Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Hyuri's goal will make your jaw drop
Check out his amazing moves on YouTube
If you watch only a minute of football today, make it the otherworldly goal scored by Botafogo playmaker Hyuri in Thursday's match against Coritiba.
Look it up on YouTube. Type in "Hyuri Botafogo" and put your hand under your jaw to catch it when it drops. The play lasts only six seconds from start to finish, but you'll want to watch it again and again. And again.
Even the Brazilian press, which is fortunate enough to see displays of football magic on a regular basis, was left spellbound by the goal.
Highly credible Globo bestowed the label "craque" on Hyuri -- an awestruck way to refer to the player as an "ace." They included the 21-year-old in their Team of the Week, and despite the fact he was making his Botafogo debut the comparisons with Vitinho were already being bandied about.
Vitinho, 19, is the prodigious midfielder who took the Brasileiro by storm this season before agreeing to a shock move from Botafogo to CSKA Moscow on Monday.
Although he hadn't even completed a full year of senior Brazilian football he had done enough to catch the eye of the Russian giants, and after being offered a five-year contract he signed off on the move, opting to leave the country a bit earlier than many of his fellow craques had done in recent years.
Not surprisingly, many of the club's fans were left devastated by Vitinho's transfer, but in the arrival and sudden, spectacular debut of Hyuri they seem to have found a player capable of replacing their former favourite. (Incidentally, both Hyuri and Vitinho came through at fourth-tier Rio de Janeiro side Audax Rio in 2007.)
"It is inevitable to talk about Vitinho's departure and my arrival," Hyuri told Sport TV following his two-goal showing at the Maracana. "For me there is no such comparison. I've just been going about my work since I arrived. I want to stand out in the best possible way."
Having the clip of a goal in his debut go viral is a pretty good way to stand out, but if Hyuri is to develop into the sort of player Vitinho has been tipped to become he knows it won't be good enough to be a one-hit wonder.
To that end, he -- like Vitinho -- has sought the advice and support of Clarence Seedorf -- the former Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan star who is finishing up his career with Botafogo.
"It's always good to be talking to (Seedorf), who knows how things work for young players," he said. "I had the chance to learn (from him) the moment I got here."
He could hardly ask for a better mentor. After all, through much of the 1990s and part of the last decade Seedorf was one of the most impactful, playmaking midfielders in the sport, and his play has hardly tailed off since he arrived in Brazil.
The 37-year-old has scored five goals in the 2013 Brasileiro to date, and with 18 rounds in the books Botafogo are third in the table -- just four points back of leaders Cruzeiro. They'll face Criciuma on Sunday, and Hyuri will likely be handed just his second start with his new team.
Perhaps he'll reprise his debut, although it's unlikely. Such goals come around only once or twice over the course of a season, which is why we tend to revisit them. They encapsulate, in a matter of moments, the very best the sport has to offer.
So what exactly did Hyuri do?
After accepting a layoff on the right flank he turned his marker and bolted into the area, jinking past one defender and then stopping dead in his tracks, dragging the ball past the two remaining defenders with a cultured back-heel before pulling the ball onto his left foot and beating the goalkeeper inside the far post.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 7, 2013 C6
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