Brazil is the land of legendary footballers. The talents are produced not just naturally, but the Football Clubs and their academies play a huge role in nurturing those talents. Over the years, Santos Football Club, Flamengo, Gremio, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, and Palmeiras have been instrumental in gifting young and exciting talents. Then there is Vasco da Gama, who might have lost the glory of the past as a Football Club, but when the matter is about producing attacking talents, Vasco has gifted a lot.
Ademir, Vava, Roberto Dinamite, and Romario are some of the most exciting talents who grew up in Vasco and went on to become superstars. Vava and Romario would become world champions and their habit of producing such attacking players has not stopped – Talles Magno is the latest talent to watch out for.
One needs that level of talent to impress someone like Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool boss is said to be monitoring this 18-year old boy and is thinking him as one of the players of the future who would carry on the legacy of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah and again, Klopp’s liking for talents from Vasco is evident – Philippe Coutinho also comes from there and each and everyone knows how fantastic he was in his prime at Anfield.
Not only Liverpool but Real Madrid, Lazio, Roma, Sevilla, and Bayer Leverkusen are also monitoring this talent and we all know, at present, Real Madrid have become the home of new talents from Brazil.
With just 22 senior appearances to his name, the Brazil Under-17 starlet was thrown in at the deep end as he was brought off the bench against rivals Botafogo at the age of just 16! He became the first player born in the 21st century to represent the ‘Gigante da Colina’.
His side went on to lose the game 1-0, but Magno caught the eye of then-head coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and has gone on to become an integral part of Vasco da Gama’s starting XI.
The youngster made 19 appearances in Brazil’s Serie A following his debut, scoring twice.
In his final appearance of the season, he produced one of the images of the campaign after performing an audacious rainbow flick over the head of Fortaleza’s Gabriel Dias, who in turn subsequently fouled the teenager and was shown a red card.
After the match, Luxemburgo labeled Talles as an “artist”, though it would be the last time the 68-year-old would coach the teenager in a match before his sacking at the end of the season.
Magno is tall and strong. Even though he started as the role of central striker, gradually, he became a winger. The boy has pace, versatility; quick-dribbling-skill, and showboating like Neymar.
In Brazil, he is known as the Magico!
The journey of Magno began at a football school before earning a trial at Vasco as a nine-year-old. Having impressed the club’s youth coaches sufficiently, he and the rest of his team-mates were soon told to pack their bags and prepare for a tournament in Portugal.
That presented a problem for Magno and his family: Neither had he the money required to take part in the trip nor a passport that would allow him to travel outside his homeland.
In an interview with Golboesporte, Magno’s mother said, “I had no money. I even stopped paying the electricity bill! We were able to raffle a signed Vasco shirt, selling each ticket for R$20 (£3/$3.70), which got us some of the money. The rest was covered by my husband’s boss. It was a great test. After that tournament, all trips were paid for by Vasco”.
While talking to ESPN Brasil, Magno said, “We were working to get it for a while. With a week to go, I still had no passport. It only arrived the week of the trip. Thankfully, there was time to make it after all the effort”.
Magno excelled at various levels of Vasco’s youth football. He received plenty of accolades for the way in which he was able to combine his school studies, burgeoning football career, and regular futsal training growing up.
Magno would feature in the Under-17 World Cup held in Brazil last year.
He started the tournament brightly, scoring in group-stage victories over New Zealand and Angola, only to suffer a hamstring injury in the last-16 clash with Chile that would rule him out of the rest of the tournament, as well as the final weeks of Vasco’s Serie A campaign.
Brazil went on to win the tournament as talents like Yan Couto, Kaio Jorge, and Gabriel Veron performed brilliantly.
Having recovered from his injury, Magno began the State League season playing predominantly off the left-hand side following the arrival of Argentine striker German Cano, though coronavirus saw the competition suspended and resume.
Magno’s contract with Vasco runs until 2022 and either today or tomorrow, he will follow the path of Romario and fly to Europe.
Whenever a talent emerges from Brazil, the expectations remain extremely high.
If Vasco produced Romario, it also witnessed Edmundo failed to live up to the expectations.
Magno just needs to keep his feet on the ground and maintain his calm and composure.