Jorginho: From an influential infant to an Italian icon

From his position in the centre of midfield, Jorginho is used to being the very heartbeat of a team.

The experienced Italy international brings a sense of control and calm to the game whenever he’s on the field, as well as a huge amount of authority and leadership. So it’s no surprise to learn that even from a very young age, Jorginho relished being the centre of attention and focal point of any team he was a part of.

Born and raised in the Brazilian coastal town of Imbituba, Jorginho was like any other Brazilian kid – obsessed with football. But he didn’t just want to play, he wanted to be as involved as possible, all the time.

“It’s funny, because even as a little kid I liked to have the captain’s armband on,” he begins. “I liked to kick off the game, talk to the referee, everything. It was funny even at that age I enjoyed that process.”

And this really was from a young age. Jorginho’s football story started in Brazil back in 1996, when he was just four years old. He would persistently plead to his dad to get involved with his local team, and eventually his tenacity paid off, even though he was too young to join officially.

Jorginho explains: “All my friends would say to me, ‘Come and play for this team, Peixe’s team, you need to come!’ Peixe was the name of the coach, and it was just known as ‘Peixe’s team’. So every day when my dad got home after work I would be hassling him saying, ‘I want to go to see Peixe!’ He kept saying that I couldn’t go because I was too small, and I had to wait.

“But I wouldn’t stop asking, so eventually he went to speak to him and asked him what the minimum age is he accepted there. He said the absolute youngest is six, and he only has a few that age, then they are seven and eight. At that age, being four is a big gap, but my dad said to him, ‘Every day my son is begging to play, can you take him?’

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