Santos Under 20 – Match Report vs América-MG Under 20 (22/01/2022)

The Copinha 2022 has more than met their expectations and has allowed us to see the greatest prospects of Brazilian football. The game between Santos and América-MG was no exception. In what was a tense semi-final at the beginning but which ended in an easy win for the ‘Peixe’, who set up a 4-3-3 with high pressing lines that made their opponents uncomfortable but that came out onto the pitch with nothing to lose and much to gain.

Lucas Barbosa

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 22/02/2001
  • Current club: Santos
  • Career: Novorizontino, FC Golden State, Novorizontino, Santos
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfielder, Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Lucas Barbosa played as a right winger and one more time he highlighted his candidacy for the first team. The 20-year-old was a great contribution in attack dragging marks and constantly entering and anticipating into the box, always knowing where to position himself in attack to be a threat. Something in which he stood out and that was the main reason for his two goals. The Brazilian was very intelligent and especially in the final third, showing a maturity in that sense that made him be one step higher than the rest, that’s why he was in the right place and time to take advantage of a rebound in the box in the first goal, and then after a cross where the goalkeeper failed to catch the ball and left it served to the winger. He undoubtedly has a goalscoring instinct worthy of a striker, since it is not the first game that I have seen him very well standing in the box.

What caught my the most attention in Barbosa was his physique, standing at 1.93m, having great balance and explosive strength, he was simply unstoppable against the small left back from América-MG and their entire defence. Who had a very bad time when the winger faced them. As he is a nightmare in physical duels, Barbosa has no problem in advancing forward with the ball until he crosses, cuts inside or shoots when he is in a good position. A play that was more common in his match against Fluminense than this gam, where he showed his great long shots, scoring a class goal from outside the box. He has a good ball controll and displayed some great through balls during the game, so I see him able to play as an attacking midfielder too. However I didn’t see the same agility and tendency to face opponents like other players of the same position, but it’s partly since he is not the typical tricky and paced winger that we usually see in this football, in view of his polyfunctional attributes that makes him a suitable player on the entire attacking front.

Barbosa’s positioning and reading of the game is mainly thanks to his concentration, which was noticeable every time you saw him on the pitch, as he constantly scanned his surroundings when the ball was played on the opposite side. As if he was examining possible next moves to occur and preparing for them. He also showed great work rate when the team needed it, running back down the pitch to defend.

Rating – 1

Barbosa’s latest performances deserve a call up to the first team. He has the level to be a regular starter and it’s something he needs to continue developing. He has potential and this should be his year to make a name for himself in the Brazilian Serie A and catch the attention of the big European leagues.

Weslley Patati

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 1/10/2003
  • Current club: Santos
  • Career: Santos
  • Position: Left Winger
  • Secondary Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Left

Weslley Patati played on the left wing and was one of the most participative players against América-MG. With great agility and speed with his feet, Patati faced his opponents as soon as he could and tried to cut inside or cross quickly to take advantage of Barbosa’s height or Rwan Seco’s anticipation. But what the Brazilian likes the most it is advancing forward with the ball and be the decisive player, either giving an assist or using his decent shot to score as he did it against América-MG. Patati has a lot of quality with the ball at his feet, having good ball control and a very technical first touch, being a useful player for his team. Like his teammate Barbosa, the left winger has a very decent reading of the game that displayed in the game with good decision making and knowing when to lose his mark to receive the ball. It was seen that his teammates know him well and knew how to take advantage of Patati’s qualities so that he performs at a high level, making a great duo with left back Lucas Pires on the left side of the pitch.

Patati isn’t tall at all and his physique is not the strongest, but the lightness of his build combined with the speed of his movements makes him a lethal winger in counter attacks. Adding also his mental quickness in the last third and a quite decent balance, being able to go hand-to-hand against physical defenders. It will be significant and interesting to see how he manages against tall and fast defenders who know his game style, however they were not the most typical type of players in this competition.

The 18-year-old is one of Santos’ most dangerous players and the final result today against Palmeiras may well depend on what Patati can contribute in attack.

Rating – 2

Weslley Patati has an inspiring story of overcoming adversities and he shows progress in each game, so his determination will probably take him to the first team in an early future, but it is known that Santos does not want to rush with his young players and that is good for the winger to take it easy and wait for the right moment to make his debut.

Jair Paula

Conheça o zagueiro Jair, revelação da base do Peixe | Meu Peixão

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 16
  • Date of birth: 7/03/2005
  • Current club: Santos
  • Career: Santos
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jair played as a right centre back in a line of 4 making a good duo with his partner Derick. The 16-year-old did not have much work in defence but he did draw attention in terms of his attributes at such a young age. Standing at 1.95m, Jair has an imposing physique that makes him a danger in the air and a challenge for any attacker that is willing to pass him. Although in this match he didn’t show all his qualities, during the Copinha Jair has proven to be a quite effective player in defensive duels, and not only because of his physique but also because of his good defensive positioning and understanding of the game, two very interesting traits for a 16 year old centre back. He is not the fastest but he anticipates well and doesn’t lack concentration, being a very tactically developed player at this point. The Brazillian is not technically gifted but he is capable of playing from the back or long balls, which he did quite well against América-MG as Patati scored a great goal outside the box after a long ball from Jair.

The centre-back often has the composure to move with the ball forward, looking like an unstoppable moving tower in the middle of the pitch. This has been quite useful to Santos since the youngster raised the team’s lines and allowed to generate spaces, however, against América MG the 16-year-old appeared at specific moments and did his job when he should have. This caused him to participate in few duels, especially physical ones, where it is necessary to see him more often to know if he is a strong player or just makes good use of his height. In any case, Jair has plenty of time to develop his skinny build and strength.

Rating – 2

I am not discovering anything by saying that Jair Paula is one of the 2005 generation players with most potential in football. He looks quite mature at playing and has an very unusual physique. However, he is only 16 years old and giving extreme attention to a talented young player never ends well. He has the benefit of having an 18-year-old partner playing for the first team as Kaiky, from whom he will surely learn and receive lessons that will allow him to arrive in the first team like a Swiss Army knife.

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