A team that has revealed great talents, such as Daniel Alves, Cícero, Jorge Wagner, Marcelo Ramos, Bobô e Charles, Esporte Clube Bahia introduced last season an extremely promissing midfielder: Anderson Souza Conceição, a.k.a. Talisca.
Born in Feira de Santana, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, on June the 1st 1994, Talisca is a one of a kind player. Left-footed, 1,88m (6’2”) tall, he’s a slim young man whose long thin shins mask great technical skills. Anderson easily adapts to many gameplay possibilities and has already been placed in several positions, such as defender midfield, center midfield, striker and even false 9.
Skillful and fast, Talisca, undoubtedly, has talent. His main characteristic is his shot in open play and dead balls. It was not by chance that, when he left Brazil to play for Benfica, Talisca was the top finisher on Brasileirão (brazilian football league), with 31 shots on goal in eight matches, an average of 3,8 per match. In total, he played 68 matches for Bahia and scored 11 times. On Brasileirão, scored two times and was the team’s top scorer.
Talisca is so skilled that his last coaches don’t hesitate giving him compliments. Cristóvão Borges and Marquinhos Santos, for example, has already showed their admiration.
“He’s got talent, I’ve said it many times. We have to be patient with him, we are still going to applaud him a lot. A player with his technical quality and (alsoSKIP)marking skills will surely become a great player”, said Cristóvão.
To Marquinhos Santos, his last coach, more than talent, Talisca has determination and is willing to work hard. “We work on it (free kicks) really hard and Talisca is reaping the rewards of the training. He’s a player that applies himself. He’s always one of the last ones to leave the field. Even after training, he insistently trains free kicks. Up to this day, I’ve only seen one player doing that on trainings, and his name is Alex, one of the greatest free kickers in football. It’s still early, he’s a young man with potential and my main concern is with his head. I want him to be able to keep improving and become a great player. (…) We have to take the weight off Talisca. We have to understand that he is young, he’s still at the age of a junior. He has a lot of talent and will oscillate, and that is normal due to his age.”
The doubts on Talisca’s future stem from the last observations of his former coach: his head and his young age. To many of Bahia’s fans, Talisca was self-centered and pretentious, trying to play all by himself. It’s obvious that he often still choses the more difficult moves, but that’s part of his development as an athlete. One cannot demand from someone so young the wisdom of a veteran.
Talisca is a diamond in the rough and Benfica may have been a great choice for him, since playing in Portugal will give the young player the chance to experience a different culture without the huge pressure of other European national leagues. With his skills and unique qualities, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The main thing, which is talent, he already has. If trained well, Talisca might have a bright future ahead of him. Anderson has already won two titles in his career: a state championship playing for Bahia (Campeonato Baiano) and a Touloun Torment with the Brazilian under-20 team.
As almost every Brazilian youngster, “Yaya” Talisca, as he was called by some of his most excited fans, dreamed of playing in Europe, which he HAS already achieved. After a match against Flamengo, in which he scored, two scouts, a Spanish and a German, were seen on the stadium. The Spanish said “Anderson has the right profile for Spanish football”. In the end, his destiny was Portugal, but, who knows in a near future, the wonder boy might arrive on Spanish soil? Until there, we will keep following the player that came from Bahia and will have the chance to shine with Benfica.
Updated on September 16ht, 2014:
In his fourth game with Benficain the Portuguese League, Talisca has already started shining and scored a hat trick against Vitória de Setúbal. The boy is showing why we should keep an eye on him!
And the boy’s name doesn’t seem to stop growing. On an interview with the TV channel TVI24 (5:51), José Mourinho said that English teams have their eyes on Talisca, who didn’t sign with any of them due to work permit restrictions: “I think Benfica hired well. They say Talisca is unknown, but he is only so unknown because he’s only not playing in England because he doesn’t have a work permit. If he had one, he would be here. There were many English teams, great teams and important, that wanted him. Moreover, there were those who wanted to sign him, even though he could not play for now. They wanted to sign him, put him in a minor league [on loan] and hope that eventually he came to be selected [for Brazil’s national team], and would consequently then get the work permit.”
Updated on September 28th, 2014:
Talisca keeps giving great performances in Portugal. The young midfielder has already scored 5 goals in 6 matches and is Benfica’s top scorer along with Rui Fonte. His 6th goal, against Estoril, was pure art:
Updated on October 6th, 2014:
Talisca has been having a great experience in Portuguese football. The midfielder scored once again (his 6th goal in 7 games) and is now the top goal scorer in the national league. He was chosen best player of the match against Arouca and got a lot of praise from Benfica’s fans:
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After the game, Talisca said to the newspaper “A Bola”: “It was an important victory and we all deserve congratulations. Arouca fought to the limits of their strength but we were better and deserved the three points. I would like to take the chance to thank the fans for their support during the 90 minutes. Hearing 40 thousand people singing my name is one of those moments to remember.”