Thiago Martins

Thiago Martins

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Thiago Martins

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Thiago Martins (born 4 September 1976 in São Paulo, Brazil) is a retired Brazilian football striker.

Early Life and Amateur Career

Martins was born on the east side of São Paulo, Brazil, and came to the United States in 1996. He landed in Los Angeles, California, at 19 years old and with little money. He eventually made his way to Santa Barbara, California, where he slept in hotels until his money ran out. He had to resort to sleeping on the beach. Fortunately he awoke one morning to a group of people playing soccer on the beach and joined them. One of the players took Martins into their home, even though Martins spoke little English or Spanish and they spoke no Portuguese. He began to play soccer in Sunday leagues, where Tim Vom Steeg noticed his skill as he attempted to defend him in one game.

<blockquote>"He was up top and I was a defender, so I covered him. I've covered a lot of forwards, Eric Wynalda for example, but no one was as strong as Thiago. He was just so powerful. When the game ended we talked, and I asked him if he was interested in playing at City College and getting an education." - Tim Vom Steeg

Thiago agreed and started taking classes at Santa Barbara City College, where he also played soccer for two years from 1997 to 1998 under head coach Tim Vom Steeg. Vom...
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