São Paulo FC – Match Report vs. Botafogo RJ (16/06/2022)

São Paulo FC lost on the 12th matchday to a Kayque goal in the 62nd minute. The visitors played in like a fluid 3-4-3. They tried to control possession but also liked to play long passes to top goal scorer Calleri. Botafogo managed to neutralize Calleri completely and the away team failed to create many chances. Even though São Paulo had 67% of the possession, they only had six shots as opposed to Botafogo’s 17 shots.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Welington Santos

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 19/02/2001
  • Club: São Paulo
  • Career: São Paulo
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Secondary position: Left-Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

Welington Santos played as São Paulo’s left wing-back and he had an okay match before being subbed off in the 65th minute. The defender stayed wide throughout the entire match and provided width for Rogério Ceni’s side. When receiving close to the sideline, Welington had mixed performances when being put under pressure. In a few situations, he struggled to play out of pressure, especially when he did not see an option in space. When he did play out of pressure close to the touchline, Welington showed good footwork and athleticism to get past his opponent. He had good close control in the small spaces. Occasionally, Welington Santos failed to stay calm when there is chaos on the pitch. For example, he booted a ball clear and did not stay calm when both teams lost possession a lot of times in a very short period of time.

The left wing-back made some good late runs in the channels, receiving the ball in space and having a shooting/crossing opportunity. His shooting technique from close range was a bit wild, but he hit the target and hit the ball quite cleanly. The Brazilian youngster likes to play early crosses from deep. He has a good crossing technique, but his crosses were not that accurate. Welington’s crosses and aerial passes were quite often blocked. The left wing-back showed good athleticism throughout the match, proving that he is quick on the first meters and capable of maintaining speed over longer distances. His good bursts of speed help him to get past his opponent. He seems to have good changes of direction too. Welington likes to play diagonal passes towards the attack but he is very sloppy with those passes.

Defensively, Welington Santos defended well in the 1v1, not getting dribbled past because he looked at the ball well and was composed enough to not step in too early. He seems to possess good physical ability in duels and looked powerful with his sprints.

Rating – A2

Generally, Welington Santos seems to have a good technical, athletic and physical ability. It was an interesting first match and now it is time to watch him in-depth to see what his strengths and weaknesses are.

Rodrigo Nestor

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 09/08/2000
  • Club: São Paulo
  • Career: São Paulo
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Rodrigo Nestor played as a left central midfielder for São Paulo against Botafogo. The Brazilian youngster saw a lot of the ball in this match. He mostly received the ball in his own half in the first phase of the build-up, but also liked to move into the channels in the final third. Nestor did well to create space for himself in that area and linked up well with São Paulo’s left wing-back or left-winger. This could have created more danger than it actually did in this match, as either Patrick or Welington/Reinaldo did not do much with the ball in the final third. The Brazilian midfielder has good technical ability, which really helped him in the small spaces when he was put under pressure. He has good one-touch play and always keeps his composure.

His passing technique was good too, but he seemed to do a lot with his left foot and not so much with his weaker right foot. Even though he did not create a big chance in this match, Nestor showed glimpses of potential in terms of chance creation. Rodrigo Nestor has decent vision in the final third and occasionally spotted a teammate in the box. He has a good long passing/crossing technique, but his execution was slightly off in this match. Again, most of those dangerous moments came from his creating space for himself in the half-space. He moves swiftly and looks athletic, showing good speed and changes of direction. On the ball, he also had good changes of speed.

However, he sometimes struggled when carrying the ball as he is not that strong physically. His opponents managed to outmuscle him in ground duels and this sometimes led to possession loss for Rodrigo Nestor. Defensively, he was also beat in a physical ground duel in midfield which led to a shooting opportunity for Botafogo. His defensive 1v1 ability was average, he did not time his tackle well and overcommits quite often. Nestor sometimes read the game well though and stepped up when necessary, as he often closed down the opponent that received possession, not allowing him time on the ball and forcing him to play a pass back to one of the central defenders.

Rating – A2

I think that Rodrigo Nestor did not have a great performance today, but I have not seen a lot of footage of him so this is just a prediction. It will be interesting to keep track of him because I think he possesses some sort of potential.

Diego Costa

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 21/07/1999
  • Club: São Paulo
  • Career: São Paulo
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Diego Costa played as a right central defender in a back three. He was not originally supposed to be in the starting line-up, but in the end, he was a starter for São Paulo. Defensively, the Brazilian defender had good awareness. As São Paulo were playing in a three at the back, he often had to close gaps towards the wing as right-back Rafinha often stepped up to defend the opposition’s left wing-back. Diego Costa did well to close those gaps, but he occasionally was a bit too aggressive with his tackles and he also did not time these tackles that well, losing the duel. However, in other ground duels, Diego Costa was dominant because he showed positive aggressiveness and assertiveness to win back possession for Rogério Ceni’s side. The same assertiveness was shown in aerial duels. He timed his leap well and was very convincing in aerial duels.

On the ball, Diego Costa looked composed under pressure and did not panic in the small spaces. He has good ball control and technique which helped him to play out of pressure. However, Diego Costa occasionally was too cautious on the ball. He often played sideways passes or passes back to the goalkeeper. This cautiousness also showed when he stepped into the midfield with the ball at his feet. The Brazilian looked indecisive and eventually lost possession, despite dribbling past multiple players, showing good dribbling ability and also decent pace and acceleration. Standing at 1.84 meters with a normal/muscular build, Diego Costa has the ideal frame for a central defender. It seems like he has gained a lot of muscle in the last years (comparing pictures from a few years ago with recent pictures).

Rating – A1

Diego Costa had a very promising performance. He already has played 75 matches for São Paulo FC. I think he has the potential to become a lot better than he already is, especially if he gains confidence on the ball.

Igor Gomes

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 17/03/1999
  • Club: São Paulo
  • Career: São Paulo
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Igor Gomes played as a right central midfielder alongside Rodrigo Nestor in the match against Botafogo. The Brazilian midfielder once again impressed with his footballing intelligence, but there are still concerns about his goal contributions. The youngster played in a deeper role than I’ve seen him play in before. Igor Gomes was involved in the first phase of the build-up quite a lot and made some mistakes in the first phase of the build-up, being slightly too complacent on the ball. However, his movement in the first phase of the build-up was excellent as he moved between the lines very elegantly. Igor Gomes always knows what is happening around him. He scans a lot and is aware of his surroundings. The Brazilian is one step ahead of the opponent and his first touch is always good. Igor Gomes knew when to take a positive first touch or when to let the ball roll across his body to switch play.

The midfielder, when operating in the final third, liked to run into gaps and he was very good at doing this. He can be very dangerous making inside runs. Defensively, Igor Gomes has a good work-rate. He sometimes seems uncontrolled defensively, though. He gives away a few fouls every match simply because he pushes his opponent to the ground in his eagerness to recover possession. However, he is capable of recovering possession when he puts his body between the opponent and the ball. In aerial duels, he sometimes looked quite passive but he managed to win most duels because he contested the duel at the right time and used his body smartly to hold off opponents and restrict them from getting close to the ball.

Rating – A1

I think that Igor Gomes should get a move to a higher-level team. He has been playing at this level for quite some time now and he has everything that it takes to play at a higher level. Igor Gomes would fit well in a possession-based team with a lot of creative players around him. I think he has the potential to become a good central midfielder as his movement and intelligence could really help him in the first phase of the build-up, but for now, he would still be at best as an attacking midfielder.

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