Almost two months after the last goal, against Olimpia, from Paraguay, in the Pré-Libertadores, Luiz Henrique scored again last Wednesday. And it was a very important goal, which guaranteed a 2-1 victory over Junior Barranquilla, from Colombia, and kept Fluminense alive in the Copa Sudamericana. More than a reunion with the nets, the jewel seems to have experienced a kind of renaissance after the arrival of coach Fernando Diniz.
Luiz Henrique hugs Diniz after scoring again for Fluminense — Photo: Marcelo Gonçalves / Fluminense FC
Shortly after the announcement of its sale to Betis, from Spain, Luiz Henrique had to deal with an ankle injury, with a drop in performance and with the crowd’s demands. A package that shook the confidence of the 21-year-old, who had been one of the highlights of Fluminense since last year. After the match, the striker couldn’t hold back the tears when remembering the difficult moments:
– I’m feeling lighter, I had an injury that let me down a lot. The fans, who I know are very fond of me, were charging me a lot. I put this in my head, along with my family, who needed to help the team, and today thank God (at this moment Luiz Henrique can’t hold back his tears)… I’m helping my team with this victory. Just keep working and everything will be fine.
+ Diniz says that Fluminense is looking for a replacement for Luiz Henrique, but recognizes: “Very difficult”
Luiz Henrique smiling in training: young man is “lighter” with Diniz — Photo: Mailson Santana / Fluminense FC
And the return of confidence was directly related to Diniz. THE ge found that the commander has been charging Luiz Henrique, in training at CT Carlos Castilho, a more offensive posture, to always seek forward plays and avoid withdrawing the ball. Graduated in psychology, the coach wants the shirt 11 to be lighter and happier on the field. And it already paid off.
– The new coach gave us a lot of confidence, he told me to play loose, play happy. And thank God I was able to help the team with one more goal and one more victory – said the striker.
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In celebration of the goal, Luiz Henrique gave Diniz a long and warm hug — Photo: André Durão
In the presentation at Fluminense, last Monday, Diniz talked about the relationship with the players and compared the bond to family relationships. With the role of “big daddy”, the coach praised Luiz Henrique’s ability and believes he has everything to build a great career:
– What I do with the player is a love relationship that only those who close with love understand. The main mission of my life is to help the player to have a dignified life through football. I have a concern for the players that almost no one has, a concern from father to son. (…) My contact with the players is always very close, and with Luiz Henrique it is no different, I consider him a brilliant player, with incredible potential, and I think his career is just beginning. He can take off quite exponentially – said the coach.
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In 22 games this season, Luiz Henrique participated directly in seven of Fluminense’s 39 goals in 2022. In addition to filling the nets of Junior Barranquilla, in the Sudamericana, and Olimpia, in the Pré-Libertadores, the youngster has already provided five assists ( for André, David Braz, Ganso and two for Cano) and is the team’s biggest waiter of the year alongside Yago.
Luiz Henrique celebrates his goal in the game Fluminense x Junior Barranquilla — Photo: André Durão
Aware of Luiz Henrique’s potential, Fernando Diniz, of course, is already worried about the team’s future without one of its main players. The jewel formed in Xerém will transfer to Spain in July, and the club is planning to deal with the absence, but aware that replacing him will be a thankless mission.
– Fluminense is already worried about this situation. Me, arriving, too. I confess that Luiz Henrique is a very rare gem, a very difficult player to replace, because he is very rare. We will monitor as much as possible. Sometimes there are players you like, but the club’s financial condition doesn’t allow you to sign them, but Fluminense is already monitoring them, and so am I.
While Luiz Henrique does not leave, the striker remains as a goalkeeper for Fluminense and is one of the team’s weapons to try to beat Palmeiras for the first time at Allianz Parque. Diniz’s team visits Alviverde this Sunday, at 4 pm (Brasilia time), for the fifth round of the Brazilian Championship. Tricolor lost all eight games they played at the stadium, which opened in 2014.
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