Usually when you talk about the destinations that the best and brightest South American starlets see as the pinnacle of professional club football, the list is a rather short one that inevitably begins and ends on the Iberian peninsula with Barcelona and Real Madrid.
As a sign of their regained and still growing stature, though—not to mention the key role a number of Brazilians have played in that—at least one of the brightest of those young starlets now says he’s dreaming of Liverpool on par with the likes of Barcelona.
“Three clubs are part of my dream in Europe,” 20-year-old attacking midfielder Mateus Cardoso Lemos Martins, or Tetê, told Esporte Interativo. “Barcelona, Manchester United, and Liverpool. Gigantic clubs with fantastic managers and an incredible number of trophies.
“As a player, I dream of winning important titles and those clubs are incredible. The Premier League is an extraordinary competition, the game is played at a great pace, there are lots of great managers and great clubs. I feel players have more creative freedom there.”
Giving him a pass for the unfortunate United part of his statement, it’s a reflection of the Premier League’s resurgence in Europe in recent seasons—a resurgence lead first and foremost by Liverpool—that likely has the young Grêmio graduate focused on England.
And with five goals and four assists in 26 appearances in his first full season in Ukraine, he’s off to a good start if he wants to get noticed—something that name-dropping Liverpool, Barcelona, and even United will certainly help to do with football currently on hold.