Leonardo Santiago

Leonardo Santiago

Football Biography 2
Football Biography 2 Less

Leonardo Santiago

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Leonardo Vitor Santiago (born 9 March 1983), commonly known as Leonardo, is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a winger for Austrian side FC Red Bull Salzburg on loan from NAC Breda.

He started his professional career by playing for Feyenoord in the 2000–01 season and was said to be a hot prospect for the future. Due to several long term injuries his career was set on hold. Leonardo can play as a left winger or as a striker.


Leonardo started at the Nova Safra football school in Rio de Janeiro and was raised in the Jacarezinho neighbourhood, which is also the area where Romário spent his early years. At the age of 11 his football talent was discovered by Jos de Putter who dedicated the documentary "Solo, de wet van de favela" to him and another young player. Following the attention it brought him he moved to Rotterdam to play in Feyenoord's youth squads at Varkenoord. He made his debut for Feyenoord on August 19, 2000 in a 2–0 victory over AZ at the age of 17, which brought him and Feyenoord into trouble as non European Union players were not able to play for a professional team under the age of 18. Leonardo had to wait until he turned 18 to play in Feyenoord's first team again. He scored his first goal in the match versus SC Heerenveen, which ended in 2–0. His second goal he scored in the away win against arch rivals Ajax and his popularity among Feyenoord fans grew.

In his first two seasons at Feyenoord he played 44 matches...
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