Monday, December 10, 2018

Meet Yago Pikachu, The Brazilian Right-Back No One Ever Talks About

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial 9 Feb 2018

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Brazil has given birth to some of the best full-backs in football history. From Djalma and Nilton Santos in the Pele days, the duo of Roberto Carlos and Cafu grabbed headlines during the 90’s and 2ooo’s. And nowadays it is not any different. Dani Alves, Alex Sandro, Marcelo and Luis Filipe are just some of the best full-backs in the world, and all of them are Brazilian.

However, there is one player no one ever talks about. He does not even play in Europe, even though he is one of the best right-backs in Brazil. He features for Vasco da Gama, and goes by the name of Yago Pikachu. Yes, you read that right. He is named after the famous cartoon character. And while he doesn’t produce thunderbolts with his play, he is certainly an exciting player that should move to one of the top leagues in the world sooner than later.

Who is Yago Pikachu?

If you have not heard about him, that’s fine. No one has, really. Glaybson Yago Souza Lisboa, or Pikachu, is a 25-year-old player who can cover several roles on the right side of the pitch, although he profiles best as an attacking-minded right-back that can pose quite a threat in the final meters. He is not very good defensively, but can perform. Either way, he might profile as a winger if he makes the jump to a more competitive league.

One of the reasons why no one knows much about him is because Pikachu had to wait several years to play in the Brazilian Serie A. He started his career in his native Paysandu in the Serie B, and he already started grabbing everybody’s attention due to his enormous attacking talent. He ended scoring goals on a regular basis, and his stats backed him up. Pikachu played for Paysandu, and registered 18 goals with 11 assists in 68 Serie B matches. If we expand the data into all competitions, his numbers are even better: 62 goals in 221 games, giving him an average of 0.28 goals per contest. That’s not a lot, but we must considered he has spent all of his career as a defender. There aren’t many defenders with that kind of scoring power.

A move to a bigger club seemed inevitable

Pikachu reached a point where he was simply too good for the Serie B. He wanted to play on a better team and a higher tier, and Vasco da Gama snapped him up. O Gigante da Colina slowly introduced him into the fold in the 2016 season, but he has gotten better and better after each year. Right now, he is an undisputed starter for Vasco, and is currently playing in the 2018 Copa Libertadores where he has two goals in two appearances.

The future might hold big things for this 25-year-old defender, who possesses an uncanny ability on set-piece situations. He is known for being a deadly free-kick taker, and he can make things like this happen on a daily basis:

Did we already mention he is a defender? He truly is a special player, since he can thrive going forward and also does an adequate job defensively. And with Vasco playing in the Copa Libertadores, all signs indicate Pikachu is here to stay as one of the best full-backs in Brazil. He might even represent the Brazilian National Team in the future, and could even move overseas if the chance arises.

His unique set of skills makes him an intriguing player. And while he might never reach Dani Alves or Marcelo, he should get at least some kind of consideration for the National Team sooner than later. He’s that good. And the whole world should take notice of it.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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