Lucas Moura, 14 months later

By Ross Mackiewicz

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São Paulo salute wonderkid and champion Lucas Moura with an ‘Obrigado’ as he heads to Paris

O moleque é campeão - the kid is a champion. Last night was Lucas Moura’s final game for São Paulo, a club he’s been a part of since the age of 13. Like many other Brazilians, golden boy Lucas leaves the team as champion and unsung hero, Europe now awaits him…

Through the magic of Lucas’s vision, São Paulo ended their four year trophy draught with a well-earned, but controversial Copa Sudamericana victory over Tigre. Despite the opposition choosing not to play the second half of the final due to security issues and alleged police violence, celebrations inside the São Paulo fortress, known as the Morumbi - recreated a typical Carnaval. And Lucas was the king.

When the moment came for their eternal captain Rogerio Ceni to lift the trophy, as seen on all previous 17 occasions, he gave the honour to Lucas Moura, the club’s superstar, who scored the first goal of the match. He told him:

"Lift up the trophy and write your name into eternity."

After lifting his first trophy for the club, the microphone was passed to an emotional Lucas, who addressed the 67,000 strong roaring Morumbi for one last time:

"I want to thank your support and love, if it wasn’t for you (the fans) then I woudln’t have the pleasure of entering the pitch with this shirt. This title is for you. I love São Paulo and one day I shall return to play for this club."

The entire team hugged the club’s number 7, who’s been their star since making his debut in 2010. He’s been a true artist, a dancer on the pitch and a hero to thousands. His performances in Brazil did not disappoint, which saw him pick up several accolades and attention from the old continent. Naturally, the offers came in, resulting in a horse race between Manchester United and PSG. His destination was the French capital, as he was persuaded by director Leonardo. São Paulo are also happy to see their prodigy move to France, as the Brazilian club will receive a grand €45m in return for his signature.

€45m is a sum higher than what was paid for Kaka, Oscar or Thiago Silva to go overseas; all of whom have flourished (or are flourishing) in Europe. But placing the millions aside, Lucas Moura leaves Brazil as a ‘golden boy’, another star of a promising generation and now as a champion. Greater challenges await him: playing with Zlatan, fighting to conquer PSG’s first Champions League and establishing himself amongst Europe’s best.

As Oscar departed to Chelsea in the summer, with Ganso slightly stagnating and Lucas Moura now flying to Paris; Neymar is the only main talent still shining in Brazil. However, we’ll see them all reunited next summer as they’re all expected to feature in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Até já, moleque! [Posted by o nosso Dom]

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