The Magician has arrived
THIAGO SILVA - Since leaving his hometown of Presidente Prudente in the interior of the state of São Paulo, Camilo Sanvezzo travelled the world playing soccer in Brazil, Malta and South Korea before landing in Canada as the Vancouver Whitecaps’ new striker. Not only does the Vancouver team, which made its debut in the Major League Soccer (MLS) this year, have the admiration of tens of thousands of fans, but Sanvezzo is impressed with the fans themselves.
“Our team is in last place but the stadium is always full; 20 thousand people show up and no seat remains empty. Extraordinary. In Brazil, no one would show up if their team was in last place,” said Sanvezzo.
A fan of Santos FC and Neymar, Sanvezzo does not hide his admiration for his teammates, especially for Davide Chiumiento, who speaks some Portuguese and can communicate with him with greater ease. Sanvezzo is trying to learn English but with busy training schedule, he does not have much time to study.
“There are classes for players that have just arrived in Canada, but they’re only once a week and sometimes I can’t go to class because of training and travel. I often resort to studying online,” explained Sanvezzo.
His excellent performance on the field is reflected in the enthusiasm of the fans who take banners with his name to the stadium to see him play. Young fans Luis Henrique and Leandro Seda not only displayed a banner, but also managed to get an autograph from their idol after the August 7th game in which Sanvezzo scored a goal in the team’s 4-2 victory over the Chicago Fire.
“He got in a lot of good plays. What we want to do is isolate him more often so he can take guys on because that’s his strength,” said head coach Tom Soehn.
Known as “O Mágico” (the magician), his abilities on the field have also translated into a special participation in the next FIFA 12 videogame by Electronic Arts. Sanvezzo wore a sensored suit that allowed the the video game producers to capture his every movement in a process called “motion capture” to be used as reference for the game’s virtual soccer player.
Sanvezzo’s contract with the Whitecaps runs until the end of this season and he intends to renew it and stay in Vancouver with his wife Jessica. Sanvezzo says he likes the city, specifically because the streets are safe.
“I was a bit worried on the day of the Stanley Cup Final when they flipped cars, but it’s a good place to live, a beautiful city, and very peaceful. It’s very good here and I see myself living here for a long time.” he concluded.