A late injury to striker Leandro Damiao ended up creating a spot in A Seleção for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 for Jo, one of the player’s former team-mates at Internacional – who has been in fine form at Atletico Mineiro. The latest member of the club’s formidable attack to be called up by Luiz Felipe Scolari, O Galo’s diminutive creator Bernard has also made the cut for Brazil 2013.
Even at the age of 26, the rangy forward still has plenty to prove in the game, despite having pulled on the jerseys of a host of big-name clubs at home and abroad. Indeed, his well-travelled footballing existence has been made possible by an early start, having made his professional debut for Corinthians at the age of just 16 years, three months and 29 days – O Timão’s youngest-ever debutant.
The then-teenager caught the eye thanks to a rare combination of height (1.89m) and technique and, though still without the physical robustness of an old-fashioned No9, Jo was from the off adept at pulling wide and working the flanks. Now, some ten years on, he has also represented CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Everton, Galatasaray and Internacional, as well as featuring for Brazil at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008.
Retaining the ability to drop deep or into wide areas, Jo has improved his penalty-area prowess and has been thriving on the quality service of his Atletico-MG team-mates. Handed this Seleção opportunity thanks to Damiao’s setback, he will be determined to translate his club form to the FIFA Confederations Cup stage.