Saturday was a special day for two 18-year-old boys that we probably still hear a lot about. As soon as Vasco’s victory over Tompense ended, the match they pocketed and decided like adults, Andre Santos and Marlon Gomez approached the audience, joined the party and hugged each other.
+ Marlon Gomez appeared in Vasco without causing a surprise: “He was always promising”
Andrei and Marlon have been friends for a few years now, so it’s not new for them to be together as champions in a football match. This has already happened in the lower categories of the club also in the Brazilian youth teams. But this was a first for Vasco’s main team. And in front of a lot of people, more than 20 thousand fans, in São Janorio.
Friendship from the bottom: Marlon Gomez and Andre Santos shine in Vasco and the national team
Thank God, Marlon and I have been good friends, on and off the field, for less than 15 years, and now at the pro. I’m living a dream, I’m living a dream with a companion, a friend who always supports me. Andre said after the match that one always raises the other.
“I’m so happy with the crowds shouting our name, we just want to give that back on the pitch,” he added.
Marlon Gomez and Andre Santos embrace after Vasco’s win over Tompense – Photo: Daniel Ramalho/CRVG
The two met in Vasco in 2017, when Marlon was selected at Nova Iguaçu and arrived to play for the Under-15 club. They even shared the same room at the property in São Januaro.
Although they are very similar in age, the players are born in different years, something that has an impact in the midst of football when it comes to dividing athletes into categories in clubs and national teams. Andrey is from 2004 and turns 18 in May. Marlinho, in turn, was born in 2003 and turns 19 in December.
This is why they only started playing together frequently from under-17s onwards, with Andrey always in one category over his age – for example, he is the captain of the Brazil Under-20 team.
Playing with him on my side is very easy, we understand each other from the base, because we were 14 together. It’s cool, I finish it too, and we go. Marlon Gomez said: “It was like that in the selection and now it is in Vasco too.
Together, Andre Santos and Marlon Gomez won the Campeonato Carioca, the Copa Cup and the U-20 Supercopa do Brasil two years ago, along with a very promising crop. They also disputed the Copa Cup for the first time now in 2022, when Vasco was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Sao Paulo.
Andrey was integrated into the professional immediately after Copina, although he began playing regularly only in April, starting in the fourth round of Serie B Marlon, on the other hand, he was called up for a transitional period alongside Iguinaldo in July. The match against Tombense, when he scored his first professional goal, was only the second at the start of the match.
Friendship at the service of choice
The partnership between Andre and Marlon migrated from Vasco to the Brazilian team, where the two also used to play together. Excited after the win over Tombense, hugging his teammate off the field, the midfielder predicted:
“God willing, we will soon meet in the main Brazilian team.”
Andre Santos and Marlon Gomez in the service of the Brazilian U-20 team – Photo: Disclosure / Brazilian Football Confederation
They were called together to the main base teams, the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 teams. Last year, they were also part of the delegation that finished second in the Under-18s in the Revelations Cup, which was held in Mexico City.
The Brazilian Football Confederation does not count the number of athlete recalls, but the number of matches in which they have been listed wearing the hopscotch: Andrey has 33 matches and Marlon 17 matches.
As important pieces to Vasco’s main squad, the two have been left out of the Under-20 call-up list released on Monday by coach Ramon Menezes, for the tournament to be held in Uruguay. Iginaldo and Eric Marcos are the Vasco representatives on the list.
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