When Watford completed the signing of João Pedro from Fluminense in December last year, they certainly didn’t expect things to move so quickly.
The 17-year-old was just an academy player at that time, and there wasn’t any expectation for him to debut for the first team so soon. He stayed in Rio de Janeiro because he can only move to Watford once he turns 18.
But now it turns out that besides becoming a regular player for Fluminense, he’s also scored his first hat-trick, and that was in an international competition.
João Pedro scored three goals and made one assist in the 4-1 win over Atletico Nacional last night. He’s now become a fan favourite, and it couldn’t be any different.
“The performance was lit up, which happens with all the great players. We’re used to seeing this with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. So it’s not a very common thing and you really have to celebrate. It is fruit of merit,” said manager Fernando Diniz after the game.
João Pedro now has seven goals and two assists in his first ten games for Fluminense’s first team. Globo Esporte decided to compare his start with other Brazilian players, and it turns out his statistics are pretty impressive.
In their first ten games, Ronaldo scored six goals, Neymar scored three and Rodrygo scored two, while Gabriel Jesus and Vinícius Júnior couldn’t manage to find the net. All of them made their debuts before turning 18.
“I never imagined this in my life. Things are happening so fast,” said João Pedro after the match. “I’m working and the goals are coming. I’m very happy. I want to thank God, Professor Diniz for the opportunity and the fans for their presence and the party. I dedicate my goals to my mother and my grandmother, who have always supported me.”
If you’re a Watford fan quickly falling in love with João Pedro, read the below… it’ll seal the deal.
João Pedro | Watford signing in tears as he recalls struggles – Clearly helps with his motivation.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) May 22, 2019