Diego Sousa was determined to hang up his boots in January 2020, at the age of 34.
Without a club and disgusted with his performance in the fairways through Botafogo and São Paulo, the forward expressed to businessman Eduardo Oram and father Marco Aurelio and his wife Luciana Eunice that they wanted to put an end to his career. An unexpected call from Renato Gaucho changed everything.
22 days after leaving FC Rio de Janeiro without any odds, he appeared in Grêmio with a clear goal in himself: to enjoy playing again.
“Football is my life, I’ve always lived it. In fact, that’s all I know how to do. Since I was 14, I haven’t had a weekend, live in focus, travel, game after game… So, I had to Football would be back to be an amusement park for me. As much as I had to do all this, if I wasn’t completely satisfied, I didn’t want to anymore,” he said. a sheet.
“I can still miss it when I’m not playing, so I keep moving forward. If an athlete’s life was just entering the field, it would be very difficult to stop, and no one would want to. It’s a routine, but I’m having fun,” he adds.
Diego was a midfielder by birth and seen as a player with rare technical potential of his generation, who has gone through a curious process in his career. He completely changed his role until he reached the status of a goalkeeper striker. He was Grêmio’s top scorer in each of his three seasons with the team.
In the first, he scored 28 goals in 54 games, the most since his debut with Fluminense in 2003. In the second, he scored 24 goals in 51, but saw the team fall to the second division this year, scoring nine goals in 15 . games. In April, he passed 76 balls past Renato Gaucho for the club.
“I was never attached to numbers, in fact I am not attached to anything. Today’s football is uglier. Number 10 of the teams is the tactical system. It seems that in a lab we are making players who know some functions that work well. For a player to change his position, he is more A loss from being lost in the penalty shootout,” he explains.
As much talent that has catapulted him to good seasons for Grêmio himself, in his first spell in 2007, in addition to Palmeiras, Vasco and Sport, there are a number of controversies he holds. It is almost impossible to separate it from the turbulent moments.
In 2008, in Palmeiras, he sent a letter to the leader and idol Marcos after the defeat to Fluminense. “We wash dirty clothes at home,” he said.
A year later, he got into trouble with defender Domingos from Santos. Disqualified ,
The publicity sign jumped on the way to the locker room and came back to sweep the opposing defender. He was suspended for seven matches.
He even lived a great stage at São Paulo club, in 2010, he was the target of fans’ indignation and responded by being substituted in a match against Atlético-Go. Fans cursed and made obscene gestures. On the way out of the field, he still taunted: “Boos?”
As for sports, in 2015, he gave controversial interviews. In Grêmio, he celebrated last year’s goal against Bahia by tapping the ball and imitating a tambourine, responding to criticism for his participation in a party with the cast. Questions about his physical form were also constant.
“I’ve had a lot of ratings. I’ve been overweight, I’ve had some really tough personal moments, and this path isn’t easy. Nobody wants that, but age comes, and often we just can’t train the way we need to. He’s always in pain, and he’s got a bit of a Time to get ready, this gets in the way.
“The worker sips beer on the weekends, and has a barbecue, but we can’t because people judge us in a way that doesn’t exist. If you lose, you have no life. You can’t go out to dinner. You have to be pretty strong for all of this,” he adds.
The player shook a few chances in the Brazilian national team. The worst of it was when he was selected as a starter by coach Dunga against Bolivia on October 11, 2009. He was substituted just 45 minutes later, at 3,600m in La Paz, and saw his chances of going to the 2010 World Cup collapse.
“This episode hurt me so much. And it was really curious because at the end of my career, when I thought I wasn’t going anymore, he ended up calling me [por Tite] And I tested that environment again. This calmed my heart. In 2009 my biggest disappointment was, it could have been better tested. This made me a rebel. I was almost sold and I missed the chance. The second, even without going to the cup, was completely different,” he says.
The return to Grêmio brought not only renewal as a player but also new career plans. Near his 37th birthday – on June 17 – he’s thinking for the first time about what’s beyond his career. Becoming a coach is among the possibilities.
“I never thought about becoming a coach. I used to say I couldn’t stand it, because a coach lives the same life as a player, but from January to now, there was a chance maybe to pass on a little of what I learned,” he explains.
The idea of the player first is comfort. Embark on a journey with childhood friends, who are still without a definite destination. “First I’ll travel, then I think so. I don’t like the idea of having to take courses to become a coach, I’ve been playing football for 20 years. There’s always something to learn, but everyone’s way is very special.”
In this way, he intends to use Renato’s “Bolero language”. “Today, everyone is politically correct,” he says. “He’s face to face, speaking our language. I love it.”
Diego prefers not to speculate on what the future will be like at the end of 2022, when his contract with Grêmio expires. Until then, he still wants to help the club return to Serie A – at least as long as he can enjoy himself on the pitch.