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Vinicius: "I'm very thankful for this opportunity"

Sat 03 October 2020, 10:53|Tottenham Hotspur

Carlos Vinicius is a man prepared.

Prepared to be a team player, prepared to adapt to the Premier League and prepared to seize his opportunities – much like he did three years ago when he came back from the brink to kick-start his career in Portugal.

Indeed, having shone in the Portuguese leagues since 2017, not forgetting spells of additional experience at Napoli and Monaco, the 25-year-old comes to us full of confidence, and with a burning desire to perform.

Benfica’s top marksman in 2019/20 with 24 goals in all competitions – and joint-top scorer in the whole Primeira Liga – the striker put pen to paper on a season-long loan deal on Friday and smiled: “I’m very thankful for this opportunity and I’m very happy to be here. Spurs are one of Europe’s biggest clubs, playing in the biggest league. It’s one of those offers you can’t refuse. I can’t wait to join the group and get to work.

“As a player, you’ve always got to be ready. Wherever you go, you’ve got to be ready. Thankfully, I achieved my individual goals last year at Benfica, where I was top goalscorer, and now I’m here to work with my team-mates to make our people happy and to help the club to achieve its goals. In doing so, I want to achieve my own objectives, which means scoring goals. If I score goals, I’ll be helping my team – and that way, everyone benefits.”

There’s a natural air of excitement and anticipation whenever a centre-forward walks through the doors and while much has been said over the years about how any new front man might dovetail with Harry Kane, Carlos is relishing the chance to link up with the England captain.

“I think that Spurs only stand to benefit,” he responded when asked about operating in the same squad as Harry. “It’s a big club with great players, I’m happy to be here and to share a dressing room with them. I’m going to keep learning every day. Together we’ll show strength in support of the club and the club’s aims, so that we can bring joy to everyone at Spurs.”

How does the Brazilian feel about the responsibility of scoring goals that is naturally associated with his position on the field?

“You play for your team to win,” he said. “Whether you score or someone else scores, you have to work as a team. When the team works well, that’s when individuals can shine.

“Like I said, Spurs are a big club playing in a big league, and it’s great to have a world-class coach in Jose Mourinho. I’m happy and I’m looking forward to learning every day, not just from him but from the whole group. I’m very thankful to have some players here who I can already relate to – it really helps when you’re settling in. I already know Gedson from Benfica and with Lucas Moura, another Brazilian, it’s going to be a real help for me.”

Speaking to us in Portuguese via an interpreter, Carlos admitted he came close to quitting the game as a 22-year-old in 2017. Struggling to make an impact back home in Brazil, an ill-fated spell at Gremio Anapolis looked like it might have been the last straw – until he got a second chance with Real Sport Clube in Portugal. There, he hit the goals trail with a vengeance and has never looked back.

“Yes, it was relatively recent,” he said, reflecting on how he felt back then – a far cry from the happiness and confidence he exudes now. “Things were really tough for me out in Brazil. I’ve got a wife and two children, things weren’t going well with my football and I spoke with them about quitting. But thankfully, an opportunity arose. It was a key moment – I got the chance at Real Sport Clube in the Portuguese second division and I saw that opportunity like it was checkmate – this time it had to come off. Things hadn’t been going well for me and it felt like my last chance, but thankfully everything went well and it gives me great joy because it was where it all started for me in Europe. Today, I’ve made it to the top. Thankfully I’m here now. I’m really grateful for what I’ve achieved, and I think those who are closest to me are really happy for me too.

I want to bring joy to all the fans who love this club so much and support us every step of the way.

Carlos Vinicius

“In the end, footballers have to be ready for everything, because things can change so quickly. It was no different for me. I worked hard to get here and now I am here, I want to enjoy it, share the experience with my team-mates and to bring joy to all the fans who love this club so much and support us every step of the way.

“Like I said, my goals are the same as the club’s goals – to win every game. If the group stays strong, stays focused on our goals and wins, then individual players can shine. I want to say to everyone that together we’ll taste success – I’m here to join this family, to share your joy and bring home silverware.”