Gordinho makes his pres­ence felt at Chiefs

CityPress - - Sport - TIM­O­THY MOLOBI tim­o­thy@city­press.co.za

If Brazil boasts the likes of Ronald­inho, Robinho and Coutinho, South Africa may end up with the brag­ging rights of Gordinho.

The 21-year-old de­fender is fast en­trench­ing him­self in the hearts of Kaizer Chiefs sup­port­ers af­ter backto-back man of the match per­for­mances.

A fort­night ago, Lorenzo Gordinho’s goal helped Kaizer Chiefs beat Bid­vest Wits and, last week­end, he pro­duced an­other ster­ling per­for­mance against Mamelodi Sun­downs. But he is not get­ting car­ried away. “I am not un­der any pres­sure be­cause I have been work­ing hard to raise my game. I never lost hope and knew my chance would come be­cause I be­lieve in and trust my abil­ity. I just have to keep on work­ing hard and con­tinue with the mo­men­tum,” said Gordinho.

From be­ing a bench­warmer un­der Stu­art Bax­ter last sea­son to a reg­u­lar un­der Steve Kom­phela, Gordinho said he wanted to es­tab­lish him­self in the Chiefs team.

He has fea­tured five times so far this sea­son com­pared to the lone ap­pear­ance he made in the last game of the soc­cer cal­en­dar against Chippa United, when the Absa Premier­ship ti­tle was al­ready in the bag.

“I never lost sleep when I was not play­ing. All I did was to keep on work­ing hard, and my hard work has paid off. I am in a happy space now.”

Gordinho knows his lim­i­ta­tions and is work­ing hard to im­prove his game.

The for­mer Un­der-17 and Un­der-20 de­fender says the thought of go­ing to the Rio Olympics in Au­gust has been a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for him so far.

“I re­ally want to make the team, and I be­lieve if I con­tinue do­ing well I will stand a good chance of go­ing there. But it is too early to talk about that now and my fo­cus is on help­ing the team do well in the com­ing matches.”

He says he was in­spired by his fa­ther, Manny Faria, who played for Or­lando Pi­rates and Benoni United.

“He is the per­son I looked up to; he has been there for me and I want to sur­pass him. I want to win tro­phies for Chiefs.”

Gordinho says he has been get­ting guid­ance from se­nior play­ers at the club and sin­gled out Itume­leng Khune as a men­tor.

“He gets a lot of at­ten­tion and has man­aged to re­main hum­ble. He has spo­ken to me about how to con­duct my­self and I also be­lieve that hu­mil­ity can bring suc­cess.”

With com­pe­ti­tion ever on the in­crease at Chiefs, par­tic­u­larly with the re­turn of Mor­gan Gould and Daniel Car­doso from in­jury, Gordinho says he wel­comes healthy ri­val­ries.

He will be look­ing to re­tain his po­si­tion in the team when they play Bloem­fontein Celtic at the Free State Sta­dium this af­ter­noon and when they host Plat­inum Stars at their home away from home, Cape Town Sta­dium, on Satur­day.

PHOTO: CARL FOURIE / GALLO IM­AGES

A STAR IN THE MAK­ING? Lorenzo Gordinho has seen a lot of game time this sea­son

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