Meet Cruzeiro’s 21-year-old midfielder who is apparently poised for a move to Real Madrid...
- Full name: Lucas Silva Borges
- Date of birth: February 16, 1993
- Place of birth: Bom Jesus de Goiás, Brazil
- Height: 6ft
- Position: Midfielder
- Clubs: Cruzeiro (84 apps, 3 goals), Nacional EC (1 app)
- International: Brazil U21 (4 caps, 1 goal)
- Honours: Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 2013, 2014, Campeonato Mineiro: 2014
He’s a two-touch player
Lucas has been described as one of the best central midfielders in Brazil. Although he’s yet to be called up to the senior national team, he’s already a key component of the under-23 side that will be at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “I was 14-years-old when I arrived at Cruzeiro and have never defended another side. I’m a two-touch player; I play the ball quickly, the European style.”
He made his debut at 19
His professional bow came in a 2-0 win against Portuguesa in August 2012. “Tinga and Walter Montillo [two Cruzeiro midfielders] were the ones who most helped me back then.”
His nickname is ‘The Prince’
The nickname is down to his boyband good looks. “Dede [Cruzeiro defender] is the one to blame for that [laughs]. I have a lot of fan clubs, but the girls are always respectful to me!” It’s for his appearance that he’s often compared to Kaka, another teen idol, and nothing to do with his playing style.
His first setback was inflicted by Ronaldinho
The former Barcelona and AC Milan star scored a goal in the last minute of a 2-2 draw between Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro in 2012 and Lucas was dropped. “I had a yellow card and I avoided a foul to not be sent off. That was my first classico. Maybe I could have stopped him, but I didn’t let it affect me.”
His idol is Juninho Pernambucano
The seven-time Ligue 1 champion with Lyon and now a Brazilian football television pundit is, according to Lucas Silva, “an example to follow, for his behaviour both on and off the pitch”.
He doesn’t drink, smoke or have tattoos
This clean-cut image is followed through on his Facebook page, which he uses not to post selfies but promote campaigns tackling social issues. “I believe it’s a footballer’s duty to be a role model for the fans. We’ve got the power of changing their mentality.”
He's signed a deal with Man City’s special advisor
A former marketing director at Barcelona, Esteve Calzada was one of the founders of Leo Messi Management and works alongside others such as Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas. “We had a very good meeting and he explained his work. I believe I’m ready for European football, but it has to suit Cruzeiro and me.”]
Real Madrid are reported to be very interested
Former footballers Deco and Luizao are behind the interest from Real Madrid. The duo work alongside Portuguese superagent Jorge Mendes and have already talked to Cruzeiro about a transfer. “The first time I saw I was on the cover of a Spanish newspaper, I was very surprised. Sometimes I find myself anxious about that, but it’s impossible to know what the future holds for me.”
But he hasn’t discounted a move to England
According to his agent Luiz Rocha, Manchester United are among the clubs that have been tracking Lucas. “If you ask me if I have a favourite side, I don’t. But I watch games from England every weekend and I think English football fits my game.”
His favourite dish is galinhada
Never heard of it? Don’t worry – neither have most Brazilians. It’s a dish from Goias state that’s made with chicken, saffron and pequi, a local sweet-tasting fruit. “The pequi distinguishes it from the recipe of Minas Gerais state. That’s my favourite food. I also like lasagne.”
This interview originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. Subscribe!