Sometimes it’s hard to feel sorry for footballers.
But in the case of Lucas Moura his story pulls at our heartstrings.
Well it did until we heard the news this week that he had been recalled to the Brazil national team.
Moura has gone from the most exciting prospect in world football, to a big money move to Europe, to a spot warming the bench in Paris and back again.
It’s been quite a ride for the ridiculously skillful, dribbling winger.
The 26-year-old made his Brazil debut in 2011 and would go on to play another 22 times in the following two years.
But as his star rose and fell at PSG, so did his chances with the Selecao, after just three appearances in the famous yellow and blue since 2015 Moura is back.
Moura is the same age as Neymar but had been put into the shadows somewhat as the Santos man took all of the headlines in Brazil and internationally.
Six months before Neymar became Barcelona’s record transfer, PSG made Lucas their then most-expensive arrival after bursting onto the scene with Sao Paulo.
Again, Lucas’s move was way overshadowed by the fanfare surrounding Neymar.
Regardless, Lucas slotted in to PSG’s right wing and helped to kickstart the first phase of the petro-dollar revolution.
Between 2013-2017 the flying winger was integral to the PSG squad making no less than 45 appearances per season and even contributing 19 goals in the 2016-17 season.
But after helping the club to 11 trophies in four years, Lucas was reduced to a peripheral squad figure quicker than you could say Kylian Mbappe is pretty good.
The final blows landed last summer as PSG brought Neymar in from PSG and tied up Mbappe on a ‘loan’ from Monaco.
Having made 37 league appearances in 2016-17 Lucas found himself firmly positioned as a bench warmer.
Moura saw his place in the Brazil squad slip through his fingers and managed just five games from the bench up until January.
And then Spurs stepped in to hand him a much-needed lifeline.
With the Londoners having a settled squad and no apparent room for another attacker, everyone thought Moura could be swapping one bench for another.
But this wouldn’t be a redemption story without the second rise.
After half a season of adjusting t life in London, Lucas started this season as one of the most important cogs in the Spurs side.
Injuries to Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son going to the Asian Games have seen Moura become one of the most dangerous forwards in the Premier League.
Everyone sat up to take notice when he sliced through Man United at Old Trafford to leave with two goals to his name.
Mauricio Pochettino has put his trust in the Brazilian and as a result he has watched one of his star men blossom on the right flank and earn himself a recall to the Brazil national team.
Moura replaced Everton in the squad for his first appearance since 2016.
Thus completing his phoenix-like rise from the ashes of PSG’s bench.
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