Tuesday 31 July 2018, 14:21

Brazil banking on Geyse’s pace and finishing

  • ​Brazil aiming for first U-20 World title at France 2018

  • The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup runs from 5-24 August

  • Geyse Ferreira is the standout player for A Seleção

31 January 2018: Brazil enjoy a goal fest at the expense of Paraguay (8-1) to retain their South American U-20 Women’s title, and one player is the centre of attention. The spotlight rests on her because, of the eight goals the team netted that day, she scored five of them.

Geyse Ferreira arrived home with not only the match ball, but also the trophy for player of the tournament. However, the best was yet to come just a month later in the form of a move to European football. First came a spell in the Spanish league, followed by a move to Benfica of Portugal. The next stop on her European adventure will be France, where she will shortly be arriving for her second FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

“Everything I’m experiencing now is a dream, and not just my dream, but that of all my family and friends, who’ve been with me since I started down this road.” It is a road that started back in a humble abode in Maragogi with an offer on the table and no few doubts.

“My mother was afraid. I’d been given the chance to go to Sao Paulo, but it meant leaving home for the first time. So, I sat down with her and my stepfather. She didn’t want to let me leave, but he told her, ‘let her and we’ll see how far she goes’. From that day on, only good things have happened to me, and now I’m the pride of my family.” The striker, who can be timid without the ball at her feet, tells us all of this before emitting a nervous giggle.

Geyse in brief

  • Born on 27 March 1998 in north-east Brazil

  • Position: Forward

  • Main strengths: Pace, dribbling and finishing

  • At the U-20 Sudamericano in January, she hit 12 goals in seven games

  • Role models: “Marta is my role model. She inspired me so much (editor’s note: both hail from the state of Alagoas), also Neymar, Cristiane and Formiga.”

  • In 2017 she made her senior team debut in a friendly with Chile: “It’s hard to put into words how I felt when I was called into the senior team and was among them all.”

Geyse of Brazil celebrates

From Papua New Guinea to France

Despite all the positive things that emanated from this year’s U-20 Sudamericano, Geyse is in no doubt as to which has been the most important game of her career to date: “That was in 2016, when I took to the field for my first game at a World Cup with the national team.”

Aged just 18 at the time, Geyse formed part of the Brazil attack at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea. And although A Seleçao bowed out in the quarter-finals, the forward still had a wonderful experience: “I learned many things at that World Cup and also matured and developed a lot there. Today, I have much more experience and will be taking everything I learned there to France.”

Among the attributes that she has been developing is her speed. “I’m learning every day and still getting faster,” she said with a smile. Spanish fans can attest to that, with her wonder goal this year for Madrid CFF against Athletic de Bilbao still talked about there.

Geyse and her team-mates are preparing themselves thoroughly for the World Cup that kicks off on 5 August in France. And despite the tough opponents they will face in the group phase – defending champions Korea DPR, Mexico and England – their goal is nothing less than “to bring the cup home to Brazil”.

After what happened in recent months, the striker is well aware that a standout performance in France could give further impetus to her career, and so is leaving nothing to chance. “Right now, I’m training very hard to be able to replicate what I did at the Sudamericano. I know it’s going to be much more challenging in the World Cup, but that’s what I’m constantly longing for. Seven months on from a tournament that turned her world around, Geyse is all set to take things to the next level – and France could well be where it happens.