From Viareggio to Serie A top scorer, the boom of Éder



Most Italian football fanatics were awaiting for the likes of Gonzalo Higuaín, Mauro Icardi and Edin Džeko on the top of the list of Serie A scorers – still, after two match days, they have not fulfilled such expectations. With already 4 goals netted in, almost surprisingly, it is Sampdoria’s Éder to hold the capocannoniere award.

The Brazilian-born forward marked the beginning of the 2015-16 season with a comfortable brace in a home game against newly-promoted Carpi. But none could predict two more goals in as many minutes who helped Sampdoria to accomplish a sensational comeback from a 2-0 gap at Napoli.

Éder has always known how to push the ball past opponent goalkeepers, like the homonym 1980s Brazil international, since his early days in Italy. Noted in his homeland by academy giants Empoli before turning 20, he was signed just to partake in the renowned Viareggio world youth football tournament in 2006.

Éder struck six times in the group stage against Inter Soccer Boston, Avellino and Newcastle, but was forced to abandon the game against the British side – a young Andy Carroll scored the final 3-3 goal – in the dying minutes due to a serious injury. He missed the match against Juventus which led the Azzurri to elimination, but six goals in less than 270 minutes sufficed to him to end as the most prolific scorer of the competition.


“The Torneo di Viareggio has been a key point for my career”, Éder maintains in an interview for an ebook. “I was just arrived in a new country and participating in the tournament helped me to understand the core of Italian football. Unluckly, I didn’t play against Juventus as a Newcastle defender knocked me out. However, it was a great tournament both for me and my teammates”.

Few people know Éder might have missed the Torneo di Viareggio because of bureaucracy. “Yes, a problem with the transfer from Brazil came out whilst approaching to the first match. In the end, everything went all right and I could regularly perform in the tournament”.

One year later, Empoli progress up to the semifinals and Éder scored four goals in the third-place match against Belgian giants Anderlecht. He was almost ready for the first team and finally made his Serie A debut a few weeks later. After one year-and-half spent at Frosinone, Éder returned to play for Empoli becoming the Serie B capocannoniere. He then went to play on loan for Brescia and eventually for Cesena, where he scored his first goals in the top-flight division without avoiding relegation.

His football pilgrimage ended in January 2012 when Sampdoria signed him. He helped the Blucerchiati in winning the playoffs and going back to Serie A. Below the lanterna Éder has finally found stability, since he has been playing in Genoa for nearly four years and double figured in the 2013-14 season. If he keeps up scoring with such a proficiency, he may even break his personal record of 12 goals.

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