“The Next Big Thing” – Marquinhos

With Manchester City, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona chasing your signature you begin to realize that you mean business. Just ask Roma’s 18-year-old centre-back Marquinhos who has become an expert on dealing with the matter.

Marquinhos told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I am not thinking about a transfer. I owe Roma a lot for the chance they gave me.”

Barcelona even sent scouts to a Coppa Italia game between Roma and Fiorentina in order to watch the Brazilian centre back in action. With the amount of interest growing the Giallorossi are aware that they need to protect their prized asset.

Roma purchased Marquinhos out of the blue for just €3 million in July 2012, after he made just six appearances for Corinthians. Some business deal, considering that Barcelona are due to weigh in with an offer almost ten times that amount.

Roma certainly did their research on the 6ft tall centre-back, he was considered as one of the most promising players Corinthians had during his time there. He is already renowned for his versatility after joining Corinthians aged eight in 2002. This allowed the centre-back to amass ten years of experience in the clubs youth squads.

Marquinhos has already solidified his place in the Roma Starting XI alongside former Corinthians team mate Leandro Castan in central defence. Marquinhos’ presence has demoted Argentine international Nicolas Burdisso to the substitute bench.

Since 2010, he has been called up by the Brazil under-17 squad and it is only a matter of time before he is selected for the Brazil first team. His addition to the Canarinha will create a scarily good defence, consisting of: RB: Dani Alves CB: Marquinhos CB: Thiago Silva LB: Marcelo.

Under the terms of his current deal, Marquinhos is earning around €800,000 per season, but Roma officials are eager to improve his contract in order to ward off interest from top European clubs. They certainly will need to crank up his wage slip, especially if Marquinhos seals a place in the Brazilian national team because he’ll have the opportunity to consult captain Thiago Silva who earns €185,000 per week.

Under the captaincy of Francesco Totti at Roma, and Thiago Silva for the international team the foundations seem to have been laid for Marquinhos to have a successful European career for the next ten to fifteen years… but we all know Brazil’s history.

Brazil is the nation responsible for over-hyping more players during this decade, than any other nation has in history. Whether it is Robinho, Adriano, Kleberson or Kerlon, Brazil is renowned for declaring that they own the best in the world.

 Believe me, there was a time when I believed Pele that Robinho was the heir to his throne. During his £32.5 million transfer to Manchester City we were treated to glimpses of his stepover talent but in typical Brazilian fashion he wanted to leave. He joined AC Milan, true to his traditions he already wants to leave for Flamengo and just like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Adriano all of these players finish where they started, back in Brazil.

 Robinho’s tag of “the next big thing” proved to be as real as Brock Lesnar’s identical tag during his time with WWE. Arguably, Brock Lesnar proved to be more successful in his chosen career path, albeit Robinho made more money than him. Anyway, what does comparing Brock Lesnar and Robinho have to do with a highly rated Brazilian centre-back?

 Roque Junior. Maybe only Leeds United fans will be able to understand the hesitation in this article. Leeds signed World Cup winning centre-back Roque Junior on loan from AC Milan to provide stability in defence, a safe bet right? Wrong, he got sent-off on his debut against Birmingham and they lost 2-0. Roque Junior played six times for Leeds, he rewarded them with being part of a defence that conceded an impressive 22 goals… in the six games he played.

This article has gone on to slate Brazilian history (unintentionally), slate Brazilian defenders and even compare Robinho to Brock Lesnar. However, this is all part of a defence mechanism to protect Marquinhos in case his career takes a turn for the worse.

Good Luck “Homem”.

Zak Bird.