Lulinha: The Next Ronaldinho?
Born: April 10th 1990 (18)
Full Name:Luiz Marcelo Morais dos Reis
Position: Attacking Midfielder, Winger, Forward
Compared To: Ronaldinho
Bursting on to the scene is Lulinha, the right footed playmaker made a name for himself in the 2007 U-17 South American Championship, scoring an incredible 12 goal in 7 games for the mini Seleção. Before long, the media was raving about Lulinha and rumours of a move to Europe were not far behind.
Billed as the main event of the U-17 World Championship, Lulinha was poised to set the world on alight like the yellow dwarf. Unfortunately the playmaker was not able to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United’s Anderson and win best player, Lulinha did show glimpses of talent but progressed no further than the last 16 after the Canarinha put on a lacklustre performance against 10 man Ghana whom went to become eventual champions.
At the age of 8 Lulinha started playing Futsal, which is where most Brazilians attackers hone and develop their skills. After a few years, he joined Corinthians much touted youth system. Lulinha climbed through the ranks swiftly earning his first match for the Timão at the tender age of 17. Already playing over 70 games for Corinthians, Lulinha’s goal scoring ability has yet to shine through, similar to what Manchester United’s Anderson is experiencing, scoring just 3 goals in that span, which is a really worrying statistic considering Corinthians spent a season in the Second Tier of Brazilian football.
Nevertheless Lulinha has attacted attention from numerous European heavyweights such as Chelsea, Barcalona and AC Milan, whom have had success in purchasing players from Brazil with Kaka and Pato.
Whether its the Brazilian or Italian Serie A the winger is plying his trade, Dunga will certainly be keeping tabs on him for his first International Cap with the Canarinha.
Skill Set: (Out Of 10)
Quick on the ball, decent free kick and a vast array of trick and flicks to make a certain goofy Brazilian blush. It is easy to see why a lot of people think Lula is the heir to the former 2-time world player of the years throne. However I feel Lulinha is far from the finished article he has a lot to learn, he tried to play his way out of trouble and has a habit of wanting to be hero which leads him to making the wrong choices, especially in a pass or shoot situations, though this can be corrected with good coaching and/or experience.
Being 5’7 he may find it trouble dealing with large European defenders. It would be wise for the lad to go the the Portuguese league, similar to Diego and Anderson, to get some experience especially with the physical side of football.
Unfortunately his ridiculous minimum fee release clause (£24m) may deter suitors, and teams high in the football hierarchy may be the only suitors, with Chelsea and Barcalona being linked with the Brazilian. He has the skill set and the potential, whether he realises it will be the big question.