Name: Diogo Luis Santo
DOB: May 26, 1987
Diogo Luis Santo or simply in typical Brazilian style 'Diogo' was born on the 26th of May, 1987 in the trade town of Uberaba located in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. He started his professional career with the small São Paulo Club of Portuguesa de Desportos and has been there ever since. He has represented and is currently a member of the Brazilian U20 team.
Diogo played well with Portuguesa for his first few seasons, attracting interest from the ever vigilant Arsenal that made two unsuccessful bids for him. He really showed his true colours however, in a dominant performance in the 2007 season. He starred for Portuguesa, destroying defenses right and left on his way to netting 29 goals with 18 in 24 games in the league. These statistics were good enough to earn him the honour of being the top scorer in the Serie B for that season. He was consequently named the best player in Serie B by the FBA. His goal scoring helped Portuguesa to finish third and gain promotion to the Brazilian top division. Currently, he has already scored four goals in eight games in the top flight. Performances like that were bound to make the big European clubs sit up and take notice--and take notice they did.
Recent Transfer Rumours
The proficiency of this rising Brazilian star has recently led to another bid from Arsenal (reportedly €9 million) and a bid from an unnamed Italian club (roughly €12 million). Benifica, Fiorentina and Olympiacos have also reportedly shown interest in the youngster. Yet the bids of Arsenal and the Italian club were shot down by Portuguesa with the club president Manuel da Lupa having said that they aim to get the most money they can for Diogo, a price reported to be around €20 million. However, the club’s sporting director; Andre Heleno, has said that they will start thinking of selling him at around €15 million while his buy-out clause is set at €16 million. This seemingly exorbitant price tag could easily be justified if Diogo continues his proficient scoring in the Serie A and becomes a fixture with the Seleção. His chance will have to come in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers though, since Dunga has left him off the squad for this summer’s Beijing Olympics despite his proven goal scoring potency. Yet even if his major suitor, Arsenal, manages to sign him, it is unlikely that he would be able to play straight away because of passport rules. Thus a loan to Arsenal’s Spanish partner, UD Salamanca, would be most likely.
Diogo is an immensely skilful forward who is able to create and finish goal scoring opportunities, knowing exactly how and when to mix power and finesse. This skill is accompanied by a poaching ability to rival that of Ruud van Nistelrooy. He exercises calm on the ball and is the possessor of an incredible first touch and pin point passing ability. His ability is able to maneuver equally with both feet is exceptional and he is also a lethal force in the air. Whether it be in the box, outside the box, on the ground or in the air, Diogo is also poised and ready to strike. Manuel da Lupa has said that Diogo is as good as if not better than AC Milan’s teenage sensation, Alexandre Pato. He added that Diogo has only shown 50% of his capability so far due to injuries. That is high praise indeed and, from what he has shown, only fine tuning is needed to create a new world class talent. The world watches in anticipation.