30 Oct 2013
Vasco da Gama: formation as a weapon
The Carioca giants will stick to their formula of raising players to the elite, a style that has already driven them to Mundialito glory
Vasco da Gama is undeniably one of the strongest clubs in Brazilian Beach Soccer. Their two consecutive performances in the Mundialito de Clubes, being crowned champions in 2011 and reaching the semifinals in 2012 are the best proof of it, together with many other honours in national championships. But, besides trophies and victories, there is another important feature that characterizes the Gigante da Colina: player formation.
With this belief, and this way of imagining and supporting beach soccer, Vasco da Gama will land again in the Mundialito de Clubes, being played at their home land Rio de Janeiro for the first time, something that necessarily boost their options of bringing on another memorable result.
The â€œGigante da Colinaâ€, as named by his fans, have made this player breeding their most outstanding asset, and their main weapon, and things have worked out pretty well for them, needless to say. Always believing in raising players and getting them playing alongside experienced stars, the carioca side have emerged as an exemplar club, and a factory of talent. Key Brazilian international players such as current adidas Golden Ball winner Bruno Xavier, Jorginho, Bueno, Betinho, Bokinha, Mauricinho, Gil or Cesinha, among many others, have been brought up and shaped by this educational and training project of Vasco da Gama.
Precisely this faith in own-made , own-raised talent is what makes Vasco da Gama's managers and supporters minimize the impact of Bruno Xavier's departure to Corinthians. The Gigante da Colina is much more about a philosophy, than one player or another, as Rodrigo Royo, president of the Rio de Janeiro Beach Soccer Federation, highlights. "It is a great sensation to see how Vasco da Gama is working on these youngsters, and it is even better when you see how this effort and this project conceived by one of the most important personalities in the history of Beach Soccer, Jr. NegÃ£o, pays off", he added.
Precisely, the current Brazilian National coach and all-time verdeamarela star Junior NegÃ£o, father and coordinator of the project, believes that "to support the sport we need to invest on young players, renovation, but for them is extremely important to play as much as possible. Our main goal is to continuously furbish the Brazilian beach soccer with talent, and it is a wonderful feeling to see how the young players respond to that philosophy. The project has a big success because the sport here in Rio de Janeiro is very strong and we have a lot of good players. But for me is also important to have other clubs, too, such as Botafogo, Flamengo and Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro or Sampaio CorrÃªa in MaranhÃ£o and Rio Branco in EspÃrito Santo, who have an all-year training schedule."
Indeed, Vasco da Gama's factory is much more prolific than a single team. In this same sense, other players coming from Vasco's school have now found their place in other squads, such as Rafinha, Fanta, Catarino, Bernardo, the aforementioned Bruno Xavier, or many other.