At age 13, Lucas Moura left home to hone his talents at Sao Paulo. Fast forward 13 years and he is in the final of the Champions League with Tottenham Hotspur.
Really, Tottenham will be in the final because of a second-half hat-trick by Lucas Moura, but how well do you know him? Here are 10 interesting facts about the Brazilian international.
1. His full name is Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva. He started his career at Marcelinho Carioca’s youth academy and quickly got nicknamed Marcelinho due to supposedly looking like the former Corinthians player. The young star eventually got tired of getting called ‘Marcelinho’ and requested to be called just ‘Lucas’, as Marcelinho Carioca is one of the biggest idols of São Paulo’s arch-rivals Corinthians.
2. Lucas would spend his mornings studying at school and his afternoons training hard. It was a tough regime that left the young boy completely exhausted. His problem was made even worse because his family lived a bus and two train journeys away from the training pitches. The promising wonderkid’s health began to suffer. He looked frail, so his parents asked Corinthians to bring in a nutritionist to help him gain muscle mass.
3. He could have easily gone into violence, gangs, guns, drugs – a criminal life, because of the environment he grew up in. It was very difficult for young Lucas because his friends ended up choosing a criminal life. Some of them are in prison and some of them are dead.
4. He was brought up in a Catholic environment, where his parents made him attend mass in the same church they got married in.
5. Lucas Moura was a member of the Selecao sub 20’s Class of 2011. He won the Under-20 South American Cup in Peru playing in a front three with Neymar and Oscar. Lucas was named best player of the 2011 South American Youth Championship ahead of Neymar.
6. He married his long-term love Larissa Saad in 2016. Larissa is a studious girl that comes from a very wealthy family in Sao Paulo. And oh she has a business degree too.
7. Lucas Moura welcomed their first child called Miguel in 2017, with Lucas happily posing with the new addition on social media. According to him, the best gift for him from God was his son.
8. Lucas Moura is the first Brazilian player to score a hat-trick in a Champions League semi-final. Not Ronaldo. Not Rivaldo. Not Ronaldinho. Not Neymar. Not Kaka.
9. He admits that each of the 25 players in the Spurs team each have a handshake but he only has one with Serge Aurier, with whom he played with at PSG.
10. He blames his sudden hair loss on his father and brother as he says both are bald. He also says that stress that comes with playing in Europe has contributed to his baldness.