Nilton Batata's Early Stories

Batata started his soccer career in an Italian community team called Juventus, suburban of Curitiba city, capital of Parana in Brazil. He was only 11 years old when he rode his old bike into Juventus tryouts and posed as a goal-keeper to then coach Tito who looking at the short goaltender said: go and play attacking  midfielder for me. Surely a good way to get rid of another of many players attending his tryouts.

Juventus

  Surprisingly,  Batata or "little potato" scored two goals in less than five minutes or two times he touched the ball and immediately after his second play he was interrupted by Tito who waived to him out of the field. Tito looked at him and said: you are no keeper and you cannot play at this level. Your next practice is tomorrow with our u14 team at 15:00. His days as goalkeeper seemed to be numbered.

 Nilton Batata was given his nickname of Batata or "little potato" in his early school years by one of his classmates who used to play soccer with him after hours. "Nilton looks like a little potato rolling between his opponents as he dribbles them", he teased Batata who thought that made no sense. What made sense was the fact that teasing stayed with Nilton for the rest of his school years and eventually throughout his career.

Because Batata was always younger and much smaller than his counterparts people who watched him play were attracted by his quickness and skills but truly amused by his "little potato" nickname announcements during preliminary matches at professional games.

 After two years and half with Juventus Nilton Batata decided to tryout for Club Atletico Paranaense by his brother's suggestion who knew the head coach.

Nilton Batata arrived at "Baixada" stadium along with another one hundred players and waited for almost three hours to be called. His coach put almost everybody in but he missed this little guy sitting against the fence without shirt. Embarrassed by his mistake he invited Batata to show up next day...

  more to come...

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