Things you need to know about our new Brazilian attackerA year-long loan deal was agreed for Lucas Piazon to join the Royals from Chelsea on Bank Holiday Monday – and here are five things you need to know about our new signing:
1. He has played for teams in five different countries
The Brazilian youth international is certainly well-travelled, even at the tender age of 21. He moved to England from hometown club São Paulo, and has spent loan spells in Spain (with Malaga), the Netherlands (with Vitesse Arnhem), and last season was spent in the Bundesliga in Germany as an Eintracht Frankfurt loanee.
2. He was part of the 2014 World Cup qualifying draw
The youngster was amongst those to have worn the famous canary-yellow Brazilian jersey which took part in the World Cup 2014 preliminary draw, when countries all over the globe learned who they would face in their qualification groups in 2011. Amongst other famous names to draw the balls out of the pot were Ronaldo, Bebeto, Neymar, Cafu and Zico. The day before, he had helped Brazil knock out Ecuador in the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico in the Round of 16.
3. He began by playing futsal
Like so many of his compatriots – not to mention Lionel Messi of Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal – Lucas Piazon honed his skills by playing futsal. A fast-paced, 5-a-side indoor version of the game, which is growing rapidly in the UK (and is being offered by Reading FC as a Futsal & Education course for school-leavers), futsal is renowned for teaching players to use their initiative, improvisation and creativity to get out of tight situations. Lucas made the switch to football at the age of 11.
4. He scored a bronze-winning goal at the Pan American Games this summer
Lucas, who has represented Brazil at youth level since Under-15, travelled to Toronto this summer to be part of the Selecao’s Under-23 squad at the Pan American Games. The multi-sport event – which takes on a localised Olympic format – saw Brazil top their group, but they were knocked out to eventual champions Uruguay in the semi-final. Panama forced extra-time with the scores 1-1 in the bronze medal match, before Lucas popped up in the 99th minute to put Brazil ahead for the first time. Striker Luciano put some late gloss on as it ended 3-1.
5. He is an FA Youth Cup winner with Chelsea
The first year in England for Lucas was an eventful one – and one that ended with silverware on an individual and team perspective for the forward. He netted a match-winner in the third round of the FA Youth Cup against Doncaster Rovers for Chelsea, although the Blues needed penalty shoot-outs in the next two rounds to negotiate their way past Norwich and West Ham and into the quarter-final. A win against Nottingham Forest set up a two-legged semi-final tie with Manchester United, and his goal 20 minutes from time at Stamford Bridge confirmed a 3-2 aggregate win and a place in the final. The final was a comfortable 4-1 victory over two legs against Blackburn, and Piazon was named Chelsea Young Player of the Year the following day.
Watch our first interview with new signing Lucas Piazon exclusively through Reading FC PlayerHD by clicking below.