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Neymar's Colleague from Youth League Trains at the Beach and Refuses to Retire

06/13/2017 - 11h21



"People ask me what happened? I reply: do you have the time to hear me out?" The phrase was spoken by attacking midfielder Geovane Batista, Lobo, 25, and serves as a preview of a typical story of talented young people in Brazilian soccer.

Heralded as a player with the "potential to be the best in the world", words that he cherished from a meeting that he had with the French coach, Arsène Wenger, from team Arsenal (ING), he stayed the course, at least at that time.

"Everything went by so fast. It makes me miss everyone when I hear that they all are doing well", declared the player, who was Neymar's primary colleague in categories at the Santos base.

"I'm really very happy, especially for Neymar and Coutinho, who I was closer to."

Geovane is part of a promising generation that was side-by-side with champions of Tite's team during calls for base selections between 2007 and 2009.

Giovanni Bello/Folhapress
Geovane Batista
Geovane Batista

With Neymar, the partnership would go way further. They developed under watchful eyes at Vila Belmiro. Seen as the principal talents of their generation, they were compared to Diego and Robinho, kids of the club that won the Brazilian championship in 2002.

Today a chasm separates them. While the attacker at Barcelona (ESP) is one of the principal players in the world, Geovane is seeking to restart his career.

Without a club and without an agent/manager, he trains every day at the beach on his own. There is only a personal trainer that he himself hired at his side. One thing he refuses, however, is to accept the label of "former player".

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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