20 August 2015
Explosive pace, boundless energy and with a keen eye for an interception, new Juventus recruit Alex Sandro ticks all the boxes of the modern wing-back.
Brazil historically has been renowned for its conveyor belt of dynamic and adventurous defenders and the Samba nation seems to have produced another in the Bianconeri’s latest signing.
Seeing the 24-year-old steaming up and down the left touchline became a familiar sight for Porto fans during his time in Portugal’s second city and the Brazilian is sure to bring a new dimension to Juve’s play, offering width, power and accurate delivery from the flanks.
In Alex Sandro, Juventus have secured the services of a player on a rapid upward trajectory.
Having made a name for himself in his native Brazil with Atletico Paranaense and then Santos, picking up a Copa Libertadores on his way, Sandro headed for Porto in 2011.
It was there at the Estadio da Dragao that the defender was put in the European spotlight and he took the opportunity with both hands.
In his left-sided berth Sandro became a first team regular, featuring prominently as he helped his team to two consecutive European quarter-finals in the Europa League and the Champions League, not to mention back-to-back Portuguese titles in the same period.
But it has not just been on the domestic scene where the Brazilian has caught the eye. By the age of 21, the defender already had three international honours to his name.
In 2011, he was a continental (Copa America) and world champion (World Cup) at U20 level before stepping up to the seniors to become an Olympic silver medalist at the London games a year later in 2012.
Sandro: the stats
Whether in Portugal’s Primeira Liga or in Europe’s elite club competition, Alex Sandro’s figures from last term, and indeed the previous two, are among the best in his position.
The interception king
- No defender made more interceptions (39) or won more free kicks (22) than Alex Sandro in the Champions League last season.
The Brazilian made 116 interceptions in the Primeira Liga, 35 more than any of his team-mates. Italy’s leading defender, Acerbi, completed 115.
The chance maker
- In the past three Champions League seasons for Porto, Alex Sandro’s total of 25 chances created is bettered only by Joao Moutinho (26).
- With 95 attempted crosses last season, Alex Sandro ranked third overall in the Portuguese Primeira Liga
The numbers posted by the wing-back in his time in Portugal illustrate the breadth of the Brazilian’s qualities.
The agile defender has been consistently solid defensively, quick in transition and in breaking up play, while also dangerous in the final third. The presence of Juventus’ new arrival then, is sure to be felt all over the field.
World Cup U20 (2011), Copa America U20 (2011), Olympic silver medal (2012)
Copa Libertadores (Santos 2011), 2 Primeira Liga (Porto 2011/12, 2012/13), 2 Portuguese Super Cups (Porto 2012, 2013), 2 Paulista regional championships (Santos 2010, 2011), Brazilian Cup (Santos 2011).