From baker to Sporting’s standout: the saga of Matheus Nunes, summoned by Tite to the Seleção

THE Tite’s roster this Friday (27) made room for a rookie in the national team with a trajectory with an epic air. A highlight of the Portuguese champion Sporting, midfielder Matheus Nunes has never played for a Brazilian club and, at times, shared football with working in a bakery.

Matheus packed his bags for Portugal in 2012, with his mother and stepfather.
During this period, he did the basic categories in the modest Ericeirense, reconciling with work in a family bakery. Its beginning was heavy.

– He lived two kilometers from the countryside and had to walk an hour there. He often rode his bike, but he always pissed off the coaches to pick him up. Now, he didn’t give up training. He had a characteristic that was his dedication – said coach Ivo Café, who, to Record, recalled the young man’s difficult beginning:

– In the year 2012/2013, he only trained, without playing. There were bureaucracies and documents to be filled out and, for not being registered, it took a while to play. He trained better than the others and couldn’t play. He was sad, but he never stopped training, but he never missed a practice for that – he completed.

Café pointed out that Matheus Nunes soon showed that he was a top-level player.

– In technical terms it was above average, the relationship with the ball, the progression, the intensity with the ball was superior. I told him I was above context – he said.

On the rise, he was hired by Estoril. Afterwards, he went to Sporting, where he took a long time to establish himself. It was up to coach Rúben Amorim to give his football a chance for Matheus Nunes to take off last season, scoring three goals in 31 games (12 of them as a starter).

The good performance almost made him wear another team’s jersey.

– Yesterday (Thursday), Fernando Santos said that he was being watched and that he was close to being watched for the games of the Portuguese team. He didn’t – detailed Valter Marques, reporter for “Record”.

The Portuguese will face Ireland, Qatar and Azerbaijan next month. But as fate would have it, Matheus Nunes would serve the Brazilian team and help Tite’s team walk through the World Cup qualifiers.