INTERVIEW – Last Word on Soccer spoke with Oliver Minatel of Cavalry FC on September 9, 2019.
Oliver Minatel: Dos Santos, Meeting Mauro Eustaquio
1. How did you get recruited to PSV Eindhoven’s academy of Holland in 2010?
“It was through a Dutch scout who was following the U-17 São Paulo state tournament in Brazil. I was playing in Paulina FC at the time and we were having a very good year; he watched a few games.
He brought me to the Netherlands to practice for one month. I trained with the Team B and even sometimes with Team A. I stayed three weeks and after they invited me to return. I went in August until December.”
2. Did it help that you had a European passport?
“Yes, the passport I got it because of my grandparents; they’re German. When I went to Europe I had the possibility to go to Germany and get all the documentation and then I got my German passport.”
3. What is your relationship with Mauro Eustaquio?
“Mauro is a very good friend of mine. The first time I met him was in Portugal where we played against in Youth. He was playing at Union Leiria and I was at Nacional located in the island of Madeira.
From there in 2014 we were both signed by Ottawa [Fury] with the coach Marc [Dos Santos] Who is Portuguese. We played together two years – and we were champions. Now we’re playing alongside, we’re expecting to be tittle winners again.”
4. What made you return to Canada?
“ I returned because of Martin Nash who is the assistant coach here [at Cavalry]. We were together two years in Ottawa. He called and we talked – he told me about the project in husband country and how it would be. I know the country and I heard before that CPL was coming for a long time.
Since the time that I was here; the idea of the Canadian Premier League already existed. I was eased because knew what was coming. I knew where I was going to. I am very happy here.”
5. Do you still have contact with Marc Dos Santos?
“Yes. The last time I talked to Marc was when we played against the Vancouver whitecaps and we eliminated them in the quarterfinals of the Canadian championship. When we saw each other we spoke a lot. We had two very good years together and then after played against in the NASL. We keep in contact.”
6. Brazil is the country that exports the most number of players abroad. Can Canada be a attractive marker for Brazilian players?
“Without a doubt. It’s a new league that in 5-10 years, this league will be comparable to minor European leagues or even try to reach the MLS level. Mainly because it’s a very organized country. Outside the field you have support and safe environment. These are things that players are attracted by.
Everybody wants to be at ease, things that are correct. Canada provides this. And the in field quality will improve with years to come, they’re will come more players they can impress and having opportunities to be in a professional league and that’s important with the 2026 World Cup coming the tenancy is that the growing opportunity is huge.”
7. What clubs did you develop at in your hometown of Campiñas?
“I started in Guarani, I played there four to five years. I started at nine years old until thirteen years old. Then I went to Paulina – a neighbouring city. An interesting project by a group of entrepreneurs.
Gabriel [Girotto Franco] who plays in Corinthians, Fabinho Who is now at Liverpool; they are the ones that went far. It was a very good project. There was where I made my beginnings before I went at a early age to Europe.”
8. Did you sign your first professional contract in Portugal?
“Yes I became a professional player at the age of 18 in Portugal it was at national of Madeira island. I played one year in the Academy and two years in the first team.”
9. How was your experience in Melbourne Australia?
“In Melbourne it was a different experience. It was an opportunity I had through a Australian player representative. It was a new experience – it was a long-term project, of South Melbourne which is a traditional club that wanted to return to play in the main league which is the A-league.
But however it didn’t work out because they were unable to purchase a franchise to enter and be part of the A-League. And then I had the invitation to return to Canada, and I think it was the right decision.“