Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Who is he? Where does he play?

Bernard Anicio Caldeira Duarte- known lazily as Bernard, is a 20 year old attacking midfielder who plays in Brazil with Atletico Mineiro. He is a tiny 5ft 4 inches, but there has been no trouble in noticing his talents, as he becomes coveted by many clubs around Europe.

Aww... he sounds so tiny! 

And you sound so patronising! He has experienced problems over his height before, being rejected twice by Mineiro as a teenager and called-back once the directors realised the errors of their ways. He had to receive Lionel Messi-style growth hormone to treat his small size as a child, but similarly to the Argentine, it has not held him back as he has helped Mineiro to a 2nd place finish in the Brasilierao as well as 2 State Championships.

He's been playing well then?

So well that he won the "Revelation of the 2012 Brasilierao" award for best newcomer as well as the Superclasico De Las Americas with Brazil, with whom he already has 3 caps. Combining an quick burst of pace with sublime dribbling skills, Bernard offers his own brand of technical flair to Mineiro's front-line together with Ronaldinho, Jo and Diego Tardelli. It is no surprise to see Mineiro going so well in the Copa Libertadores, having reached the semi-finals. 

And Bernard is playing a huge role?

He is, starting mostly on the left-side of the attack, he is often seen drifting across the fluent front 3 like a troublesome rogue, using a deft touch and close control to link play up in the final third, creating chances with a fine pass, or showing an eye for goal with 20 goals coming from 94 appearances with Mineiro. What he lacks in physical presence, he makes up for with tenacious pressing, refusing to shy away from imposing defenders who he glides past with guile and gifted quick-feet. Bernard's reading of the game and intelligence is surprisingly impressive for a youngster, showing an ability to find space to receive the ball in threatening positions and to also track his man when doing his defensive work, coaches will be highly fond of his diligence off the ball.

You mentioned he was being tracked by a few clubs?

Spartak Moscow saw a £9.8 million bid rejected back in December  whilst Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested in the Brazilian youngster as they seek to replace Mario Gotze. However, it is Spurs who are said to be leading the race for the left-sided attacker as they have been long-term admirers.  Mineiro are said to be after £15 million for Bernard, who has realistic ambitions of making Brazil's World Cup squad for next summer. 

Not sold: we have a couple of videos for you.......

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