ANTONY has completed an incredible journey from Sao Paulo to Manchester — via Amsterdam.
The Brazilian winger, 22, is now preparing for his Manchester United debut after arriving from Ajax in a stunning £85.5million deal.
While still a teenager, he wrote a book detailing his struggles in the Sao Paulo youth system while living in the city district of Osasco.
Charlie Wyett leafs through his diary, From Overcoming A Real Dream, where he describes when he broke into the first team.
How can four months change a person’s life? I went from distrust to glory in four months.
I went from being unknown to one of the greatest prospects of Brazilian football. I left Osasco for the world. All this in four months.
In these four months I’ve needed to have a lot of strength, faith and the ability to overcome in order to reach my great objective: to be a pro footballer with Sao Paulo.
I hope this diary serves as an inspiration for how life can change quickly when you believe in your target. It’s the beginning of a story that won’t stop for anything or anybody.
2019 started in a sad way for me. I expected to play for Brazil’s Under-20s and for Sao Paulo in the Florida Cup. I didn’t get called up. I didn’t understand, I wanted a chance.
I played in the Sao Paulo Cup, with my head up, and the rest is history.
I grew in the competition, became more confident and my growth started there.
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I had to be patient, I tried to listen and learn from the oldest players. When my chance came, I was going to grab it.
I came on as a sub, we won, and I started to feel pleasure in what was to come in my career.
I was sad I didn’t get picked for the next game. They changed coach. What would become of me, still trying to get my space?
The new coach, Vagner Mancini, spoke to me a lot.
From then on, the players began to receive me in a different way and to help me a lot. My confidence grew as I played more minutes.
All that was missing was a goal and I scored a nice goal on March 20 against Sao Caetano.
I didn’t know how to celebrate, I just wanted to take it all in. I will remember my first goal all my life, especially as it was so important as it meant us qualifying.
We beat the favourites, Palmeiras, on penalties in the semi-final of the Brazilian league championship. It was the happiest time of my career.
I was so excited about the final against Corinthians. I was so anxious that I didn’t eat on the day of the game and I wasn’t well. I wasn’t the Antony of other games.
I scored in the second leg. I started to think of the path I’d taken, remembering I’d been on the club’s discard list three times.
And, suddenly, I was there in a final, scoring a goal.
Unfortunately, we lost. I couldn’t contain my tears. After the game, I was able to take it in and feel satisfaction with the path to get there.
After four months, I’m no longer the same Antony. How much I’ve developed.
Now I will work double and learn double so that the path to success becomes a reality and a constant in my career. I lost a cup, I won a cup.
I learnt to lose and take good things even in defeat.
I feel confident. When I enter the pitch, I do everything with heart and soul. I’m ready for the next challenges.
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