Goal takes a look at the career of the Flamengo youth product…
Odisha FC have roped in Brazilian striker Diego Mauricio to partner Manuel Onwu upfront in the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season.
The 29-year-old is a typical centre forward who will be the target-man playing on the shoulders of the opposition centre-backs.
Let’s take a closer look at a player who has rubbed shoulders with some famous Brazilians like Neymar and Firmino.
Jersey Number: 11
Youth Career and Debut
Mauricio was born in Rio de Janeiro. He joined the Flamengo youth set up in 2008. He honed his skills under Rogério Lourenço at the academy. He spent three years in the developmental squad and in 2010 he was promoted to the senior team.
His shooting and clinical finishing caught the eyes of many and he made his senior professional debut against Gremio Prudente. He came on a substitute and joined Bruno Mezenga upfront. He earned a penalty for his side after he was knocked down in the box. Flamengo went on to win the match 3-1.
For his stout physique, accurate finishing and fiery pace, he was fondly called Drogbinha or the little Drogba.
He scored his first professional goal within 10 minutes of the match against Avai at the Maracana stadium in a 1-1 draw.
In the latter half of the campaign, he fell down the pecking order, yet he was not allowed to leave when an offer came in from Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukrainians were ready to offer 5 million Euros but the club president wanted a million more and eventually, the deal fell through.
The footballer has vast experience as he played in three different continents and in established competitions such as the Chinese Super League and the Korean League.
In 2012, Mauricio was signed by Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz, but the striker could not find his feet in his new surroundings and soon returned on loan to his native country to play for SC Recife.
He signed for Portuguese side Vitoria SC in 2014 but after making four appearances he returned to Brazil to join RB Bragantino. He made 13 appearances and scored twice for the South American side.
Thereafter in 2016, he was once again loaned out to Chinese Super League side Shijiazhuang Ever Bright where he scored four goals in 24 appearances. In the following season, he joined Gangwon FC in South Korea.
In the previous season, he was plying his trade in Brazil for CS Alagoano. He made 10 appearances for the club in various competitions but could not find the net.
Mauricio was part of the U20 Brazil squad that won the 2011 South American Championship. He shared the dressing room with Neymar, Casemiro, Roberto Firmino, Lucas Moura and Danilo. He scored two goals in the tournament against Chile and Colombia respectively.