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found this article on soccerphile...

A Brazilian in Croatia: Dudú Da Silva, An Unlikely Hero
Dinamo Zagreb fans celebrate an unlikely idol, the Brasilian Eduardo Da Silva Alves, a 21-year-old forward who came to Croatia four years ago and is now the most revered player of the Croatian First Division.

The story of Dudú Da Silva is not a typical one regarding Brazilians in Europe, just as Croatia is not a typical destination for first-class foreigners. He arrived in Croatia before his 17th birthday totally alone, without speaking English, German or any foreign language for that matter. Another problem was the climate not entirely like the one in Rio.

"I could hardly bear the cold and the snow not at all. I was lonely and I felt terrible. Then I thought of my fellow countrymen who play in Ukraine or Russia. If they could survive there, than surely I could make it in Croatia, which is far less cold," said this left sided forward when he finally made it to the first team in the summer of 2003.

Whereas nowadays all the Croatian coaches profess their admiration for the Brazilian, he took awhile before he convinced Dinamo's staff. During his overlong stay among the reserves, he was so eager to play that he even concealed a minor foot fracture from the coaches. The ensuing deterioration of the injury did not exactly speed up his progress. In fact he was promoted to the senior squad in 2002, but was never used by Miroslav Blazevic. During the winter break he was loaned to the local club of Inter Zapresic, then in the Second Division, and it was then when he started to flourish. With ten goals in 15 appearances he helped Inter on the way to promotion and made sure of his quick return to Dinamo.

First Carioca in the Croatian squad
The new coach Nikola Jurcevic played Da Silva from the start, and the youngster delighted in the 4-1 thrashing of Hajduk Split in the 2003 Supercup. Through the 2003/04 season he shone, tormenting defences with elusive runs and close control, and ended the campaign as one of the few Dinamo's players to have enhanced their reputation.

Last autumn he was speedily made a Croatian citizen and called up to the under-21 squad, in which he starred in the qualifyiers for the European championships and in the final stage in Germany. In the current season he has continued to impress and in late October he earned his first call-up for the Croatian national team coached by Zlatko Kranjcar, for the friendly against Ireland in Dublin on November 16th. He responded with much-lauded performances against Zadar in the League (two goals), and Beveren in the UEFA Cup (one goal, two assists).

Since his refined technique and his array of tricks have attracted interest from Ajax, PSV, Anderlecht, Fiorentina and Juventus his departure from Zagreb cannot be far away. His current price tag of 5 million euros seems set to double by next summer, which would be extraordinary for a boy who came to Zagreb from Bango for 50,000 dollars and who earned 15,000 dollars per season until this season.

"In fact I'll me more than happy to stay in Dinamo, provided they pay me as much as the other top players on the team," said the extremely modest Da Silva, knowing that in Zagreb the annual salary could not exceed 200,000 dollars. The guy is now in love with Croatia and seems in no hurry to leave. The only thing that he really dislikes is not the snow but the name Da Silva by which the press calls him, and which is printed on the back of his shirt: "In Brazil I have always been Dudú or at least Eduardo. Da Silva is my mother's maiden name. There is no point in calling me that."

The media have been slow to react but some papers contemplate starting a campaign to spread "Dudú awareness" in Croatia. Who knows, maybe his new name will catch on before he leaves Dinamo for an ambitious western club.

Fact file
Name: Eduardo Da Silva Alves "Dudú"
Nickname: "Dudú"
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Birth date: February 25, 1983
Height and weight: 175 cm, 62 kg.
Position: forward
Club career:
2002/03 Dinamo Zagreb
Inter Zapresic 15 - 10
2003/04 Dinamo Zagreb 24 - 9
2004/05 Dinamo Zagreb 12 - 7
International career: Croatia U-21
Croatian Cup 2003/04
Croatian Supercup 2003 and 2004
The only Dinamo Zagreb player that I can say I really like. I know maybe some people don't agree with him being on the NT or the U21's but he has been living in Croatia since the age of 16 and he apparently speaks the langauge very well (although I never heard speak before)
Da Silva or Duduuuuuuu :)

7,230 Posts
He is the man, both on and off the field. Hopefully the injury problems will dissapear next season and he can have another great season. The best young player in Croatia by a mile.

Keyboard Hero
8,368 Posts
Get well soon Dudu.

And score like mad when you get back.

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