The Brazilian centre-back will be plying his trade with the Phobians next season. Godfred Budu Yeboah provides the lowdown on the man who left the shores of Sao Paulo to begin a professional career in Accra, Ghana.
It’s a little over a month since the 19 year old arrived in the country on the invitation of Portuguese gaffer Sergio Traguil to trial with Ghanaian giants, Accra Hearts of Oak. There were a lot of squeal among the followers of the club and lovers of the game who couldn’t comprehend why a talented Brazilian would opt to play in Ghana instead of his homeland or Europe. Gracefully, the young Brazilian’s impressive showing during training with the senior side and playing with the club’s reserve side could possibly convince the management of the club to sign him for the season ahead.
Like any other star, little Lozano’s talent was spotted at an early age while playing on the streets of Sao Paulo with friends. His talent earned him playing stints with Palmeiras, Santo Andre, Sao Vicente (Santos and E. C Agua Santa all in Brazil.
“Growing up in Sao Paulo really brought out the best in me.” The state has a rich history of churning out talents. The likes of Robinho and in recent times Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Boschilla corroborates to this claim.” Kids are always seen on the streets playing football on the streets and practicing new tricks learnt on TV.” He told ghanafans.com
Aggressive and surprisingly rugged for a player his age, Lozano’s resolve is matched by his acute sensibility in defensive situations. His awareness of when to close down and strip the ball from opponents is impressive, as is his speed in covering ground to instigate his team’s pressing. Lozano is always searching for a forward pass to open up an opponent.
Versatile and full of youthful verve, the 19-year old was on the verge of joining Croatian side NK Stupnik but had to opt for Accra Hearts of Oak because of their coach Sergio Traguil. “ I almost signed for NK Stupnik but I had a call from Sergio Traguil, a man I hold a great deal of respect for to come to Ghana and help him.” He quipped. “I have no regret turning down the chance to play in Europe for Africa.” In life there are so many things that can’t be explained until after some time.” He ended.
Lozano seems to be a lover of Ghana football and a keen follower of the Black Stars.” Ghana is a country with an abundance of talent. In this short time that I have been here I have seen a lot of them, I think Ghana really deserve to be the called the Brazilians of African football.” “You will see kids playing football on the streets and beaches reminiscent of what happens in my country.”
Admittedly, he confessed to having no knowledge about the Ghanaian giants till Sergio asked him to join the club. He was full of praise for the club and fans.” Hearts of Oak is indeed a big club. I have learnt a lot about them since my arrival and I really love what I have seen from them. The fans are so passionate about the club and would always want to see the club compete at the highest level. Hearts of Oak is a club worth playing for.”
Having witnessed few of the league games, Lozano is aware of the challenge ahead but the confident teenager was optimistic his stay with the Phobians will be successful. “I am ready for the challenge ahead. I have all it takes to be successful here.” Like most teenagers, he needs to work on his overall strength and physical shape, but even with his current frame, he is strong to compete in the very physical world of the Ghanaian Premier League.
Lozano can also play a as right- back. He surges forward very well not forgetting his defensive duties. His crosses are top-notch. He provides hard running, solid positioning and astute awareness without the ball, working aggressively to make opposition attackers sweat.
Lozano idolizes Italian greats Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and compatriot Thiago Silva. “I love these players lot. Their composure before, during and after games is what spurs me on. I pray I play to that level to make a name for myself.”
Lozano looks ready to force his way into Hearts’ backline. The Phobians have been craving a centre-back with his qualities for a while now and his inclusion will surely be a blessing to the Accra based club that’s been in need of a proper reinforcement for some time.
The learning curve is steep, but Lozano has the raw ingredients to improve with the right guidance.