Damião playing for Brazil in 2011
|Full name||Leandro Damião da Silva
|Date of birth||22 July 1989|
|Place of birth||Jardim Alegre, Brazil|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
(on loan from Santos)
|2015||→ Cruzeiro (loan)||23||(4)|
|2016||→ Betis (loan)||3||(0)|
|2016–2017||→ Flamengo (loan)||22||(5)|
|2017–||→ Internacional (loan)||12||(6)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10 October 2017.
Leandro Damião da Silva dos Santos (Brazilian Portuguese: [leˈɐ̃dɾu daˈmjɐ̃w̃]; born 22 July 1989), known as Leandro Damião or simply Damião, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Brazilian club Internacional on loan from Santos as a striker. He has been capped at international level by Brazil.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Honours
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Damião began his career as a midfielder, playing for local teams in Jardim Alegre, Paraná. Having failed a trial as a midfielder at Atlético Ibirama, he had a new opportunity as a striker and was signed by team.
Damião was first loaned to XV de Outubro de Indaial before playing the 2008 Campeonato Brasileiro Série C for Marcílio Dias; he would later join Atlético Tubarão in the same year. Back to Atlético Ibirama, he scored 12 goals in the 2009 Campeonato Catarinense and was transferred to Internacional.
At Internacional, he won three titles with the club's under-20 side and earned a call-up to the B team. He scored twice in his Campeonato Gaúcho debut and was then called up to the first team for their 2010 Copa Libertadores campaign. Damião won his first major title in August 2010 when he helped Internacional defeat Guadalajara in the Copa Libertadores Finals. He scored the club's second goal in their second leg victory in Porto Alegre to win the competition 5–3 on aggregate. His performances at the Porto Alegre club earned him a place in the Brazil national football team and praise from Ronaldo, also drawing the interest of European clubs.
During the 2013 summer, he had offers from English side Tottenham Hotspur and Italian club Napoli. He was close to join the Italian side, but the deal fell through because "sponsorship contracts made it impossible". Even though the club bought Gonzalo Higuaín after failing to land the Brazilian striker, Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis later stated that Rafa Benítez wanted Damião instead of Higuaín.
After a season below standards with Internacional (only 13 goals in nearly 50 matches), Damião signed with fellow top-divisioner Santos FC in December, who paid a R$ 41 million fee, supported by investors, to bring Damião to Vila Belmiro. He was presented on 9 January of the following year. It was the highest fee ever paid by a Brazilian club to sign a national player, only behind the R$60,5 million that brought Carlos Tévez to Corinthians.
Damião made his Santos debut on 6 February 2014, starting in a 2–1 away win over Linense, scoring a goal which was later disallowed due to offside. He scored his first goal for Peixe on the 20th, netting his side's first of a 2–1 away success over Atlético Sorocaba; eight days later he netted his second, the last of a 5–0 home routing over Bragantino.
Despite scoring five goals in 13 appearances during Santos' runner-up campaign, Damião was hugely criticized due to his lack of agility and pace, plus his inability to score on a regular basis. He only scored more than one goal with a Santos shirt on 30 November, netting all goals in a 2–0 home win against Botafogo.
On 29 December 2014, after lengthy negotiations, Damião was loaned to league champions Cruzeiro, in a season-long deal, after a largely disappointing year at Santos. He was the top goalscorer of 2015 Campeonato Mineiro with 9 goals, but had a disappointing 2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A with only four goals scored.
Battle in court
In 2015, Damião took a legal action against Santos to cancel his contract after failing to receive his image rights for three months and was granted the release of his contract in December 2015. The decision was overturned in the following month, with the fee of 200 million (reais for any national transfer and euros for any international) being specified if he would sign with any club.
An agreement was reached between Damião and Santos on 30 January 2016, as the player was attempting to sign with Real Betis. On 1 February 2016, the Spanish club pulled out of the deal that would bring him on an 18-month loan, leaving the player as a free agent.
On 4 February 2016, after a turnover in the club's board which involved the president's resignation, Damião signed a six-month deal with Betis with a buyout clause set on €12 million. He made his La Liga debut 23 days later, replacing Jorge Molina after 56 minutes of an eventual 2–2 draw against Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio Benito Villamarín.
