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Interview

From Brazil, with love

After opting to leave the sun of Barcelona and Lisbon for the ice and snow of Russia, Brazilian pair Malcom and Wendel are looking to stamp their legacy in the white and blue of Zenit

Zenit has this amazing connection with Brazilian players in the Champions League. Where does that comes from?

Malcolm: Well, I think every Brazilian who played for Zenit left a mark here. Because it’s a big club here in Russia, and now they’re becoming more and more important in Europe as they’ve played in the Champions League for the past four seasons in a row.

Hulk was a trailblazer when it comes to Brazilians in Russia. Were you inspired by him?

M: A lot of people have mentioned his spell at Zenit. We got to watch many of the amazing goals he scored, both in the Russian league and the Champions League. Hopefully we’ll follow in his footsteps. For a Brazilian, things are tough here when you first arrive, but the reason we come here is to lift trophies and to leave our mark at the club.

Wendel, what role did Malcom play when you signed for Zenit?

Wendel: He helped me a lot. When I still had doubts in my mind, he rang me and he told me, “Bro, don’t think twice, just come. Don’t worry about anything, I’m here to help you.” And now he’s a great friend and brother I have by my side within the club.

Malcolm, how did you sell the Russian dream to him?

M: Oh, I told him right away, “Come. That’s one more Brazilian to have around. At least you can have some fun and speak in your native language. So just get here.” It’s a huge signing, for everything he does for us on the pitch. He’s the orchestrator who sets the pace of our attacks. Without him, I don’t think we’d perform the same. Take the match against Malmö, for example. Without him that game would have been a little different, because he gets us on the front foot, he sets the pace. So for us, that was the best signing of the window, because we needed a player like him so much.

Wendel and Malcom celebrate a goal v Malmö in their 4-0 win.

Zenit has this amazing connection with Brazilian players in the Champions League. Where does that comes from?

Malcolm: Well, I think every Brazilian who played for Zenit left a mark here. Because it’s a big club here in Russia, and now they’re becoming more and more important in Europe as they’ve played in the Champions League for the past four seasons in a row.

Hulk was a trailblazer when it comes to Brazilians in Russia. Were you inspired by him?

M: A lot of people have mentioned his spell at Zenit. We got to watch many of the amazing goals he scored, both in the Russian league and the Champions League. Hopefully we’ll follow in his footsteps. For a Brazilian, things are tough here when you first arrive, but the reason we come here is to lift trophies and to leave our mark at the club.

Wendel, what role did Malcom play when you signed for Zenit?

Wendel: He helped me a lot. When I still had doubts in my mind, he rang me and he told me, “Bro, don’t think twice, just come. Don’t worry about anything, I’m here to help you.” And now he’s a great friend and brother I have by my side within the club.

Malcolm, how did you sell the Russian dream to him?

M: Oh, I told him right away, “Come. That’s one more Brazilian to have around. At least you can have some fun and speak in your native language. So just get here.” It’s a huge signing, for everything he does for us on the pitch. He’s the orchestrator who sets the pace of our attacks. Without him, I don’t think we’d perform the same. Take the match against Malmö, for example. Without him that game would have been a little different, because he gets us on the front foot, he sets the pace. So for us, that was the best signing of the window, because we needed a player like him so much.

Wendel and Malcom celebrate a goal v Malmö in their 4-0 win.
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There’s a huge Brazilian influence in the dressing room, with Claudinho and Douglas Santos as well. So what is life like in Russia?

M: The thing is that it’s a bit different for us. For instance, I came from Barcelona while Wendel came from Lisbon. It’s always warm there so we struggled a little in the beginning but, during the pre-match pep talk, we Brazilians step in… We try to infuse some cheerfulness into the guys, we make jokes and we play our music. We often forget about the cold and have even more fun than usual, perhaps because of the weather itself.

So you can you choose Brazilian songs in the dressing room?

W: Sometimes we can get our music going, though we hear some complaints about it. But we don’t care, that’s our music and we enjoy it.

