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I get to practice early in the morning and I’m greeted by a cool breeze in the air for what is initially a warm morning. After some time, the team steps into the field and goes through their warm-ups and drills. I intently watch Pedroso trying to get a look at the type of player he is. Quick on and off the ball and always looking around, thinking about what he wants to do with the ball or looking how to exploit space. On defense, he very solid and plays the ball, using he instinct and experience to win the ball. He fights for each ball, a true ball winner.

After practice, I get my chance to speak with Marquinhos and we both sit under the shade taking advantage of the break from the sun. I ask him how it all began and with his face lighting up and a big smile he responds,

“My first memories is with the ball. My entire life [has been] with the ball.” He joyously spoke of his time in Brazil with a twinkle in his eye remembering his youth.

“In Brazil, soccer is everything. So here, maybe the guys when they were child, they wanted to be a basketball player or an American football player but me, I wanted to be [a] soccer player. My first memories were watching the Brazilian National team and playing with my dad. I told myself I want to be a soccer player, I want to be a soccer player. I worked and fought hard and now here I am playing professionally and with a big club trying to win championships.”

After talking about his youth, I quizzed him on his debut as a pro, and like a kid that is proud of their artwork they show to their parents, he vividly recalled his first moments:

“It was a dream come true. It was with my first club and it was like a dream. I was so emotional playing and my whole family was there. It was in the same city that I started playing in so it was more special. My friends were there and there aren’t words to describe it but it was like a dream come true.”

We progressed on more talking about his playing career and his time in Europe. He recalled his challenges and told me some of the difference in each club he was at.

“In Brazil, we have big players and we are known for having the best players in the world. On the professional side it is very different and in Brazil, it is not the same. In Brazil, we will do some training but they are not so hard as it is here. Of course, everyone knows that Brazil has the best players as you can see the UEFA Champions League, you know? The differences, the game is a little bit fast[er]. We have a lot of good players there, big players there. I played against Quaresma, Van Persie, Sneijder, you have big teams there like Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Besiktas. They pay very well for those guys over there and it was a big championship and a nice experience. I got to be more of a professional and learned how to play with the team and some new exercises. It was a stronger championship and the guys are very strong and very tall and you have to be prepared 150% to play and it is a very difficult championship. The technique style is not the best but it is very strong but not like England but similar to England is very strong but you have a lot of good players with good technique. Turkey is similar to the Brazilian championship as we have really good players there as they play all over the world and are very experienced.”

He spoke fondly of his time in Europe and was more than happy to talk about Brazil and his time playing in Brazil and Europe. I asked about somethings that he learned as a pro:

“I learned more about the tactical side as I got the chance to learn with big coaches. I had the opportunity to be coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari at Gremio as he is one of the best, but maybe not now as he is older and coaching in China, but he is a big coach and coach. He is a very experienced guy and I learned a lot of the tactical side. You know, when you are 18 you already know so much on the technical side. You can grow a little bit [technically] but you are already that player but you learn how to grow on top of the technical side.”

After learning about his youth and earlier playing career, I was curious to learn why he chose FC Dallas and what he thought of the team.

“It is a big club in [the] USA, all the years they fight for the championship and this year is no different. They have a very strong team and they like each other. The locker room is very good as well as the team. Before I came, I already know this club because it is a big team and we have everything here and they have big things.”

By now the sun was getting even warmer but Pedroso didn’t seem fazed by the heat. I would think that he has had some experience playing in the heat and I was curious about his transition to the US.

“I have been meeting the city and have gone to the lake. The city is very nice. I can be with my wife and my dog and we have gone to the Reunion Tower and it has a very nice view. The first weeks was hard as I was on vacation, and I had to rest and sleep but these the things that you have to do but we have everything.

The move here is good as the only problem was my visa. The stay here is good and the club is making sure I’m okay and they are helping and taking care of me. Going to Canada was fine, I was only there for two days but it was fine. The food here is good and perfect and looks like the Brazilian food too. The USA food is similar to Brazilian food and we have a lot of Mexican restaurants and they have a lot of similar Brazilian food. The club offers everything here to you, good training pitches, good facility, locker rooms, recovering, they take care of you. The only problem was my visa but it’s nothing. “

It’s nice to know that he isn’t alone and that his wife came as well as the dog that won some fans over seems to be enjoying its transition. Having some support can really make the difference for a player as we saw with Nedyalkov. He also gave his thoughts on the league sprinkled throughout the interview.

