“Matheus Cunha is one of the gold dust in the long list of Brazilian talents waiting to showcase their talent”

 

The 22-year-old boy from Brazil had been the scorer of Bundesliga’s goal of the year in 2019 and his versatility has already been widely acknowledged. He can play as a centre-forward or as a pure striker, but his real class could be realized when he links up with the midfield and orchestrate play – surely, Matheus Cunha is one of the rising stars from Brazil.

Cunha joined FC Sion from Coritiba in 2017 at the age of eighteen.

His performances in tournaments such as the Sao Paulo and Dallas Cup attracted potential suitors.

Sion had finished eighth in 2016-17, but they were on the brink of relegation and sitting bottom of the table by February of 2018.

The hiring of Maurizio Jacobacci would change everything.

The club would narrowly miss out on Europa League qualification in a remarkable, unprecedented turn in results, catalyzing the development of a certain young Brazilian in the process.

Sion’s late push was a testament to Jacobacci’s management and the development of Cunha, who would finish the season with ten goals and eight assists – His first senior season in the game.

“He was extremely willing to learn, hard-working and permanently participating in training with a positive joy. As a person, he was very nice, funny and totally positive and he wanted constantly to learn as fast as possible,” recalled Jacobacci in an interview.

“It was very pleasant to coach and train him. He worked constantly good and hard to improve his level. He was eager to learn and open to improve about my ideas and philosophy.”

On June 24 2018, Cunha joined Bundesliga club RB Leipzig on a five-year-deal.

“We expected to lose him that summer. For a club the size of Leipzig to come, even we were surprised at that,” said Jacobacci.

He was signed as the replacement of Timo Warner who joined Chelsea.

He featured 35 times for Leipzig over two seasons, however, just eleven of those were starts and Cunha only had three-goal involvements to show for it.

But he did have moments as his goal in a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in April 2019 for example was nominated for the Puskas Award – “A pirouette followed by a delightful lob of the goalkeeper, a puppet on the string of an ethereal console player,” stated First Time Finish.

On January 31 2020, Hertha BSC announced the signing of Matheus Cunha on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Hertha BSC were highly benefited.

In Berlin, Cunha’s shooting accuracy has risen from 43.8% in his final spell as Leipzig to 54.5% as per statistical website: fbref.com. Although his volume of shots might have fallen to 3.15, the lethality of said efforts is, well lethal.

First Time Finish reported via Understat, “He isn’t running wildly hot either. He is mildly outperforming his xG and xGA by less than 1.0. Were this a high figure then one might point to a player getting lucky, or their form being unsustainable. Cunha’s prominence in this department shows that this level of efficiency is his par.”

“Within the league, he ranks fifth for key passes (17) and second for players dribbled past (24).”

At six foot tall he possesses the stature of a strong centre forward – in fact, he is an all-rounder.

Cunha developed his skills on the streets of Brazil, which has transformed him into a rhythmic customer and thus, always has the edge over the defenders. He can beat them with his speed, skill or intelligence to drift from his marker, having practised in every position across the front line.

And much like Roberto Firmino, Cunha – even when leading the line – can be found dropping into midfield to pick up possession and link-up play with teammates. It’s part of the reason why he’s such a hard attacker to defend against because more often than not, he’s not where you expect him to be.

Displaying such physical versatility makes him valuable and effective anywhere across the forward line.

At Leipzig, he would often feature centrally in a striker partnership or wide right.

In his role at Hertha Berlin, he has occupied everywhere from the left-wing, to attacking midfield, to a lone striker.

According to Jacobacci, “He has a great acceleration, very fast with and without the ball and in addition, he’s carrying great technical skills, and unpredictable gameplay and an excellent goal instinct.”

“When I took over the first team, he played in 4-3-3 the right winger position. Later I changed his position due to his potential and it was a key step for his future. I put him as a striker and which it paid him back with his current success now.”

Matheus Cunha is one of the gold dust in the long list of Brazilian talents waiting to showcase their talent.

Right now, Cunha’s main focus is to defend the title in Tokyo and prove his worth as one of the big stars of the future in world football.

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