By Louis Smith.
New Palmeiras manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo will provide new hope for the players currently playing in the club’s youth teams.
One player who will be hoping to get a chance in the senior team is central defender Pedrão, who joined up with the São Paolo based club in late 2017 after impressing scouts whilst playing for Água Santa.
He became a part of the U20s squad for the 2018 season.
“Playing for the youth team was an incredible experience!” Pedrão told WFi. “It is a club with a European style structure. It was very good for my development as an athlete and as a person.
“I learned that to reach the top you need to improve every day, the strong competition made me train more and more, I got stronger mentally and physically.
“The training was more intense than it was at Água Santa, the level of the players were higher, and the coaching staff worked us a lot to improve our physical condition.”
Last season, Palmeiras sent Pedrão out on loan to América Mineiro to further his development. This was the first time the youngster had lived out of his state, meaning not only did he have to adapt to a new style of football, but he also had to adapt to spending time away from his family.
“My time in Mineiro was great,” he added. “The club has a great structure and I adapted quickly. Playing in the first team of a big club helped me develop even more in 2019.
“The difference between the youth team is people’s maturity. Living with more experienced athletes helps you mature faster.
“I learned how to adapt to new situations, living in a state different to your family requires quick adaptation and luckily I was able to quickly establish myself.”
The 2020 season has just begun in Brazil and Pedrão is now back at Palmeiras, training with the senior squad as well as featuring in the recent Florida Cup.
“I was happy to have returned from America Mineiro in great physical condition. I trained a lot on vacation and which has made a positive difference,” he said.
“So far the training has been very good and to a high standard,
“Being able to play in the Florida Cup, I felt very happy. I played well and fulfilled my dream of visiting the USA – what an organised country!”
During in his managerial career so far, Luxemburgo has been keen to use players who have come from the youth team, always looking to help them improve, develop and pass on information to help them become better players.
“He’s an incredible guy, he has a winning mentality and therefore works us hard, it has been quite intense,” said Pedrão.
“He tells us that a winning team has to be focused on the same goal. without this harmony, it is difficult to win titles.
“I am looking forward to working with him, Who doesn’t want to work with a victorious coach like him? I’m sure he will teach us a lot.”
The main features of Pedrão game, are his impressive strength and speed. He will be hoping he can use those features this season to help himself and his club going forward.
“Without work, there are no results, I train every day to have these physical conditions,” he adds.
“While on vacation I trained a lot in order to come back better than in 2019. It is a daily challenge: to be better with each passing day.
“I use these attributes wisely. There is no point in having strength and speed if you do not have a good reading of the game. I like to study my opponents before a match to make the best decisions possible.
“This season I want to play as much as possible. I’m in the best physical shape of my career, I want to enjoy it, and use it to my advantage.”