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Squad number 35

Newcomer Breno steps up to the challenge

Zé Roberto had a busy day on Monday: quite apart from a double dose of training, the midfielder also showed off his skills as an interpreter for fellow countryman and Bayern newcomer Breno Vinicius Borges, who plays under the name Breno and completed a first workout with Germany’s leading club since arriving from Brazilian champions FC Sao Paulo.

“I’ve been impressed so far,” the 18-year-old defender told a news conference after pre-lunch training, speaking of course via Zé Roberto. Zé assisted the youngster in a long face-to-face chat with coach Ottmar Hitzfeld earlier in the day, conveying the philosophy and goals prevailing at Germany’s most successful club.

Impressive video evidence

“Breno is a young player who’s just arrived at his first major club in Europe, and that’s plain to see,” reported Hitzfeld, unwilling to say more about the gifted youngster after just one session. “I’ll need to get to know him properly at our training camp, and see how he fares against the likes of Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni. That’ll be the real test of his class.“

However, Hitzfeld rated videos of the player in action for Sao Paulo as “extremely impressive in terms of his positioning, aerial strength and tackling. I’m sure he’ll become a great player. Bayern will get a huge amount back from him in the future.“

Assistance from Lucio and Zé Roberto

Zé Roberto expressed agreement: “Breno has huge potential,” the 33-year-old declared. The midfielder intends to join forces with centre-half Lucio in spending plenty of time helping the captain of the Brazilian Olympic team acclimatise to life in Munich: “We’ll be there for him when he needs us. The most important thing he can do is learn German as quickly as possible.”

Breno is not alone in Munich, as the centre-half, who first played for his favourite club FC Sao Paulo at the age of 12 and will wear the squad number 35 at Bayern, has brought his entire family with him across the Atlantic. The clan is currently still resident in a hotel, but hope to find permanent accommodation as soon as possible.

Determined to succeed

The young Brazilian laughed off the typically chilly and damp winter weather on Monday, training in persistent rain and temperatures hovering around freezing without gloves or a hat. “The cold isn’t so bad, I don’t have a big problem with the weather,” he insisted. “We prefer it when it isn’t too hot,“ the player’s father added, somewhat against expectations.

Breno is carrying a minor knock from his last game in Brazil and was forced to break off the morning workout a little ahead of time, but his ambitions remain undiminished: “I want to settle as quickly as possible and begin fighting for a place in the team, winning trophies and succeeding.“ Any Brazilian with a winning mentality is always welcome at Bayern!