Léo Matos

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Léo Matos
SM-PAOK (19).jpg
Matos playing for PAOK in 2018
Personal information
Full name Leonardo de Matos Cruz
Date of birth (1986-04-02) April 2, 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth Niteroi, Brazil
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Right back, right midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 3
Youth career
2002–2003 Flamengo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Marseille 0 (0)
2005–2006Flamengo (loan) 8 (4)
2007–2010 Tombense 10 (5)
2007–2008Paraná (loan) 19 (0)
2008Figueirense (loan) 7 (0)
2009–2010Vila Nova (loan) 22 (13)
2010–2014 Chornomorets Odesa 82 (10)
2014–2016 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 26 (1)
2016– PAOK 85 (13)
National team
2003 Brazil U17 6 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 April 2019

Leonardo de Matos Cruz (born April 2, 1986), better known as Léo Matos, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for PAOK in the Greek Superleague as a right back.[1]


Starting from the academies of Flamengo and having been for a short time in Marseille, Leo Matos did not find his best in this small passage from Europe and fought exclusively in his homeland until 2010, when he moved to Ukraine. In Chornomorets Odesa, he learned to focus in defence and remain faithful to tactics. The Chornomorets coach Roman Hryhorchuk, with whom he worked with, before moved to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, was the one who actually helped him to change. "...We watched video every single day, we learned tactics and defense, thinking that in football is not only attack..." has said in an earlier interview.[2] Although he is a full back, he played most of the Chornomorets Odesa matches as a right midfielder, proving he can cover the whole right ring. In summer of 2014, he signed for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk changing his position to left full back, a quite successful move. He participated in the UEFA Europa League final, where his team lost from Sevilla FC.[3]


Léo Matos in 2016

On 8 May 2016, the 30-year-old solved his contract with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk due to serious economic problems of the club and he joined PAOK. The acquisition of the player is expected to be announced after the end of the Superleague playoffs and until then all formalities (medical examinations, duration of contract etc.) with the player will take place.[4] On 18 August 2016, in his third appearance for PAOK, Leo Matos scored a wonderful goal helping the club to escape with a 3-0 away win against FC Dinamo Tbilisi in the UEFA Europa League playoffs.[5] On 11 December 2016, he scored a second-half brace (62', 81'), helping his team to win 3-0 against Platanias at Toumba Stadium.[6] On 17 August 2017, he helped PAOK complete a remarkable turnaround and defeat Östersunds FK 3-1 at home scoring a crucial goal in the second half of the 1st leg of the UEFA Europa League play-offs.[7] On 30 September 2017, he scored his first goal for the 2017-18 Super League season in a 1-1 away draw against AEL[8] On 22 October 2017, the club unofficially announced that his contract will be extended till the summer of 2021 with better financial earnings.[9] On 20 December he scored a brace in a 5-1 away Greek Cup win against Trikala On 6 January 2018, he opened the score in a 5-0 home win against Levadiakos.[10], and he repeated a week later in the next matchday in a 3-0 away win against Kerkyra.[11] On 15 September 2018, he scored his first goal for the 2018-19 Super League season, as he rose highest to head home from a corner in the fifth minute of added time just before the referee blew the half-time whistle, in a 3-1 away win against OFI.[12] On 16 March 2019, he scored as rose to head home Diego Biseswar’s right-wing corner with Nikos Giannakopoulos helpless to react in time, sealing a vital 2-1 away win against Panetolikos in his club's rally to win the first championship title since 1985.[13] On 3 April 2019, he scored a brace in the Greek Cup semifinal 1st leg to earn a 2-0 advantage ahead of the second leg against Asteras Tripoli. PAOK were only 1-0 up deep into stoppage time, but after Walter Iglesias received a red card, Matos scored his second goal with a wonderful half-volley which sailed beyond the outstretched grasp of Giorgos Athanasiadis.[14]

International career[edit]

There were talks of possible naturalization of him to play for the Ukraine national football team,[15] and eventually succeeded to gain a second citizenship.


Brazil U-17

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk



  1. ^ "Leo Matos signs for PAOK".
  2. ^ Το προφίλ του Λέο Μάτος που παίρνει ο ΠΑΟΚ; Retrieved 9 May 2016
  3. ^ Leo Matos; Retrieved 8 June 2016
  4. ^ Λέο Μάτος ο 1ος του νέου ΠΑΟΚ; Retrieved 6 May 2016
  5. ^ "Dinamo Tbilisi - PAOK 0-3".
  6. ^ ΠΑΟΚ σε… Λέο, 3-0 τον Πλατανιά; Retrieved 11 December 2016
  7. ^ "PAOK-Oestersuds FK 3-1". www.uefa.com. 17 August 2017.
  8. ^ "O Κρίζμαν σοκάρε τον ΠΑΟΚ, 1-1 στη Λάρισα". www.sport24.gr. 30 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Μάτος: Μία πρόταση 1,8 εκατ. ευρώ έφερε ανανέωση!". www.sport24.gr. 22 October 2017.
  10. ^ "ΠΑΟΚ - Λεβαδειακός 5-0" (in Greek). www.sdna.gr. 6 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Κέρκυρα - ΠΑΟΚ 0-3" (in Greek). www.gazzetta.gr. 14 January 2018.
  12. ^ "ΟΦΗ - ΠΑΟΚ 1-3". www.gazzetta.gr. 15 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Παναιτωλικός - ΠΑΟΚ 1-2: Ανατροπή πρωταθλητή με ηγέτη τον Βιεϊρίνια" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 16 March 2018.
  14. ^ "ΠΑΟΚ - Αστέρας 2-0: Το δεύτερο γκολ του Μάτος στο 96'" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 3 April 2019.
  15. ^ Шаг навстречу. Луис Адриано и еще 8 иностранцев, рассчитывавших на сборную Украины

External links[edit]