Tite’s new list for the qualifiers has a character little known to the Brazilian fan: Matheus Nunes. The midfielder turned 23 on this Friday, in the first call for the main national team of his country.
Before the call, the coach of the Brazilian team, Tite, made contact with the player to demonstrate the desire to have the midfielder’s football.
Brazilian Matheus Nunes in action in Sporting’s victory over Gil Vicente — Photo: EFE
Matheus Nunes has been rocking lately. On the eve of Tite’s call, the coach of Portugal’s national team, Fernando Santos, called Otávio, a former International, Brazilian naturalized from Porto. He said more: he confirmed that Matheus, from Sporting de Lisboa, “is part of the observations of the national team” and was on the list of 40 athletes on the Portuguese radar.
The CBF, in this way, anticipates with the call of Matheus. The 1.83m young midfielder plays as a second defensive midfielder and has stood out in recent seasons for the Lisbon team. Last weekend, he scored the dragon’s goal against Benfica, by Jorge Jesus.
The Sporting player celebrated the call-up for the Brazilian national team — Photo: Reproduction
Matheus at the customer service counter — Photo: Reproduction Sporting TV
Born in Campo Grande, a neighborhood on the west side of Rio de Janeiro, he moved with his mother Catia and his stepfather at age 12 to Ericeira, a tourist city next to Lisbon. There, he studied and began his first steps in football at Grupo Desportivo União Ericeirense, which plays in the lower divisions.
Coveted in Premier League
With emphasis, he went to Estoril-Praia until he arrived at Sporting de Lisboa. While playing at the base, he decided to help his godfather at the Pão da Vila bakery in Ericeira. I stayed at the counter and attended to.
– I worked for six or five months at the bakery. It came in the morning and the games were in the afternoon. I was standing for five, sometimes an hour, and training later was not easy. He didn’t have a driver’s license and woke up at 5 am to go by bike to work – he told TV Sporting.
The Portuguese accent is not deceiving. Matheus already has Portuguese roots, although he has great affection for Brazil – he had planned a trip to return to Rio de Janeiro before the pandemic. Now, he will board after the match this Saturday, against Farmalicão, at Estádio do Dragão.
In recent weeks, Sporting has received a poll from Everton, which he signaled with an offer of 20 million euros. But there was no progress. With Dragão in the group stage of the Champions League, the Portuguese are betting on the player’s valorization for the next window.
Matheus with his mother at the bakery where he worked — Photo: Reproduction