From João Pessoa to LaLiga: The Story of Matheus Cunha, Atleti’s New Striker

Atletico de Madrid announced this Wednesday (August 25) the hiring of striker Matheus Cunha. The 22-year-old Brazilian arrives from German side Hertha Berlin in high spirits after winning the gold medal for the Brazilian team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Atleti will be Cunha’s fourth professional club, who was born in João Pessoa and shone in local futsal before attracting the attention of Coritiba, a club from the southern region of Brazil. After standing out in the 2016 edition of the traditional Copa São Paulo de Futebol Junior, the striker caught the attention of Swiss Sion, who hired and professionalized him at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season.

In his only season in Switzerland, Matheus Cunha finished the season as the team’s top scorer, with 10 goals in 29 games, including a hat-trick and the country’s best player award in October. His excellent performance drew the intention of clubs from major leagues, with the athlete signing with RB Leipzig in June 2018.

In his first season in Germany, Cunha made a good attacking duo with Timo Werner and stood out to the point of competing for the Puskas Award, a bonus that FIFA gives to the scorer of the most beautiful goal of the season, after the striker scored a great goal against Bayer Leverkusen in April 2019.

His performance in Leipzig attracted the interest of the Brazilian team, which was getting ready to fight for a place in the Tokyo Olympic Games. His first call to the team came in June 2019, for the prestigious Toulon Tournament, in France. In the championship, Cunha helped Brazil win the title by being the top scorer in the competition, with four goals.

On the final day of the winter 2020 transfer market, Matheus Cunha was signed by Hertha Berlin, where he quickly became the main offensive player for the capital city side. His transfer did not change his prestige with the Brazilian Olympic team, since, with Cunha’s help, the team also managed to get, in January, a place for the Tokyo Games.

And it was in Tokyo that the athlete got the biggest title of his career so far. With three goals in the competition (including the first in the victory over Spain in the final in Yokohama), Matheus Cunha was one of the most important pieces of Brazil’s second consecutive Olympic title. His performance caught the attention of the coach of the Brazilian national team, Tite, who called him up for the matches of the next round of the South American Qualifiers for the World Cup.

Now Matheus Cunha arrives at the current champion of LaLiga Santander to continue his meteoric growth in his career at a club eager to keep last season’s title and achieve much more.