PSG Have Signed A Ball Playing Star Defender

PSG Have Signed A Ball Playing Star Defender

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The international break is usually seen as an unwelcome break from the highs of club football, especially at the business end of the season. However, sometimes, these games show us a glimpse of how a national team is progressing. One such occasion was this week’s friendly, where a heavily rotated Brazilian side secured a win against England at Wembley Stadium. In fact, there were seven debutants in the match, well, eight if you include manager Dorival Junior. One of them was PSG’s Lucas Beraldo, who put up a brilliant display at the heart of Selecao’s defence.

Other players who debuted alongside Beraldo were Bento, Fabricio Bruno, Wendell, Joao Gomes, Pablo Maia, and Girona star Savio. Beraldo, in January, made his trans-Atlantic move as he left Sao Paulo to the allure of Paris. This was more than enough proof of his talent, and one of the top clubs in world football signed him up before integrating him straight into the playing 11.

And now Beraldo has proved his worth in the Selecao jersey. So, how good is Lucas Beraldo, and could he be a part of Brazil’s golden generation?

Lucas Beraldo profile 

Born in Piracicaba, a city in Sao Paulo, on November 24, 2003, Beraldo’s first stint at the youth level was with União Barbarense, who play in the Campeonato Paulista Segunda Divisão, the fifth division of the Sao Paulo football structure. However, he would spend only one year at the club before joining another local club, XV de Piracicaba.

After spending two more years at the club, he was finally offered a chance to join the famed Sao Paulo youth academy. Beraldo grabbed this opportunity with both hands, making his mark in the youth ranks. In his first season, he played for the under-20 side, helping them reach the final of the CBF Brasileiro U20.

The following season, he finally made his senior team debut on May 26, 2002, in the Copa Sudamericana tournament. Almost two months later, he also made his league debut against Internacional. In addition, he played seven times in the famous youth tournament, where Copinha scored one goal and helped his team reach the semi-finals.

At the start of the 2023 season, Beraldo would become an integral part of the senior team, and by the end of it, he was probably one of the few positives in a season where Sao Paulo finished 11th in the league.

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Lucas Beraldo stats 

In the 2023 season, Beraldo played 24 times in the league, scoring one goal. This was the major test in his young career, and he came out of it with flying colors. He averaged an impressive passing success rate of 88.7 per cent. His cross-success ratio was also a remarkable 50 per cent, while his duel success rate stood at 57.1 per cent.

Stats from fbref show that he ranked among the top nine percentile of defenders in terms of successful passes. What made him brilliant was his impressive passes, be it short, medium, or long. Beraldo is also extremely skilled at making threatening passes from deadball situations. In fact, he was among the top four percentile of defenders for creating goal-bound shots from deadball passes.

Beraldo’s extreme calmness on the ball is well coupled with his impeccable tackling, which often helped Sao Paulo recover from a vulnerable situation. The centre-back won 1.56 tackles in the defensive third, among the top six percentile of defenders, and 0.78 tackles in the middle half of the pitch, among the top nine percentile.

However, one of his best stats of the season was his 1340 forward passes, averaging 27.5 per 90 minutes, the third-best average in the league. This is an impressive stat, as Sao Paulo didn’t play a system that encouraged ball-playing centre-backs. However, such is his talent that Beraldo somehow managed to incorporate his strengths into a system that was not suitable for it.

Joining Paris Saint Germain was a massive change not only in the environment but also in quality. The defender, however, has elevated his game already, making 15 appearances across Ligue 1, Champions League, Coupe de France, and Trophée des Champions. One interesting stat is that PSG have lost no game in which he has played until now.

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Lucas Beraldo style of play  

As mentioned earlier, Beraldo is a defender who loves to have the ball at his feet. However, the defender seems to have married his impressive passing with Brazilian dribbling flair. This makes him adept at passing and moving the ball forward, something visible in his heatmap from the 2023 season.

One thing that makes him a rare entity is his left-footedness. Usually, he formed a strong partnership with his left-back while moving the ball up the pitch. In passing, his greatest strength is vertical passing, which he uses to find the best-positioned teammate. Beraldo also covers a lot of ground, which is one of the reasons why Liverpool were also a keen admirer of the Brazilians.

At Sao Paulo, however, Beraldo was often tasked with taking the most risks in the backline, which caused him to make errors several times. However, at PSG, he will not only play in a system that plays to his strengths but will also have world-class teammates who will ensure that Beraldo can exhibit his talent to the fullest.

Lucas Beraldo potential 

After Brazil’s heartbreak at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there were calls for the addition of younger players into the squad who would be the next generation of the five-time world champions. Thus, players like Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Eder Militao were entrusted with more responsibilities while inexperienced but talented youngsters like Endrick Felipe and Vitor Roque were called up to the national squad. Beraldo is the beneficiary of this system, and he didn’t disappoint helping his team keep a clean sheet on his international debut,

PSG are changing their transfer strategy from signing superstars for an exorbitant fee to signing young, talented players who could become stars in the future with the proper training and guidance. And it is here that a player like Beraldo will find all the help he needs to take his career to the next level.



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