13-year-old boy attracts attention at Taça das Favelas and is invited to audition at Corinthians | cup of the favelas

Jambeiro was eliminated on penalties against Carlos Lourenço in the first phase of the second edition of the Favelas Cup Campinas, but the main objective of the tournament, to give visibility to young people in the communities, was achieved for one player on the team.

At the age of 13, midfielder Airton Júnior, known as Juninho, was invited to a week of tests at Corinthians, his favorite team.

With the minimum age to participate (born in 2008), Juninho made his registration, passed the sieve and entered the field last Saturday.

The team lost the match to Carlos Lourenço on penalties (4-3), after a 0-0 draw in normal time, but the midfielder’s individual performance caught the attention of technical observer Sandro Silva, who is part of the Corinthians base.

– We observe a series of aspects through criteria already pre-determined by the club. What caught our attention in Airton Júnior were some aspects such as relationship with the ball (naturalness), technical ability, personality, competitiveness (does not give up) and courage. Our idea now is to evaluate it within another context, with a higher level of demand, to see its response, adaptability and other aspects that we often cannot evaluate only in one game – commented Sandro.

Juninho in a match for the Favelas Cup — Photo: Dan Oliveira/ Publicity

The testing period will still be marked by the club, but Juninho’s mother has already started to organize to support her son on this journey.

The costs of the stay in São Paulo are borne by the players’ family. Of simple origin, Leide Leite is in contact with family and friends who can help with the necessary costs.

– I’m already filling out all the forms they sent and as soon as it works I’ll go to São Paulo with him, because it’s his life’s dream, and I, as a mother, have to be there supporting him. Everyone says that he didn’t learn to play football, that he was born knowing.

Once the date is set, Juninho should report to São Jorge Park on a Monday for an orientation day for the week.

+ CLICK HERE and read more about the Favelas Cup

Training starts on Tuesday and continues until Friday. During this period, the youth will be evaluated by five club observers. Whoever is approved moves on to the next stage, integrated into the teams and athletes who are already part of the club’s base.

– It’s the best feeling in life to see my son achieving his dream, which is something he always wanted. It’s his heart team. I was always present with him in the training sessions that I was able to attend, in the championships I never lost one. It’s a joy, a great satisfaction. When he’s on the field playing I feel the best feeling in the world. I love seeing my son happy – Leide said.

* Júlia Ribeiro, intern, collaborated under the supervision of Heitor Esmeriz

Juninho and his mother Leide celebrate their conquest — Photo: Personal Archive

About Abhishek Pratap

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