The ball came into Da Costa’s feet and he was facing Peter Rasmussen, one of the best defenders in the game. Any other player would have played the simple pass back but not Da Costa, he saw moves that simply weren’t available to lesser skilled players. He dropped his left shoulder selling Rasmussen the dummy just enough to make space, in one whirling movement he put his right foot on top of the ball dragging it to the side, followed by his left foot rolling the ball forwards and past Rasmussen’s attempted tackle. The crowd gasped and cheered, they were used to seeing Da Costa make a fool of a defender but that was something special. He was through on goal, one on one with the big Russian goalkeeper Boris Karlov, one more touch to get the ball out of his feet and boom, he slammed the ball into the bottom right corner, unstoppable.
If only it had meant something.
It was an exhibition match and his goal was no more than a late consolation. The score was 3-1 but there was a clear man of the match: Da Costa.
Born in Rio De Janeiro, a stone’s throw from the famous Maracana stadium, his is not a typical Brazilian footballer success story. Though he was a good player as a child he never stood out playing 11-a-side football, it was on the futsal pitches that he shone and he was soon playing in the top futsal league in Brazil. This year Da Costa joined the FASISAC training camp for the exhibition matches that started bringing this version of the sport onto the big stage.
There are few (if any) players who have adapted to this format so explosively as Anderson Cruz Da Costa. ACDC, as his fans have nicknamed him has got the whole package: he’s great at beating defenders, he can finish and he rarely gets caught out defensively. Managing him is a pleasure, play a direct game and his speed and dribbling are a great asset, try to keep possession and work the ball into an attack and his passing and movement will delight you. I’d be surprised if he isn’t a first round draft pick.