Leonardo dos Santos Silva (1976)

Leonardo dos Santos Silva (21 August 1976) was better known as Leonardo II. During his career in the Netherlands he played for FC Groningen, Feyenoord, De Graafschap, ADO Den Haag, MVV, FC Dordrecht and FC Emmen.

Winger, leonardo was by trade. One of the (hyper)active kind. Cuddly steaming, on the football moped. Because of his work ethic very popular and in the end this earned him a nice career. Still, it wasn't enough to be able to start rate-raising. After his career, he had to work for a more comfortable retirement facility.

The beginning
Starting from the start we meet Dos Santos Silva for the first time in 1996 at the Brazilian Flamengo. This was his favorite club from an early age. He grew up in his native Brazil, in a poor neighbourhood of São Gonçalo. Dis is a city near Rio de Janeiro. Leo, for intimates, will eventually play four games for his great love. Because he can't really break through at Flamengo, he focused his football arrows on Europe.

FC Groningen is the club that picked up Dos Santos Silva in 1997. For four seasons Leonardo dos Santos Silva covered the right side at Groningen. "Leooooo, Leoooo", it reverberated every two weeks in the, then still, Oosterparkstadion as Dos Santos Silva sped up and down. The Northerners always want to see struggle and passion, and that was not on deaf ears with Leonardo. As a result, he became a crowd favourite. The highlight is the promotion to the Eredivisie with FC Groningen in 2000. If it turns out that Leonardo also occasionally manages to find the enemy net, Feyenoord shows interest. And with success: in 2001 Leonardo II , transfer-free at that time, signed in Rotterdam. In the end, he wore the shirt of 'Groningen pride' no less than 147 times.

In 2002, Dos Santos Silva won the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord. Because there was another Leonardo (Leonardo de Vitor Santiago) at Feyenoord, Dos Santos Silva gets the football name Leonardo II. The Brazilian, who rarely played for Feyenoord, did play in a number of matches that preceded the uefa cup win. After the starting spot against Freiburg, he also played in the semifinals, at home against Inter. That was one of the worst moments of his sporting career. He came on as a reserve player and provided a penalty, unfortunately against Feyenoord. In the end, the final was made. And whether the penalty incident played out or not, Leo was in the stands biting himself during the final against Borussia Dortmund.

De Graafschap, ADO Den Haag, MVV, FC Dordrecht and FC Emmen are the clubs that Leonardo II would play for in the Netherlands. Each time only one season and one time with a little more success than the other time. Leonardo played for the Brazilian clubs Nova Iguaçu and Veranópolis and the Colombian club Deportes Quindío. Even with not the greatest success.

First division
After the Brazilian midfielder with wings found his congé in Brazil, he moved back to the Netherlands. FC Emmen was the first to win leo over. The Brazilian had already linked his future to the first divisionist two months earlier before he could take action. He didn't have the paperwork in order. After all the problems were solved, he was finally able to focus on playing football. This resulted in two seasons first division nineteen games in which he failed to score. Leo was transferred to amateur club BVCB from Bergschenhoek. In 2013 this was also the end of the football story. He couldn't bear to train with the selection of practice master Edwin Vuurens. With this Leo drew a line under active football.

Package driver
After his career, Leonardo became a driver and administrative assistant for the Brazilian Consulate in Rotterdam. He also became a coach for the Feyenoord Soccer Schools and moved to Bergschenhoek. In 2018 he became a parcel delivery company at UPS.

(Photo: fcgonline.nl)

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