Saturday was a special day for two 18-year-old boys that we will probably still hear a lot about. As soon as Vasco’s victory over Tombense ended, a game they put in their pockets and decided like grown-ups, Andrey Santos and Marlon Gomes went close to the crowd, participated in the party and hugged each other.
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Andrey and Marlon have been friends for a few years now, so it’s nothing new for them to be together protagonists in a football match. This has already happened in the lower categories of the club also in the Brazilian youth teams. But this was the first for Vasco’s main team. And in front of so many people, more than 20 thousand fans, in São Januário.
Friendship from the base: Marlon Gomes and Andrey Santos shine at Vasco and the national team
– Thank God Marlon and I are very good friends, both on and off the field, since the under-15, now in the professional. I’m living a dream, and living a dream with a companion, a friend who is always supporting me. It’s one lifting the other always – said Andrey after the match.
“I’m very happy with the crowd screaming our name, we just want to repay that on the field”, he added.
Marlon Gomes and Andrey Santos embrace after Vasco’s victory over Tombense — Photo: Daniel Ramalho / CRVG
The two met at Vasco in 2017, when Marlon was picked up at Nova Iguaçu and arrived to play in the club’s under-15. They even shared the same room in the São Januário accommodation.
Although they are very similar in age, the players were born in different years, which in the midst of football has an influence when it comes to separating athletes into categories at clubs and national teams. Andrey is from 2004 and turned 18 in May. Marlinho, in turn, was born in 2003 and turns 19 in December.
That’s why they only started playing together frequently from the under-17 onwards, with Andrey always one category above his age – he captains the Brazilian under-20 team at 18, for example.
– Playing with him on my side is too easy, we understand each other from the base, since we were 14 together. He is magnificent, I complete him too, and so we go. It was like that in the selection and it is like that now in Vasco too – said Marlon Gomes.
Together, Andrey Santos and Marlon Gomes won the Campeonato Carioca, the Copa and the Supercopa do Brasil under-20 two years ago, alongside a very promising crop. They also disputed the Copinha for the first time now in 2022, when Vasco was eliminated in the quarterfinals by São Paulo.
Andrey was integrated into the professional right after Copinha, although he started to play regularly only in April, from the fourth round of Série B. Marlon was called up for a transition period alongside Eguinaldo in July. The game against Tombense, when he scored his first professional goal, was only his second as a starter.
Friendship at the service of selection
The partnership between Andrey and Marlon migrated from Vasco to the Brazilian team, where the two are also used to playing together. Excited after the victory over Tombense, hugging his teammate right out of the field, the midfielder prophesied:
“God willing, we’ll see each other soon in the main Brazilian team.”
Andrey Santos and Marlon Gomes at the service of the Brazilian under-20 team — Photo: Disclosure / CBF
They were called up together for the main base teams, which are the under-15, under-17 and under-20. Last year, they were also part of the under-18 runner-up delegation of the Revelations Cup, held in Mexico City.
The CBF does not count the number of athletes’ summons, but the number of matches for which they were listed wearing hopscotch: Andrey has 33 games and Marlon has 17.
As they are important pieces for Vasco’s main team, however, the two were left out of the under-20 call-up released this Monday by coach Ramon Menezes, for a tournament that will be played in Uruguay. Eguinaldo and Erick Marcus are the Vasco representatives on the list.
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