Grêmio U20 faced semi-pro side Cruzeiro Arapiraca U20 on the first day of the Copinha 2023. Despite the big differences in quality between the two teams, it was a close game which ended 0-0. Grêmio set up a 4-2-3-1 formation and dominated possession however, they were quite predictable and lacked ideas in attack. Cruzeiro Arapiraca waited on a low block having their chances on the counter attack. Their combative defence plus the disappointing football of Grêmio concluded in an unexciting game but with some talent to watch.
1 – Ready for the first team
2 – Good, potential to be first team
3 – Decent, could make first team squad
4 – Decent potential, unlikely to make it to first team
5 – Unlikely to make first team
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 28/03/2003
- Current club: Grêmio
- Career: Grêmio
- Position: Right Winger
- Preferred foot: Left
Rubens played as a right winger and was one of the few Grêmio players who had a decent performance. He used to position himself close to the sideline to receive, trying to cut inside and face his opponent, displaying great ball control at speed and being able to accelerate the tempo of the play in seconds. The Brazilian did great under pressure in tight spaces, always with the correct body shape and passing by the defender with ease and great agility. He is very attack-minded and always chose to carry the ball forward displaying confidence in his movements plus an excellent technical ability that allowed him to use both feet in any situation. His slim body frame allowed him to turn and dribble quickly, being pretty fast over long distances.
In possession, he was not as individualistic as one would think in this type of player. Rubens linked up very well with his teammates in the last third and was able to generate numerical advantage when he used to wait for the overlaps of right back Cristiano, showing good decision-making and technique in his short and medium range passes. He also tried a few long shots with good accuracy but could have been more dangerous on his crosses. His height of approximately 160-165m and his lack of strength were quite evident, losing possession easily in physical duels against his opponent.
Despite having a good capacity to lose his mark and being great at occupying the spaces, the Brazilian had a rather static off the ball movement during the match and this made it difficult for Grêmio’s to break Cruzeiro’s organized block. In this respect he could have had a bit more determination to ask for the ball and be more dynamic to be a passing option, as at the same time he looked confident enough to carry the team by himself.
Rating – 2
Rubens has top technical qualities but still has work to do to develop his physicality, where he was overpassed against a far inferior side. I think he has the potential to make it to the first team in the future as he has very interesting associative and individual skills.
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 28/01/2003
- Club: Grêmio
- Career: Grêmio – São Luiz RS (on loan) – Grêmio
- Position: Central Midfield
- Preferred foot: Right
Milla played as the left central midfielder in a double pivot and had a decent performance until he was substituted in the 62nd minute. He provided the start of the build up with ease against the little pressure from the opponent showing a decent technique and good ball control. He used to look for a pass on the wings waiting for a teammate run, making good medium and long distance passes. The Brazilian has a skinny build and is 1.76m tall, so he is not the most imposing of the midfielders. However, he went into the disputes with courage and was able to win some duels stopping potentially dangerous counter attacks.
Mila was willing to be involved in any physical situation and generally won them with great aggression and anticipation. He likes to press and is a self-sacrificing player who is fearless in ball disputes, however at times he didn’t have the correct timing at pressing and was outplayed, which cost him a yellow card and a subsequent substitution. His reading of the game in defensive transitions was right, being constantly aware and scanning. He tended not to advance forward with the ball but looked for the best passing option, but at the same time had no problem taking risks when had the chance as he tried a powerful long shot outside the box after a rebound and almost scored in what was Grêmio’s clearest occasion.
Milla didn’t have many defensive problems thanks to his disciplined positioning in transitions, but clearly his physique is not the best for his role in the team. Despite being a player with a good work rate, his core strength and balance yet are willing to improve and his agility is not outstanding, which is why his football was quite simple in possession in a game that needed more shares of flair and talent.
Rating – 3
Based on this match, I’m not sure if he has the potential to become a first team option for Grêmio. I think Milla is a tenacious midfielder who did a smart job, but he sometimes rushed with his decisions and his physique is not yet suitable for the role he occupies if we are talking about the Brazilian Serie A. The fact is that he only played 62 minutes so I will keep an eye on him in the next Grêmio matches.