How old were you when you started out at a professional club?
I joined the Sao Paulo academy when I was 13, I played for the younger sides and then made my debut for the first team when I was 16.
What position did you play at that time?
When I first started there I was an attacking midfielder but then after a while I moved into a deeper midfield role. I enjoyed both positions but at the time I probably enjoyed playing the deeper role more.
How did you get to training?
The training ground was a one-and-a-half hour drive from my house so I had to stay there during the week and then at the weekend I would return to my family home.
Were the facilities good?
Yes, the facilities were excellent at Sao Paulo. Maybe they were not as good as what we have here at Cobham but still very nice.
What music did you listen to at the time?
At that time I listened to all different music, mainly Brazilian, but I wouldn’t be able to choose one band in particular. Since I moved to England I really enjoy listening to Bruno Mars.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
When I was younger one of my coaches said the most important thing is to enjoy your game and not feel nervous when you are playing. He said even if I lose the ball I shouldn’t let it get me down or feel bad about it. That way you will enjoy your game more and perform better.
Do you remember the moment you signed your first professional contract?
Yes, I remember it well. When I was 15 I came to Manchester with Sao Paulo to play in the Nike Cup and it was while I was here, after the tournament, that I signed the contract. It was a great moment for me.