“I know that I can grow here because it is becoming a big league. The big players have come here like Zlatan and now Rooney and so I know that I can come here and grow as a player and person with my teammates.

The US gets to host the 2026 world cup and the game is growing and each year it gets better and better and it think things are headed in the right direction.

Now, here, I think this sport is growing here in America, like 20 years ago, they had the World Cup here and the next 2, 3 years it went up but now went down. Now it’s up again and we have a lot of foreign people here and this can help grow the soccer here. People are investing in soccer with all types of people.”

To help give fans a comparison, I asked him which player he played most similarly too.

“The player that people would be would be most like Alex Sandro for Juventus. He is a mix of Marcelo and Filipe Luis. Luis is a very good player, very strong, very confident, lots of experience. A lot of Champions League games and final. He is different from Marcelo. Of course, everyone knows that Marcelo is a very big player but Filipe Luis is the best one for the place in Brazil as we have too many attackers but he can attack too. So yeah most like Filipe Luis and Alex Sandro because it’s hard to find a guy who can defend well and attack and that’s like me. I think that I more safe behind here and strong but I can also go forward and attack and do strong.”

We talked more about his personal interests and I wanted to see his outlook as a fan of the game. When asked who his favorite player of all time was, the same big smile was on his face and he looks off at the practice field, reminiscing.

“My favorite player of all time is Ronaldo, the number 9, yeah! I remember growing up in 2002 and he scored two goals in the final. The players are older now but everyone knows that Ronaldo was a fantastic player. If I got to see him, oh my gosh, it would be like, Ronaldo I have to take a picture with me (you)!

I think its always interesting to learn about the family lineage and so I asked him about what it was like being a dual-citizen. He kinda bashfully answers,

“Really, I don’t have nothing for the Italian side. It was my mother of my grandmother so I didn’t get to meet her but it’s good to have a European passport but I am totally Brazilian. While I do have family that is Italy and have emotions for Italy but I am totally Brazilian.”

I just had to know what it was like being a Brazilian in Brazil during the 2014 World. He spoke with much passion and joy about the subject.

“Up until the game against Germany, it was perfect. It was like if someone in your family had died [but] it was incredible. Everyone was thinking about the football. Maybe we aren’t the same Brazil now but the TV was like we have to fix this, we have to change this, Germany is world champion now, they investing in young players and don’t sell the young talent. But it was very nice up until this game. The feeling was perfect. The Brazilian games, nobody works, nothing works in Brazil when the Brazilian team is playing. In the city even when Brazil is not playing and the game is happening, everything stops. Everybody loves football.”

Those who are familiar with Pedroso’s Instagram know that he’s been to quite a few places and I wanted to know what his thoughts were on traveling and what were some of his favorite places. With a laugh he says,

“Yeah yeah, I like [to] travel! By far my favorite play place is Bara Bara. French Polynesia was so different. It was something very different. I am from Brazil and so I love [the] beach. The beach is one of the best things. Bora Bora was very good. In cities, I think Vienna or Budapest was very pretty and nice city. Budapest was very nice too. Dubai is totally different from everything. You see gold everywhere, expensive cars, expensive cars, exotic things. It was a very nice place.”

It was so much fun to sit down and talk with Pedroso. He is such a calm guy and really down to earth. Really takes the time to answer your questions and has a “enjoy life to its fullest” attitude about him. What really stood out to me was how patient he was and that he seemed interested and had fun with it. He was one of the first people to finish practice and by the end of the interview, it was just the field hands but he didn’t seem fazed by that and didn’t seem in any rush. I saw him do really well in practice, super strong on defense and knows when to bomb forward. A good Reggie compliment so I’ll let his play do the talking. I can’t speak enough about how great of a person he is. It seems like he could be friends with anyone.

I had a lot of fun doing the interview and talking with him and writing this up. I hope you all enjoy as well.

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