M: We have fun either with our songs or Russian songs. We even enjoy some of the Russian songs. But the most important thing is to be happy. We want to pass our Brazilian happiness on to them.

And can the Brazilian connection help Zenit go far in the Champions League this season?

M: For sure. Not only Brazilian, but Russian and Ukrainian too.

W: It’s everyone’s dream and dreaming is free. We have to dream.

Zenit has this amazing connection with Brazilian players in the Champions League. Where does that comes from?

Malcolm: Well, I think every Brazilian who played for Zenit left a mark here. Because it’s a big club here in Russia, and now they’re becoming more and more important in Europe as they’ve played in the Champions League for the past four seasons in a row.

Hulk was a trailblazer when it comes to Brazilians in Russia. Were you inspired by him?

M: A lot of people have mentioned his spell at Zenit. We got to watch many of the amazing goals he scored, both in the Russian league and the Champions League. Hopefully we’ll follow in his footsteps. For a Brazilian, things are tough here when you first arrive, but the reason we come here is to lift trophies and to leave our mark at the club.

Wendel, what role did Malcom play when you signed for Zenit?

Wendel: He helped me a lot. When I still had doubts in my mind, he rang me and he told me, “Bro, don’t think twice, just come. Don’t worry about anything, I’m here to help you.” And now he’s a great friend and brother I have by my side within the club.

Malcolm, how did you sell the Russian dream to him?

M: Oh, I told him right away, “Come. That’s one more Brazilian to have around. At least you can have some fun and speak in your native language. So just get here.” It’s a huge signing, for everything he does for us on the pitch. He’s the orchestrator who sets the pace of our attacks. Without him, I don’t think we’d perform the same. Take the match against Malmö, for example. Without him that game would have been a little different, because he gets us on the front foot, he sets the pace. So for us, that was the best signing of the window, because we needed a player like him so much.

Wendel and Malcom celebrate a goal v Malmö in their 4-0 win.
From Brazil, with love
Interview

From Brazil, with love

After opting to leave the sun of Barcelona and Lisbon for the ice and snow of Russia, Brazilian pair Malcom and Wendel are looking to stamp their legacy in the white and blue of Zenit

Zenit has this amazing connection with Brazilian players in the Champions League. Where does that comes from?

Malcolm: Well, I think every Brazilian who played for Zenit left a mark here. Because it’s a big club here in Russia, and now they’re becoming more and more important in Europe as they’ve played in the Champions League for the past four seasons in a row.

Hulk was a trailblazer when it comes to Brazilians in Russia. Were you inspired by him?

M: A lot of people have mentioned his spell at Zenit. We got to watch many of the amazing goals he scored, both in the Russian league and the Champions League. Hopefully we’ll follow in his footsteps. For a Brazilian, things are tough here when you first arrive, but the reason we come here is to lift trophies and to leave our mark at the club.

Wendel, what role did Malcom play when you signed for Zenit?

Wendel: He helped me a lot. When I still had doubts in my mind, he rang me and he told me, “Bro, don’t think twice, just come. Don’t worry about anything, I’m here to help you.” And now he’s a great friend and brother I have by my side within the club.

Malcolm, how did you sell the Russian dream to him?

M: Oh, I told him right away, “Come. That’s one more Brazilian to have around. At least you can have some fun and speak in your native language. So just get here.” It’s a huge signing, for everything he does for us on the pitch. He’s the orchestrator who sets the pace of our attacks. Without him, I don’t think we’d perform the same. Take the match against Malmö, for example. Without him that game would have been a little different, because he gets us on the front foot, he sets the pace. So for us, that was the best signing of the window, because we needed a player like him so much.

Wendel and Malcom celebrate a goal v Malmö in their 4-0 win.
Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Zenit has this amazing connection with Brazilian players in the Champions League. Where does that comes from?

Malcolm: Well, I think every Brazilian who played for Zenit left a mark here. Because it’s a big club here in Russia, and now they’re becoming more and more important in Europe as they’ve played in the Champions League for the past four seasons in a row.

