On Thursday, September 8, 2022, at 12:30 p.m Brazilian midfielder Nonato was introduced as a Ludogorets player. Less than 10 hours later, the 24-year-old player was bathed in the spotlight! He came on as a substitute against Roma and scored the winning goal.
The success over the Roman Wolves, and the performance of the technician, will forever remain in history. Gustavo Nonato Santana – as the Brazilian’s full name is – appeared on the pitch in the 77th minute when the Eagles were leading 1-0. In the 86th, the scoreboard was already 1:1. Seconds later, however, he brought the stadium to its feet with a moment of genius.
Tekpetei found Rick on the right of the box and the diminutive winger found his compatriot with a sharp pass. Nonato made it so that even with the control of the ball he opened a corridor for the next move, and at the same time derailed the defender of the Italians Ibanez. Then he just pushed the ball, setting it on his right foot, while the defender was already just crawling behind him.
In the end, it seemed to be the easiest, but in fact it was also the most difficult – with a precise diagonal shot from the corner of the goalkeeper’s penalty area to stretch the net. Well, Nonato did not flinch and with his excellent performance brought the memorable success of Ludogorets. Gadzeta delo Sport’s assessment of what the midfielder did on the field during his short stay was categorical: “He came in and changed the game. First he scored the decisive goal, and then almost scored a second. Excellent!” wrote the Italians and gave him the highest rating.
The transfer of Nonato was difficult, but apparently there was a reason why Ludogorets wanted so much to attract the player who was owned by Internacional, but played on loan in Fluminense. According to local media, he was paid 1.7 million dollars for 70% of his rights, and according to certain clauses, the amount can increase by another $600 thousand.
With his goal, Nonato brought 420,000 euros directly into the coffers of Ludogorets – success brings 630,000 euros, while the draw is valued by UEFA at 210,000 euros. That is, the Brazilian “already knocked out” about a quarter of the fixed transfer amount paid for him (by the way – currently the euro and the dollar have almost equal values).
After his impressive debut against Roma, the Brazilian said: “The feeling after such success is incredible. I didn’t believe it… Not even in my dreams did I imagine that I would experience something like this – to score such an important goal against such a great rival as Roma in my very first game. Thanks to my teammates for their support. I hope this is a good basis.” And in his profile on social networks, he posted a video of the goal and wrote: “First win in the Europa League. This is just the beginning guys! We are from Ludogorets!”. And the people of Razgrad really hope that this is just the beginning for Nonato.