"New Kaka" Hernanes: I can handle the pressure
“Playing abroad is part of a player’s career in Brazil and I see that it’s going to happen at some point,” the 23-year-old said in an exclusive interview in this month’s FourFourTwo, out now.
Equally comfortable with either foot, the versatile midfielder shot to prominence at the Beijing Olympics before returning to dazzle at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium.
And although the eyes of the world are on him, the man now wearing No.10 shirt made famous by Rai, Leonardo, Juninho and Kaka knows he can handle the pressure of being spoken about as football's first £100m man.
“My childhood nickname is Pi, and a friend said ‘You’re Pi – 3.14. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing No.15, No.10 or No.2. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing on the streets, on concrete or in a crowded Morumbi. You’ll always be Pi.’
“I thought that was true. I’ll always be cool about it. I know there’ll be expectations, but I’m sure I can improve. I’m OK with the responsibility – 2009 will be my year of consolidation as an idol.”
Barcelona and CSKA Moscow have made enquiries, but Hernanes is equally cool about where he wants to end up: “I wouldn’t consider playing in Russia or any other minor footballing nation.”
To read the full interview, catch the latest issue of FourFourTwo, out now.
There are also interviews with Zico and Socrates; a look at the Boca Juniors academy responsible for Tevez, Burdisso, Gago, Banega et al; and the Lord of the Rings star so dedicated to Argentine outfit San Lorenzo that he bunked off a film set to see them play.