The footie artist

This brazilian player who plays for Dempo SC is in love with the beautiful game
He is skilled, artful and ready to take on the opposition as he manoeuvres the ball onfield. Roberto Mendes Silva, fondly called Beto, the Brazilian attacking midfielder of Goan club Dempo SC is always on song, be it on the football field or when he is playing the Samba. And that was what the Sao Paulo born lad who grew up in the land of football was proficient at. Playing footie and playing the guitar. And when it came to choosing his path in life, he says, “It was either music or football.” No guesses on which won, especially for a lad born in the Mecca of football. It was his father who instilled in him the skills for the game, as the love was already shining unabashed. “My father was a professional player and as a child, my first gift was a football. I have a picture when I was just nine months old, and had just started walking, kicking the ball. I remember I would go for practice with my father and with age, it became a passion,” recalls Beto.
The first stop for this young boy was Corinthians, where he played from the age of 14 to 17. “Then I went to Sao Caetano and also played in Portugal for a bit. I was an attacking midfielder and even played for Brazilian club Juventus. Playing football was my life and that was when I got a call to come and play for India,” he adds. He started with Mohun Bagan and then went to Dempo SC from 2005 to 2011, for six years. He was in Churchill Brothers 2012 to 13 and was back to Dempo. Goa suits this Brazilian thanks to its Portuguese influence. He has played football with Portuguese international player Deco and cherishes a picture taken with current Brazil football team striker Fred (Frederico Guedes).
He lives in Goa with his family, his wife Allini and daughters Gabi and Julia. Right now though, the family is in Brazil, for their annual vacation and of course, more importantly to witness the Football World Cup. “I have eight tickets to eight matches, which includes the opening ceremony and I can’t wait to see the games start, as a spectator instead of being on the field, supporting Brazil,” says the footballer who is flying to be with the family. So what about Brazil’s chances? He shrugs (with fingers crossed), “They are good but one can’t say 100 per cent. It’s really hard to say. Brazil is good and after my home team, I think Germany and Spain have great teams.”
The quick-footed play who is sometimes called “the artiste” thanks to his vision and foresight, loves his music. “I play the guitar and the do the Samba. At 16, I had to decide on football or music. Now, it’s a kind of hobby,” says the light-eyed player who has girls in Goa swooning over him. So does he get a chance to perform, “I am kind of shy,” he says. His all-time favourite footballer is Ronaldinho. “His precision, the way he plays football, he is such a joy to watch,” he adds.
Beto practices six hours a day, six days a week with three-hour routine sessions with the club and three on his own. “We have just finished playing the national league and while BFC won, we had a good season. We travel all over, and India is amazing with so many different cultures unlike Brazil where there is just one big one,” he says.
But what of the doldrum that Indian football lies in? “I think India has a lot of talent and it has to be tapped. Like they invest in cricket here, if they also put that kind of money in football, spend it on bettering the game, it will turn around. The fraternity is waiting for something to happen,” he says hopefully.
( Source : dc )
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