When Corinthians and Santos take the field this Wednesday, at 9:30 pm (GMT), at Neo Química Arena, for the first leg of the round of 16 of the Copa do Brasil, two great friends, almost brothers, will be on opposite sides: the midfielder Gustavo Mantuan, from Timão, and left-back Lucas Pires, from Peixe.
The duo studied together since childhood and lived practically the same life. It was school in the morning, soccer in the afternoon and indoor soccer in the evening. During breaks, lunch, snack and dinner, too. Today, fate (and the draw for the Copa do Brasil) tried to place Mantuan and Lucas Pires as opponents.
– We started playing together from the age of nine, until the under-20, which was when he went to Santos. Since then we keep in touch. We try to talk to each other every day, we see each other a lot when we have time off, it’s a friendship that will last a lifetime – said Mantuan.
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Lucas Pires and Mantuan in the Brazilian team — Photo: Personal archive
Boleiros since childhood, Corinthians and Santos players were from the “fundão gang” at school, but Lucas Pires says they behaved. Will it be?
– It was the group from the back that studied (laughs). We had to study the time we were at school, because we traveled a lot to play, so we had to study, do the basics at school – says Lucas Pires.
Already grown up and with a lot of story to tell, the duo managed to fulfill dreams that were dreamed of since childhood.
– We dreamed of going into a big mall and buying the sneakers we wanted. Last week we were able to do that. He knows my sufferings, I know his sufferings. To see him growing, evolving, being able to conquer the things he wants… His dream is my dream. And I’m sure my dream is his dream. I’m very happy for the path he’s taking – said Santos’ left-back.
Mantuan and Lucas Pires enjoy vacations together — Photo: Personal archive
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Lucas Pires will start this Wednesday. In fact, it has been since the beginning of the season. At the age of 21, he won Felipe Jonatan’s spot and never let go. He has already played 40 games in 2022, counting the nine of the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior, for Santos under-20.
Gustavo Mantuan is one of Vítor Pereira’s wildcards. Versatile, he has played in the entire right lane of the field, from flank to tip. It is this versatility that made him grow in the hands of the Portuguese. With the new coach, the player became the second leading scorer of the team, with four goals scored.