Meet “meteor” Eguinaldo, who left the Maranhão flood to become Vasco’s top scorer at base | vasco

At the top of the artillery at the Under-20 Carioca Championship, Vasco was represented by a 17-year-old boy who until last year played football on the interior field of Maranhão. And that, this Tuesday, he will perform at Granja Comary for a training season with Ramon Menezes ’team. After all, who is Eguinaldo?

First of all, a “meteor”.

Eguinaldo received the news this weekend that he was invited to participate in the training sessions of the Brazilian under-20 team, which is currently playing in July, at Espírito Santo, a preparatory quadrangular for the South American Championship. Born in Monção, northeast of Maranhão, he would stay in Teresópolis for the next few days.

Even if it wasn’t an official call, the invitation had to do with the good time the striker experienced at Vasco’s base. Eguinaldo had nine goals and three assists in nine games played at the Campeonato Carioca Sub-20.. It was the main highlight of the team comfortably leading the table and a draw from winning the title in the first round.

– For me it’s all very satisfying – he said, still uncomfortable for interviews, in a chat with ge (see Eguinaldo’s goals and quotes from the video interview above).

– Many thanks to God for all that I have lived here, it is the result of a lot of work. In my town there are many Vasco fans who are also welcoming for me, soon I will be professional, giving them as much joy as I do here, with help and purpose – he added.

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Eguinaldo celebrates a goal for Vasco’s under-20 team in Carioca-Photo: Disclosure / CRVG

Discovered last year by Artul, a club from Nova Iguaçu, Eguinaldo is currently on loan to Vasco, with the option of acquiring 70% of the striker’s rights under his contract.

He also went through like a storm through Artsul: he was pulled to the main team after two months in the under-20, scored a goal and won a place among the professionals. It was at the age of 17 and a newcomer from the flood, worth remembering.

– We thought that, despite skipping the stage, the boy was very good and we decided to give him a chance. He is very strong, has excellent technique, is good at attacking spaces and has an impressive finishing quality for his age – according to Rogério Pina, Eguinaldo’s coach at Artsul.

“He’s a meteor, away from the curve,” he added.

Work in the countryside, football on the weekends

Born and raised in the countryside, Eguinaldo learned from a young age to work on the farm with his parents, growing corn, manioc and owning several cattle in Monção. Life on weekdays is limited to study and manual work with the family. “I help them, scatter, harvest …”, as Vasco’s striker said.

The story was different over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, Eguinaldo played ball in the flood. He toured his hometown and the surrounding regions playing for championships. Sometimes it costs R $ 100, other times it costs a boot, usually free.

– Everyone is looking for me to play (laughs).

Eguinaldo, Vasco’s under-20 striker, during the Maranhão floods-Photo: Personal Archive

Eguinaldo wants to be a player and have the full support of his family when the time comes, although, of course, he has to leave the countryside and live away from his parents. Edinaldo, the father, died in February this year, the victim of a heart attack and did not see his son leave the base of one of the biggest clubs in Brazil.

When he received the news, the attacker was in São Luís, where he would board the next day to Rio de Janeiro to present himself again. He will hardly return.

– I was in the capital on Sunday and traveled here on Monday. On Sunday night my aunt called me crying, then my world collapsed. I thought about giving up, I don’t want to come back here, it’s useless for me. I don’t want to play anymore – he said.

– I went back to my father’s grave, spent a week there with my family, thinking about it. And I decided to go back to Rio. Since then my family has supported me to keep going. And my friends too – he added.

Discovered in the plains of Maranhão by a scout of the brothers Maurício Nassif and Daniel Nassif, the same men responsible for bringing Anderson Conceição to Vasco, for example, Eguinaldo was taken for a time to evaluate Artsul at the start of last year. He passed, won a training contract and started playing for the under-20s.

With just two months in the category, due to his prominence especially in training, Eguinaldo was pulled by the professional team of Rogério Pina’s technical committee, whose primary purpose was to polish the raw gem that had just arrived. at the club, with no training experience. ..

– We took him to the professional despite being able to introduce him to a little more work, because he doesn’t have any kind of training, only with his own talent. The intention at that time was not to even play Pina.

Eguinaldo, Vasco’s under-20 striker, in action against Portuguesa-Photo: Disclosure / CRVG

On one of the first opportunities, Eguinaldo assisted on the goal that earned the classification victory against Nova Iguaçu. Then, with the contribution of the departure of Rafael Tanque (first striker) to Volta Redonda, he gained more space. Enter the second half, then as a starter.

About six months after being brought out of the floods in Maranhão, the striker scored his first goal as a professional player: in a 2-1 loss to Madureira, in the Copa Rio. “In his first game we have already seen that he is really promising and there is a possibility that he will be used within the competition”, explained the Artsul coach.

A forward start for a professional team at the age of 17, Eguinaldo soon sparked interest in big clubs. He was released to do a month of trials at Xerém, but he was not approved by Fluminense. Afterwards, with suggestions from Botafogo and Flamengo at the table, he preferred to settle with Vasco.

Since his arrival at the Cruzmaltino club, he has scored goals in all of the classics. Against Fluminense, in particular, he scored a 3-2 win that guaranteed Vasco the Recopa Carioca Sub-17 title last year and a 1-1 draw last month, for the fourth round of the Guanabara Sub-20. Cup.

– The start of the season was very difficult due to the absence of my father, I was not well trained, I was also lacking in motivation. But I gradually adjusted to the group. And now I’m very calm, playing good games, with goals, helping and assisting the team – he assured.

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Eguinaldo, striker for Vasco, celebrates with a goal against Fluminense – Photo: Disclosure / CRVG

The general manager of the Vasco base, Rodrigo Dias tells us about the task of collecting money in Eguinaldo’s case:

-One of the pillars of operation of Vasco’s base categories is talent recognition, recognition and selection. In this talent search process, we observed Eguinaldo for three loco opportunities at Carioca A2, aged 17 – he explained.

– We recognize Eguinaldo as an athlete with a good evolutionary reserve, also proving to be an athlete with good finishing skills (both leg and header), physical privilege, competition and dynamics. We took him to Vasco in September last year (2021) and, as a result of all this work and his dedication to training, he filled his vacancy – Rodrigo concluded.

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