Hulk was a trailblazer when it comes to Brazilians in Russia. Were you inspired by him?

M: A lot of people have mentioned his spell at Zenit. We got to watch many of the amazing goals he scored, both in the Russian league and the Champions League. Hopefully we’ll follow in his footsteps. For a Brazilian, things are tough here when you first arrive, but the reason we come here is to lift trophies and to leave our mark at the club.

Wendel, what role did Malcom play when you signed for Zenit?

Wendel: He helped me a lot. When I still had doubts in my mind, he rang me and he told me, “Bro, don’t think twice, just come. Don’t worry about anything, I’m here to help you.” And now he’s a great friend and brother I have by my side within the club.

Malcolm, how did you sell the Russian dream to him?

M: Oh, I told him right away, “Come. That’s one more Brazilian to have around. At least you can have some fun and speak in your native language. So just get here.” It’s a huge signing, for everything he does for us on the pitch. He’s the orchestrator who sets the pace of our attacks. Without him, I don’t think we’d perform the same. Take the match against Malmö, for example. Without him that game would have been a little different, because he gets us on the front foot, he sets the pace. So for us, that was the best signing of the window, because we needed a player like him so much.

Wendel and Malcom celebrate a goal v Malmö in their 4-0 win.
Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

There’s a huge Brazilian influence in the dressing room, with Claudinho and Douglas Santos as well. So what is life like in Russia?

M: The thing is that it’s a bit different for us. For instance, I came from Barcelona while Wendel came from Lisbon. It’s always warm there so we struggled a little in the beginning but, during the pre-match pep talk, we Brazilians step in… We try to infuse some cheerfulness into the guys, we make jokes and we play our music. We often forget about the cold and have even more fun than usual, perhaps because of the weather itself.

So you can you choose Brazilian songs in the dressing room?

W: Sometimes we can get our music going, though we hear some complaints about it. But we don’t care, that’s our music and we enjoy it.

M: We have fun either with our songs or Russian songs. We even enjoy some of the Russian songs. But the most important thing is to be happy. We want to pass our Brazilian happiness on to them.

And can the Brazilian connection help Zenit go far in the Champions League this season?

M: For sure. Not only Brazilian, but Russian and Ukrainian too.

W: It’s everyone’s dream and dreaming is free. We have to dream.

Zenit has this amazing connection with Brazilian players in the Champions League. Where does that comes from?

Malcolm: Well, I think every Brazilian who played for Zenit left a mark here. Because it’s a big club here in Russia, and now they’re becoming more and more important in Europe as they’ve played in the Champions League for the past four seasons in a row.

Hulk was a trailblazer when it comes to Brazilians in Russia. Were you inspired by him?

M: A lot of people have mentioned his spell at Zenit. We got to watch many of the amazing goals he scored, both in the Russian league and the Champions League. Hopefully we’ll follow in his footsteps. For a Brazilian, things are tough here when you first arrive, but the reason we come here is to lift trophies and to leave our mark at the club.

Wendel, what role did Malcom play when you signed for Zenit?

Wendel: He helped me a lot. When I still had doubts in my mind, he rang me and he told me, “Bro, don’t think twice, just come. Don’t worry about anything, I’m here to help you.” And now he’s a great friend and brother I have by my side within the club.

Malcolm, how did you sell the Russian dream to him?

M: Oh, I told him right away, “Come. That’s one more Brazilian to have around. At least you can have some fun and speak in your native language. So just get here.” It’s a huge signing, for everything he does for us on the pitch. He’s the orchestrator who sets the pace of our attacks. Without him, I don’t think we’d perform the same. Take the match against Malmö, for example. Without him that game would have been a little different, because he gets us on the front foot, he sets the pace. So for us, that was the best signing of the window, because we needed a player like him so much.

Wendel and Malcom celebrate a goal v Malmö in their 4-0 win.
Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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