The importance of Leandro Castan for Vasco in this edition of the B Series of the Brazilian Championship is easily translated into numbers, but the praise for his performances within the four lines is not reflected when the subject goes beyond the “field and ball”. A response from the defender about the shirt that Cruz-Maltino wore in honor of the LGBTQIA+ movement, in the duel with Brusque, did not catch on well among fans and rekindled the controversy at a time when the team seeks to change the scenario in the competition.
One of the most experienced of the squad, Castan, in fact, has been a key player during a campaign that has been quite irregular in Vasco’s struggle to return to the football elite, occupying only the tenth place. In the championship, the team’s performance with him is 64.2%, while in his absence it drops to 19%.
Appointed as a starter in a team that notoriously has problems in the defensive sector —admitted even by coach Lisca—, the shirt 5 praises the squad and shares the merits with his teammates, stressing that “soccer is a team sport”.
The “honeymoon”, however, had a setback due to an issue that resurfaced and caused a stir again. At the end of June, Cruz-Maltino faced Brusque, in São Januário, in a night that was marked by tributes to the LGBTQIA+ movement. In addition to the club launching and performing with a shirt with the rainbow in the cross section, there were also other actions – such as the corner flag that was raised by Cano in celebration of the goal that opened the scoreboard.
Hours before the ball rolled, when Vasco had already presented the new garment, Castan, on a social network, published a quote from the Bible with the intention of showing the origin of the rainbow, according to the text. At the time, it had already received criticism from several fans, but the subject had been left behind.
“There was” because yesterday (1), more than two months after that episode, shirt 5 was the character of the press conference and, when questioned, said that he “practically had to wear” the shirt. Furthermore, despite rejecting any discomfort with Cano, he said that if there was any problem, it was resolved internally.
“I know it was a bit marked for me, but as a Christian, processing my faith, that’s what I think. There was no discomfort. Many said that Cano and I had problems, we didn’t. And if we had problems, We settle in the locker room. I’m a captain who will sort things out internally, I won’t fight in front of everyone to want to show up. I don’t know what kind of captain they’re used to, but I do deal internally. I have some captain references I’ve had in my career , like Totti, De Rossi, Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos. They are leaders I’ve worked with, I use these mirror faces,” he said.
“Of course I’m not perfect, I’m going to make a mistake, but we’ve resolved things here. You can be sure that here at Vasco there was never any lack of demand and respect. I’m the first to respect the institution, the fan. I was theoretically forced to wear a shirt, some people didn’t like it. I respect everyone and I think I have to be respected,” he added.
Soon after the press conference, several fans went to social networks to criticize the defender’s positioning, while other arguments about his performance in matches. During the rest of the day, the debate gained momentum and became one more element while, within the walls of Colina, the board and technical committee sought short-term solutions to improve performance.
Meanwhile, tomorrow (3), Vasco returns to the field against Brasil de Pelotas needing the victory to get closer to the G4 and try to start a new phase in Serie B.
Reinforcement arrives today
Ecuadorian striker Jhon Sánchez arrives in Rio de Janeiro today and will undergo a review of medical tests before joining the squad. The presentation will take place in the late afternoon. Vasco, by the way, is still looking for new names in the market and the defender is one of the analyzed sectors.
And if out of football, Castan and fans don’t have consonant speeches, when it comes to the team, the number 5 shirt and coach Lisca seem to be sharp. Despite several praises to the youngsters in the squad, the player also indicated that more experienced parts in the squad can help.