- Talles Magno names Brazil idols Ronaldo and Romario as his role models
- Youngster has already made his first-team debut for Vasco da Gama
- Hosts Brazil begin their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign against Canada on Saturday
Many Brazil fans are already familiar with the face and hairstyle of Talles Magno. The Vasco da Gama forward could quite easily claim to be the most popular player in A Seleção's side set to contest the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™, which gets under way when the hosts take on Group A rivals Canada in Brasilia (Gama) at 17:00 on Saturday.
Magno has a stature no other players enjoy in Guilherme Dalla Dea’s squad, having spent the last few months playing for Vasco’s first team. And in that time he has made a name for himself across the country, thanks to some fine performances, a sprinkling of goals and his dribbling ability.
His favourite trick is the lambretta, in which he positions the ball between his feet and flicks it up over his head, just the kind of devilish skill he is promising to conjure up at the World Cup.
“I’ll definitely be trying a few dribbles,” he told FIFA.com. “I’m here because of my biggest asset, which is my individual game and my ability to take people on. I’m a team player, but I’m planning to do what I do best to help the Seleção cause.”
Inspired by the best
Magno will be wearing the No11 jersey at Brazil 2019, the same shirt number worn with such distinction by Romario, another front man who started out in the Vasco youth ranks. Along with Ronaldo, the hero of Brazil’s triumphant USA 1994 campaign is an inspiration for the 17-year-old attacker.
|Brazil's group stage games|
|26 October - 17:00 - Canada, in Brasilia (Gama)|
|29 October - 20:00 - New Zealand, in Brasilia (Gama)|
|1 November - 20:00 - Angola, in Goiania|
Though Magno is still a teenager and only turned 17 in June, he has over the course of the year become one of Vasco’s most important players, scoring twice in the Brazilian Championship. The Rio de Janeiro club has even been negotiating a new contract with their young star with a view to increasing his buy-out clause, putting a figure on his talent and preparing the ground for potential future discussions with foreign clubs.
Yet even with the experience he has picked up at the highest level – experience that his team-mates have yet to acquire – Magno does not see himself as Brazil’s natural leader at the World Cup.
“I can’t take a lot of responsibility or try to be a big leader because it’s Henri who’s our captain,” he explained. “I’ve got a lot of respect for everyone and I’ve got to respect him too.”
The front man will have his mother supporting him from the stands when the hosts take on Canada at the Estadio Bezerrao on Saturday, while his father, siblings and girlfriend will all be making the trip from Rio de Janeiro to cheer him on in Brazil’s other games.