Website Globo Esporte brings today an interesting story about Brazilian kid João Marcelo, a nine-year-old who’s been calling the attention from Premier League sides.

The midfielder currently plays for Millwall, but as told by his father, and proven with screenshots in the article, he was invited to join the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

“I put him to play when he was four. It all started at the school he studied at. I noticed something different. Me and the coach, in this case, because he was four years old, but the coach even put him to play with seven-year-old boys”, Marcelo Lima told Globo Esporte.

“I remember a tournament I went to watch and João Marcelo scored four goals in a few minutes. That day, the coach arrived and told me he was an ace. Afterwards, he went to play at the Military Police Officers Club, also futsal, where he continued to show good football. João Marcelo is a very skilled boy, who left futsal for the field.”

Globo Esporte reports that Marcelo Lima was advised by coaches to take his son to Europe. Since he has British citizenship, they moved to London and started looking for clubs there. Following a spell at Fulham, the kid was signed by Millwall.

“Here in London, we live near the Fulham training centre. He even trained a period at the club. Then he trained at a Chelsea scout’s school. In fact, the club were close to taking him, but the distance and some pending issues with the federation ended up postponing that dream. João also received an invitation from Arsenal, but the distance also spoiled this agreement.”

“We received an invitation from Millwall. Luckily or perhaps destiny, the team coach was a fan of Djalminha, of Brazilian football, and mainly of futsal. As soon as he saw João Marcelo, he was delighted. We signed with Millwall. The club are very traditional, recognised for supplying great teams. We like the training philosophy. What also makes it easier is that the club receives many players from abroad.”


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João Marcelo’s story gets even more curious because of who his agent is. His career is managed by Luiz Bastos, who’s the grandson of Brazilian legend Garrincha. The representative not only saw similarities with the skills of his late grandfather, but also showed other stars how good was the kid.

“We met Luiz about two years ago. He’s Garrincha’s grandson and, when he set his eye, he was crazy about João Marcelo. He said he remembers Garrincha, he has already shown videos of him to Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho. He’s a guy who knows a lot of people in football. But all this is to try to make João Marcelo comfortable. He’s in the best possible place to develop. Here, he has a differentiated training.”

Luiz Bastos also had a word with Globo Esporte, and said: “I’ve been working with football for 10 years. I work with players from traditional clubs in Brazil, such as Flamengo, Vasco, Internacional, in addition to the United Arab Emirates. When I heard that there was a boy looking to start a career in English football, I became interested. That’s when I met João, his family and we closed a deal”.