Former QPR youngster’s chance to make it in Brazil
PUBLISHED: 14:32 22 August 2012
A teenager from Willesden Green is seeking fame and fortune in the world’s best-known football nation after going on trial with Brazilian club Fluminense.
Sixteen-year-old full-back Solomon Pastor, who was on QPR’s books for four years, has been invited back to train in Brazil for the second time this summer.
Should Solomon earn a contract with Fluminense, who have won three national titles and were Copa Libertadores finalists in 2008, he would become one of the first British footballers to play professionally in the South American country.
His father Hender, who originally comes from Peru but grew up in Brazil, told the Times: “When this opportunity came for him to go there, I knew what an amazing experience it would be to play in the home of the five-time world champions.
“I felt doors were not opening here, but Brazil is the place to be at the moment and Fluminense is the fourth biggest club in the country. I think he’s got a good chance.”
Despite his South American heritage, Solomon’s footballing genes come from the other side of his family – his mother Deborah’s grandfathers both played for West Ham United’s youth team.
The teenager never played football at school as he attended the rugby-playing St Benedict’s RC School in Ealing, but he caught the eye of a Chelsea scout while playing at Westway Sports Centre aged seven.
After a short period with Chelsea, he moved on to Fulham, representing the Cottagers in international tournaments, and then to QPR, where he blossomed under the guidance of Fitzroy Lewinson, coach of the under-14 team.
Despite prolonged discussions with Rangers during the past year, the club finally released him and, while training with Barnet to keep fit, Solomon was recommended to Brazilian technical director Nei Rama.
“Fitz helped me a lot – he’s a really good coach and things were going well,” said Solomon. “In the end it didn’t work out, but I don’t have any hard feelings. I think everything happens for a reason.
“Fluminense’s a very good football environment. The style of football is a very different way of playing – they’re attacking all the time, they’re very skilful and technical.
“The first touch is really good and it has to be at that level. If there is an opportunity, the idea is to play there for a while, then come back because I’d love to play in the Premier League – that’s everyone’s dream.”
Solomon, who has also previously trained with Inter Milan, Espanol and Real Zaragoza, returned to Brazil last weekend.
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