Damião was given his first call-up to the Brazil national team in March 2011 for the friendly against Scotland after Alexandre Pato withdrew from the squad due to injury. "I'm taking advantage of the circumstances to summon a player who has been playing well with Internacional and is young enough to play in the Olympics," said head coach Mano Menezes. He won his first cap in the match at the Emirates Stadium in London, which Brazil won 2–0.
Damião scored his first goal for Brazil in a 1–0 friendly win against Ghana on 5 September at Craven Cottage. He also represented Brazil at the 2012 Olympic football tournament in London, being the tournament's top scorer with six goals in five appearances as Brazil finished runners-up to Mexico.
- As of 10 October 2017.
|Real Betis||2015–16||La Liga||3||0||—||—||—||—||3||0|
- 1Includes other competitive competitions, including the FIFA Club World Cup: 2010, Recopa Sudamericana: 2011 and Primeira Liga: 2017
- As of match played on 2 June 2013.
- Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first:
|1.||2011-09-05||Craven Cottage, London, England||Ghana||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|2.||2012-08-15||Råsunda Stadium, Solna Municipality, Sweden||Sweden||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|3.||2013-04-06||Estadio Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia||Bolivia||1–0||4–0||Friendly|
- Olympic Games top scorer: 2012
- Campeonato Gaúcho top scorer: 2011, 2012
- Campeonato Mineiro top scorer: 2015
- "Leandro Damião da Silva dos Santos". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Leandro Damiao". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Leandro Damiao: I've achieved my dream". FIFA. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Trajetória" [Career] (in Portuguese). Leandro Damião. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Sturtridge, Tim (19 August 2010). "Internacional superstars claim Copa Libertadores win". The Independent. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Copa Libertadores: Internacional claim the title". ESPNsoccernet. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Leandro Damiao: The new Ronaldo?". givemefootball.com. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Tottenham reabre negociações por Leandro Damião" [Tottenham re-opens negotiations for Leandro Damião] (in Portuguese). Goal.com. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Inter aceita e Leandro Damião fecha com o Santos (Inter agrees and Leandro Damião signs with Santos); Fox Sports, 11 December 2013 (in Portuguese)
- "Leandro Damião dirige bonde e é recebido com festa por torcedores do Santos FC" [Leandro Damião conducts tramcar and is received with party by Santos FC's supporters] (in Portuguese). Santos FC. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Na estreia de Damião, Santos vence Linense com gol de Menino da Vila" [In Damião's debut, Santos beats Linense with a goal from a Menino da Vila] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Santos aceita proposta, e Leandro Damião será emprestado ao Cruzeiro" [Santos accepts bid, and Damião will be loaned to Cruzeiro] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Decisão favorável a Leandro Damião na Justiça gera dívida de R$ 65 milhões ao Santos" [Favourable decision to Damião on the Court creates a R$ 65 million debt to Santos] (in Portuguese). Época. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Justiça diz que Damião terá que pagar R$ 200 mi por liberação do Santos" [The Court says that Damião will have to pay R$ 200 mi as a release clause from Santos] (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Damião 'derruba' multa na Justiça e está livre do Santos novamente" [Damião 'takes down' fee on the Court and is free from Santos again] (in Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Damião terá de pagar R$ 65 mi para deixar o Santos. Advogado irá recorrer" [Damião will have to pay R$ 65 mi to leave Santos. Lawyer will appeal] (in Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Real Betis signs striker Leandro Damiao". Betis' official website. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "Manucho es un puntazo" [Manucho is a surprise] (in Spanish). Marca. 27 February 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- "Damião vê parceria com Guerrero, escolhe número "1+8" e cita Obina" (in Portuguese). globoesporte.com. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
- "Alexandre Pato misses Brazil friendly with Scotland". BBC Sport. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Murray, Ewan (27 March 2011). "Neymar shines brightest as Brazil make light work of Scotland". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- Campbell, Andy (27 March 2011). "Scotland 0–2 Brazil". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Brazil 1–0 Ghana". BBC Sport. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- "Leandro Damião". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 16 April 2012.