2/14/2018 8:45:09 AM (GMT+3)

We've every chance to win title, says Brazil's young midfielder Luan


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: When Luan turned 18, his sport of choice was futsal and thoughts of ever making a living from football were far from his mind. Yet, football was where his future lay, and it was not long after he began devoting his energies to it, that Gremio’s scouts came calling.

“I knew it was the chance of a lifetime and I seized it,” said the Brazilian midfielder in an interview with FIFA.com during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, a competition he has very good reason to remember, after helping Brazil climb to the top of the podium. “The Olympics were very special because Brazil had never won gold before.”

If 2016 was a golden year in Luan’s career, then 2017 was every bit as good, one in which he helped Gremio win the Copa Libertadores title and also collected the award for the tournament’s most valuable player. Later that year came a runners-up medal at the FIFA Club World Cup and, just to round it all off, a debut senior cap for his country.

The year had begun with Luan pulling on the famous yellow jersey against Colombia in a match featuring home-based players only. But in August came the moment he had been waiting for, as he won his first full cap, in a World Cup qualifier against Ecuador at the Arena do Gremio, with Brazil having already made sure of their place at the world finals.

“It was special to play at home in my stadium,” said Luan, describing his feelings on making his debut in front of his own fans. “I don’t think it could have been more perfect. It was a unique feeling for me. Playing for your country is a dream come true for any player. It’s such a different experience. I’ve always had that desire and I’m going to do as well as I can for Gremio, so that I’m ready to keep taking opportunities when they arise.”