Unmistakably gifted as a passer, Ganso's elegance of movement with the ball and vision were an indication of the midfielder’s quality. 

It was these characteristics that prompted now Olympiakos scout Giovanni to take notice. 

Coming through the youth ranks at Santos, Ganso made a mark on the first team along with fellow graduate Neymar. 

This partnership and friendship off the field brought success back to the prestigious club by delivering the Campeonato Paulista and the Copa Brasil in 2010. 

His consistent form at club level caught the attention of national boss Mano Menezes who called the youngster up for the country's friendly against the United States. 

This scintillating form was ended after Ganso suffered a devastating cruciate ligament rupture in August 2010 that derailed and postponed hopes of a dream move to Italy. 

The damage of the injury required surgery and this would rule the Brazilian out for six months. This was a period that was made seemingly tougher by the outstanding and transcending performances put on show almost weekly by Neymar. 

As the fans welcomed the jovial and mischievous virtuoso effusively it was becoming increasingly obvious that the team was moving more towards giving Neymar creative freedom and making him the nucleus of the side. 

With the club unwilling to meet the financial demands of the playmaker he took it upon himself to seek a move away. 

São Paulo where a team seeking an adequate replacement for the Paris Saint-Germain bound Lucas Moura and Ganso fitted this description perfectly. A deal was eventually struck with Santos that saw the player leave for an undisclosed fee. 

The 23 year old, who's talent has seen comparisons with Brazil's former Ballon d'or winner Kaka, had undoubtedly been overshadowed by the ever growing presence Neymar was having on the Brazilian game. The past has seen multiple suitors linked with his signature ranging from AC Milan to the more recent FC Porto. 

A strong season in the Campeonato would do wonders to rekindle that interest and give Ganso the opportunity he unquestionably deserves to further develop his game in Europe. 

It is a story of two friends with dreams of following in the footsteps of their idols but the circumstances allowed for drastically different paths. 


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Brazil Football
Football