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By AFP, 2000-05-26

LONDON, May 26 (AFP) - Brazil's world player of the year Rivaldo warned England here on Friday they have plenty to fear from the unknown when the two sides meet at Wembley.

While the likes of Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Romario have become international superstars, perhaps the most exciting striking talent in Brazil is a virtual unknown in Europe.

But all that is set to change on Saturday when the prodigious talent of the next Brazilian superstar is revealed under the Twin Towers.

Francoaldo Sena de Souza, known simply as Franca, is a superstar in his native country, unable to go out to restaurants for fear of being mobbed by his adoring fans.

The 24-year-old has scored an amazing 98 goals in just two years as a professional for Sao Paulo, including three hat-tricks and 17 goals this season, making him the top scorer in Brazil.

Yet his appearance against Wales on Tuesday was his first for his country at any level, although no lesser a judge than Barcelona star Rivaldo knows it will certainly not be his last.

"Look out for him," Rivaldo said. "He is the top scorer in Brazil but he will be in Europe very shortly."

That prophesy may well come true as the young star admits it is his "dream" to move to Europe, with Manchester United included among the list of great clubs he would like to join.

But his most pressing task will be to first complete a remarkable and arduous journey from Wembley to Rio this weekend to play two games in the space of 24 hours either side of an 11-hour trans-Atlantic flight.

Immediately after playing at Wembley, Franca will fly back to Rio and hopes to play in a crucial League game for Sao Paulo against Corinthians on Sunday afternoon.

"The club is waiting for me," he said. "I will get into Rio at 5.00am on Sunday and the game starts at 4.00pm. The team is counting on me but the doctor will decide if I can play.

"It's an 11-hour flight but I cannot sleep on planes so I will have no time to rest.

"The reason I was chosen to come and play against Wales and England was because it was a good chance for the manager to watch me in games without too much pressure."

Franca certainly impressed against Wales in Cardiff earlier this week, and was well-pleased with his performance and the reaction to it back home.

"Whenever a player is called into the national team for the first time in Brazil, there is a lot of pressure," he added.

"In Brazil we have a saying that the shirt weighs heavy, but after the game I read the papers in Brazil on the internet and they said that the shirt did not weigh heavy on me. That made me very happy.

"Against Wales I just did what I do for Sao Paulo, and a little bit more. It is important for me not to change because now people are saying I am wonderful.

"My most important virtue is modesty, I'm from a very humble family from the countryside in Brazil and I must maintain that modesty."

Such modesty means that Franca acknowledges that his place in the side will not be guaranteed should Ronaldo recover from his serious knee injury, suffered while playing for Inter Milan in Italy.

"When Ronaldo is fit he is unique, he is the very top," Franca added.

"We watched the game when he was injured and I went out to play four hours later, very depressed. I was really worried that could happen to me."
 
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Ronaldo could have some competition when he tries to get back into the Brazilian team.
 
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Ze or someone please tell me how he plays....

I hope like romario and ronaldo....

What I mean is that I hope he is not just a goal scorer like Elber or Jardel...I dont have any background info on him other than he is leading scorer....I would love to see a young guy who can score consistently and play an entertaining game....maybe I am being too greedy but with brazil I can afford to.
 

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where can i find some pictures of this guy?
does sau paulo have an official homepage?
 

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tonyp3, this guy franca is very exciting. he scored a header goal against england. a very nice one, too, and i don't like headers. he squeezed it in at the post on a free kick.

he also can shoot with both feet from distance. in one move, he got the ball on the right side on his right foot, cut back to lose the defender and fired a beautiful curling shot with his left foot from outside the box. he just missed the far post. later, he took another shot from the same spot but with the right foot, too high for the top far corner, but a nice effort.

in brazil-england, franca was the only guy who seemed to realize he was wearing a brazil shirt. he played with the passion of a brazilian. the other guys played like boring europeans.

right now, i would put franca and ronaldinho gaucho in the lineup and tell amoroso, elber, jardel and all those other guys to go on vacation.
 

