It was the second Shakhtar Donetsk’s 20-year-old Tete introduced himself to the world.
A shocking purpose, an help and a devastating particular person show helped the Ukrainians tear aside Actual Madrid in a sensational Champions League first-half efficiency in October as they raced right into a 3-0 lead.
They finally held on to a memorable 3-2 win and now, earlier than a vital return match at house in Group B on Tuesday, the Brazilian attacking midfielder displays on what may show a pivotal second in his profession.
“The sport at Actual Madrid was undoubtedly the most effective and most vital in my profession up to now,” Tete tells BBC Sport in an unique interview.
“It was an amazing honour and pleasure to play towards legends like Marcelo and Casemiro – a dream come true. I wished to indicate my abilities and show myself, so I dribbled towards Marcelo one on one. I used to be completely happy to have helped the group to get such an amazing and vital end result.”
Tete’s efficiency in Madrid highlighted his potential to hitch the record of Brazilian stars who developed at Shakhtar, which incorporates Manchester Metropolis’s Fernandinho, Arsenal’s Willian and Juventus’ Douglas Costa – who’s on mortgage at Bayern Munich.
Well-known for his or her excellent scouting community in Brazil, Shakhtar’s squad has been based mostly round Brazilian gamers for nearly twenty years. There are 13 Brazilians on the present roster, but Tete’s story is particular.
Signed for €15m (£13.5m) from Gremio academy in early 2019 with out making a single look for the senior group, he loved a formidable first full season at Shakhtar – together with a man-of-the-match show within the 1-1 draw at Manchester Metropolis a 12 months in the past.
“It wasn’t actually troublesome to decide to maneuver, as a result of I knew the environment would swimsuit me. I spoke to Douglas Costa, who grew at Gremio like myself, and he advised me that there are loads of Brazilians at Shakhtar,” he says.
“It was simple to settle. The coach Luis Castro is Portuguese, and even the nutritionist is from Portugal. Everybody speaks Portuguese over right here, and the membership makes each effort to make us really feel at house.”
He hopes to comply with within the footsteps of Douglas Costa, whereas Ronaldinho – one other Gremio graduate – is an idol. However Tete finds particular inspiration in watching the best Brazilian footballer of all of them.
“I’m very keen on Pele,” he says. “He was wonderful, and I’ve a behavior of viewing his movies on my cell phone within the dressing room earlier than each sport. It might be a dream to fulfill him, or no less than to speak to him. Possibly if I beat Actual Madrid as soon as extra, that might be simpler to perform.”
Tete, a self-confessed Barcelona fan, added: “My greatest dream is to play for Barcelona. Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Romario and Ronaldo represented Barca, and I might love to hitch that record. Clearly, starring towards Madrid would do my trigger no hurt in any respect.
“I additionally comply with Liverpool and Manchester United, and like every of them in equal measure, despite the fact that they’re rivals. They’re the most important conventional golf equipment in England. I’m impartial once they face one another – it is good to assist those that win. It might be nice to play for both of them.”
Nicknamed Furacao (Hurricane), Tete’s fashion is considerably paying homage to former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben, as a result of he loves slicing inside to his stronger left foot.
“As soon as I had an amazing sport for the youth group at Gremio, and journalists gave me that title. I prefer it as a result of it highlights my explosive fashion.
“I used to play in central midfield in my youth, and was tried on the left on a few events, however proper winger is unquestionably my favorite place. Folks inform me that I play like Robben, and it might be good to attempt to attain his degree.”
After two heavy defeats towards Borussia Monchengladbach, Shakhtar should take three factors on Tuesday to maintain alive their hopes of qualifying for the final 16.
And Tete has ready for the fixture in the very best trend, scoring the late winner at Dnipro-1 on Saturday.
“I’m delighted with my first league purpose of the season, and now we should carry out towards Actual Madrid once more,” he says. “The earlier win provides us confidence, and we’ll do our greatest to attain three extra targets.”