Matheus Santos Interview
Matheus Santos is a Brazilian born playmaker who plays for Barking. He is spending the season on loan at Barkingside to gain first team experience.
Matheus talks to us about his trial at Bournemouth and how it has given him the hunger to be the best he can be.
What position do you play?
Right/Left wing. Although I am right-footed, I like playing on the left because it opens up my options to cut in and shoot, play someone in or go down the line and put a cross in.
What your style of play?
I would say I’m a creative and flair player that likes to take people on. I pride myself on my ability to do something different on the pitch and to give the fans something to be amazed over.
Being Brazilian, it’s always been our style of football to be pleasing to the eye. I also get my fair share of assists, 12 this season for Barkingside so far. It’s a shame they don’t get recognised at this level of football.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
My strengths I would again say, how creative I am. That being in 1v1 situations or picking out a pass that someone else wouldn’t try. I also try to be as explosive as possible.
I may not be the most physical player but you’re probably going have to bring me down to stop me.
A weakness of mine is that I’m predominantly right footed. Although I am working on that, it does sometimes impede me from being as accurate as I want to be.
How did a Brazilian flair end up playing for Barking?
Growing up I didn’t really have anyone connected to the game to guide me as I do now.
After leaving school with good grades I had the options of going to sixth form or going to a football college. I chose to follow my passion and ended up joining Barking academy.
I broke through to reserves quite early and after impressing the manager I started to get chances to play for the first team. The step up to playing senior football wasn’t easy at first but you get used to the rough tackles and it matures you as a player.
Would you like to play in Brazil at some stage in your career?
I would love to, although there isn’t as much investment into Brazilian football as there is in Europe, football is my passion.
It would be a dream come true to have a career from doing what I love, especially in front of my own people in Brazil. Maybe one day.
You had a trial with Bournemouth in 2017, what did you learn from the experience?
The trial at Bournemouth was a great experience. It really puts into perspective the quantity and the quality of players all trying to compete for a few spaces at one team.
It also boosted my confidence, because I felt I wasn’t below the standard of ability against players who most, have been at an academy for most of their lives.
This opportunity helped me to reignite that fire and hunger to push myself towards the pro game.
You are now on loan at Barkingside, has it been good to play regular first team football?
Its been great for me, I’ve enjoyed playing week in week out and knowing that a great performance would warrant a start for the next game.
I believe I’ve taken a much more important role at this club and although the standard of football isn’t the same, it’s been beneficial to be playing consistently and showcasing what I can do.
What’s next for following your loan?
Hopefully look to progress up the leagues, test myself against tougher opposition and push on to getting a professional contract.
The journey hasn’t been easy so far, but I believe that God has a plan and I just need to stay fit and keep on playing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years time I see myself stable at a good professional club, still striving to be the best I can be and pushing myself to the next level.