Interviews

Ederson: “I could play in midfield for Man City… and I can score from free-kicks too!”

Ederson FourFourTwo

Ball-playing Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has told FourFourTwo that he would be up to the challenge of playing as a midfielder

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The Brazilian sealed a £35 million move from Portuguese giants Benfica last summer, with his silky ball skills and pinpoint long-range passes perfectly suited to manager Pep Guardiola’s philosophy.

After Sunday's 1-1 draw at Turf Moor, Burnley boss Sean Dyche said of the shot-stopper: “It’s like having Ronald Koeman in goal – he gets [the ball] and spins it around the pitch, and that adds to their game plan because he defuses the game. It’s a massive weapon in the style they play.”

When I played in the Benfica youth teams, they would always call me to play in midfield if someone was missing and I didn’t ever embarrass myself

Ederson has revealed that he would relish the opportunity to remove his gloves and play further upfield for the Premier League leaders – particularly as he’s been a midfielder before.

Speaking exclusively in the March 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, he says: “When I played in the Benfica youth teams, they would always call me to play in midfield if someone was missing and I didn’t ever embarrass myself. So, if necessary I’m definitely up to the task. It wouldn’t be easy, especially in the Premier League, but I think I could manage the challenge.”

The 24-year-old former Sao Paulo keeper is even prepared to smash home a free-kick or two, although he admits he’s probably too far down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.

“There are so many good players in this team who are ahead of me,” he laughs. “I was always comfortable with the ball at my feet, and this helps me during games. I think it's a natural talent.

Even when I played in the local academy at Sao Paulo, I was trying to show off some ability with my feet. I actually scored several free-kicks!

“It’s something I’ve been working on since I started out at Sao Paulo, and over time I’ve tried to improve my skills. But even when I played in the local academy, I was trying to show off some ability with my feet. I actually scored several free-kicks.

“One of my coaches encouraged me to try it. In the beginning, I didn’t want to take any free-kicks but he pushed me to do it. Then I started scoring a few goals and everything changed. But I don’t do it any more. City have plenty of specialists in this area.”

Read the full interview with Ederson in the March 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, which features exclusive chats with Liverpool's new King of the Kop Mo Salah, Spurs’ South Korean star Heung-min Son, and Real Madrid schemer Luka Modric. Plus, we preview all eight Champions League last 16 ties and experience Man v Fat football, where losing weight is the secret to winning matches. We also spend a week with former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson in Belgium, learn first-hand how Gennaro Gattuso made a career from harnessing his inner rage, go One-on-One with ex-England boss Steve McClaren and hear from Michael Laudrup about life in Qatar. Order a copy now, and then subscribe!