UTD Unscripted: Fabio da Silva and the long road from Brazil


It was tough but in the end we had a lot to do: play with friends, play football. My dad is crazy about football, my older brother played as well and played in Italy, so the whole family loves it. Every kid in Brazil, when you’re born, everybody thinks: he’s going to play professional football. Everyone wants to be, but there are so many good talents that it’s hard for everyone to make it. It’s hard everywhere, but in Brazil I think it’s a little bit harder.

Of course, when people think of growing up, playing football in Brazil, there is this image of all the kids running around on the beach with a ball. That wasn’t the case for us. We grew up an hour outside of Rio city, away from the beaches.

Where we lived was basically up a mountain.

There were a lot of hills all around us, but what can you do? You want to play football all the time so you play wherever you can. For us, that meant playing a lot on the hill closest to our house. We had a ball, we had the kids in the local area, we had a fence at the bottom of the hill, so we would play there. It was always more fun to be on the team playing downhill, for sure!

You need talent to play football, but you have so many kids with talent in Brazil. I think the main difference for us was the desire we had. We really wanted to make it. We were really focused. That’s why it worked out for us. The other kids maybe wanted to go and party or maybe do other things, but we just thought about football. Being professional footballers was all that we wanted to do.

Of course, that meant we wanted to play for Brazil. When you decide that you want to go down the path of being a professional footballer, everything you do is pointing towards playing for the national team. Everyone talks about it all the time. This is your main dream. My brother and I always spoke about playing for Brazil.

We didn’t talk about playing for Manchester United because it didn’t seem possible, but we knew all about them, of course. In Brazil, United are massive. I knew the players and the history and over time I also got to know that John Calvert-Toulmin was United’s scout out in Brazil at that time.


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