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Running a lax ship
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I don't mean to upset but when I watched him on his debut I was a little dissapointed. He had a good shot which led to Elbers goal but I think that I expected a little too much. I thought that he would light the place up.
 
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Well, maybe I'm the only one here that lives in Brazil and watch every game here, so I'll tell you how França plays.

He's a goal-machine. He can score goals just like Elber and Jardel but he's fast and has some hability, not as much as Ronaldo or Rivaldo, but he has some hability. Also his positioning is wonderful. In a game here in Brazil the Sao Paulo player kicked the corner kick and then the defender missed the header. França was just behind him and the ball hit França's leg and it was goal. He also scores many goals after rebounds. He's a mix between Romario's positioning and Ronaldo's skills and speed. He's not as good as any of those, but he's great.
 

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i agree with corinthiano. franca is not a beautiful player like ronaldo or ronaldinho gaucho or romario (guys who can do magic with the ball and then score). and he's not like elber or jardel, who just wait for a rebound in front of the goal.

franca really has a future with the national team, i think. he has already proved that he can score. if he can keep scoring regularly in the gold shirt, he will be ahead of elber, amoroso and jardel in luxemburgo's selection.

corinthiano, onde voce mora?
 
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Now I wish Ronaldo will come back healthy...we will be unstoppable....

The reason I say that is this....I think Ronaldo plays best as a retreating striker...Not as a Center-forward....I think most of you know what I am talking about...Thats why I think he partners very will with Romario...Romario is an excellent good Center forward....but, without him, He HAS to play center forward...He is not a bad one but I would like it better to have him play a retreating role....From what I have heard, Franca is a center forward...this is great...Now, kick Ze roberto out of there and put in Ronaldinho Gaucho...from what I have heard he is a good attacking midfielder...

Think bout it...


--------Dida----------

Cafu-A.Carlos-???-R.Carlos

-----Emerson----Vampeta---
-----Ronaldinho----Rivaldo---

-----Franca------Ronaldo----

What do you guys think...I know Ze, you think this is crap because none of your corinthian guys are on there...
 

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I happy with Franca because he made me look like I know what I am talking about footballing wise in front of my family...I predicted him to score and he did! :)
 

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Franca is a great goalscorer, that also plays for the team, and has some skills. His positioning is very good, and his work rate also, always coming to "ask" for the ball....and his goal precsion is the same as Romario....threfore being better than Ronaldo in my book :)..I'm not say8ing he is better than Ronaldo as an overall player, but his finishing is :), just look at the goal he scored in Wembley :)
vey modest player...and gives a lot of hassle. Surelyt will shine in Europe as I have mentioned here before...he is a guy to play in BIG clubs, like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan, Juventus, Inter or Man Utd. He can play easily in any of these clubs :)

Tony, liked your team...but as for the Partnership Ronaldo- Franca, I think they are 2 playes with similar styles...so I'd put Edilson in the place of Franca, and if Ronaldo has a bad game put Franca in the second half to light up things :)
That of course assuming Romario is not around....which will not be the case, as my Brazilian team is Romario and another 10 players :)

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Nasty,
you can see Brazilian goals on:
www.globo.com, click on "esportes", and youll see the goals of the day. the are games almost every day in brazil so go daily overtheir and you'll see brilliant brazilian goals.

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corinthiano, moro em Nova York, cara. sou americano. viajei a sao paulo no novembro passado para visitar uma amiginha. i don't know sao caetano because i was only in SP for a weekend. maybe next time .... :)
 

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yeah, ze da fiel is right about franca. he works very hard for the ball. when the midfield is not playing well (like at wembley), he goes to look for the ball. he does not have a big attitude or ego like some other big stars. i hope he can stay that way.
 

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falcao ,
you are ENGLISH :) not AMERICAN!!


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GAVIOES DA FIEL
Pelo Corinthians, com muito amor ate o fim.
THE WORLD IS OURS...NOW WE WILL CONQUER THE AMERICAS LIKE COLUMBUS!
 
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