, defensive attitude and tactical positioning: he rarely helps his team in pressing and recovering the ball, he never tackles and has to improve his right foot shooting. His mental approach is aggressive, sometimes a little too much: in a match against Sao Paulo he scored and took off his shirt, gaining a second yellow card. Santos lost that match in the last minutes. His Brazil U20 team won the Cotif Youth Cup in Spain, but he didn’t play in the final having being dismissed in the match against Argentina.
However, at 19 years old, surely it is only a matter of time before he moves to Europe, where he can develop his talent and mentality. If he continues training, developing and progressing with his team, he has the potential become one of the best Brazilian players in the world.
About the Author – Marco Santanche
Marco was born in Rome and supports Inter because of Luis Nazario da Lima Ronaldo. He’s a Brazilian citizen because of his father’s roots, and he has played futsal for several years, even in FIGC (the Italian FA) as a winger, playmaker and striker. He is now studying for a degree in finance.