Thiago Rodrigues da Silva, commonly known as Mosquito is a young Brazilian striker who had one of the biggest reputation in Brazil after his exploits in its youth competitions. After the U17 World Cup, he was being lauded for his performances and the top clubs were all circling the youngster looking for his signature. As this was happening, he remained humble but also at the same time very ambitious. As he explained, when discussing the potential of his partnership with Nathan, -another young Brazilian prospect;
“All we want to do is be a good pair out on the pitch,” Mosquito said. “One day we might be like Bebeto and Romario or Ganso and Neymar, but right now our only job is to develop and grow because we are still young.”
The 2013 Brazil U17 team was seen as one of the most exciting youth teams in the past decade. And, the person leading the team was that young goalscoring prodigy, Mosquito. His goalscoring exploits were just as impressive as his movement and ability to link up with other players. The match against Slovakia was the highlight of his tournament in which he scored a hattrick.
So why now only two years later, does he finds himself in the shadows of his Brazilian peers. He is now on fringes of Spanish segunda side, UE Llagostera. And, has struggled to make any real impact on the team or league. Not only that, but some of his teammates he shone with in that impressive U17 World Cup team, like Boschilia (AS Monaco), Nathan and Kenedy (Chelsea FC), Danilo Barbosa (Valencia CF), Abner (Real Madrid CF) among others. Are now, all playing regular competitive football but some are even playing for some of the world’s top clubs. So, where has it all gone wrong for Mosquito? Why does he find himself on the fringes of Spanish 2nd division minnows, UE Llagostera.
Well, simply put, Mosquito is just one of the many young Brazilian prospects tangled in football politics or disputes, in which there never is any real winner. Vasco de Gama, a club who have recently been notoriously bad in this respect was were Mosquito started out his career. And, he sadly was caught up in the middle of an internal dispute which lead to him leaving the club in 2011. Just like another young Brazilian prodigy, Indio who would also experience similar issues with Vasco years later. As the website, the National states;
“Mosquito turned 16 on January 6, 2012. Managed by Gustavo Arribas, a business partner and long-time associate of Israeli “super agent” Pini Zahavi, he was expected to sign his first professional contract with Vasco. It never materialised. Instead, Mosquito vanished from the Rio club amid claims they had failed to pay his stipend and provide medical and transportation vouchers.”
During, a very important time in his career he found himself in the midst of a club and agent dispute with Vasco de Gama which left him without a club for ten months. He spent ten months on the sidelines as this was going on and after his stint away from football, he was signed by Clube Atlético Paranaense.Embed from Getty Images
Even when he did eventually find a new club, he was caught up in yet another dispute which would result in punishment for his new club. According to website, the National;
“The move proved particularly contentious as his new club were deemed to have broken an agreement dictating Brazilian teams would not offer contracts to young players in disputes with other clubs. The fallout from Mosquito’s move saw Atletico temporarily banned from some official youth-level competitions.”
He joined the club officially on 29 October 2012 but because of his camp’s on-going dispute with Vasco and Atletico PR’s ban, he would make his debut a year later in February 2014. He had tried months before signing with Atletico PR to join Sao Paolo FC who he had agreed all the terms with only for it to collapse at the last minute. He spent months without competitive football until the start of 2013 U17 World Cup. This is where he would show the whole world his amazing potential. However, after the tournament when his name was still on most spectators lips, he was still suffering the effects of the Atletico PR’s ban. He couldn’t show interested suitors his talents after the world cup until it was over so another few months of no competitive football followed.
He then made his debut for Atletico PR first team on the 2nd of February 2014, after 15 months of relative inactivity at the age of 18 years old. He played scoring his side’s only goal in a 2-1 loss against Rio Branco for the Campeonato Paranaense championship. This would be the rare glimpse of quality he would show during his time at Altetico PR and he would finish the season with fifteen appearances but only one and one assist to show for it.Embed from Getty Images
Due to his less than impressive first season, he was sold to Desportivo Brasil on a free transfer. Who went on to loan him back to Vasco and eventually sell him to Spanish Segunda side UE Llagostera for an undisclosed fee. Where he has struggled to adapt and make an impact on the first team and has spent most of his stint there on the bench so far. What started out as an exciting journey to possibly one of Brazil’s future superstar is starting to appear like a tale of what if. Brazil’s and especially Vasco de Gama constant disputes with youngsters representatives over wages is not only ruining its future stars but also the club’s image. Hopefully, in the future similar mistakes are not repeated and we won’t see another tale of youngsters careers being ruined off the pitch than on it.