Once Upon a Time Edinson CAVANI

Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1 and the Uruguayan national team. A very prolific goalscorer, Cavani was listed 10th in The Guardian 's list of The 100 best footballers in the world in 2012. His Father, Luis was known as “El Gringo” because of his Italian surname, played for Nacional and Salto Uruguay and later coached both teams. It was Luis’ influence that first saw Edinson set out on the path to becoming a footballer, while Edinson’s elder half-brother, Walter Guglielmone, also plays the game in France. Edinson first played the game at the age of three and soon began playing for various junior teams in his native city of Salto, where he quickly began to show his talent. Luis recalls: “Edinson always wanted to play with a ball on any ground near home with other kids and they’d set up a goal and have fun with it as long as they could”. “He joined Salto Uruguay at the age of 12 and when he was 13 I took over coaching the team and put him in the youth first team, not because he was my son but because he had the ability and I saw him as a footballer”. But Edinson was not allowed to neglect his studies because of football. Luis, who is the father to two sons and three daughters, explained: “We’ve always tried to give the children the best for their education and I’ve always told them, especially Edinson, that before playing football they would have to develop as people to succeed in life and he’s clear about that, because otherwise there’s no point being a star on the pitch and an example of nothing away from it”. An example of his devotion to football is the fact that as an adolescent he wasn’t bothered about night parties and always wanted to go to bed early so that the next morning he could have all his energy to give to the ball. Football was his life. 

When Edinson moved to the capital Montevideo to join Uruguayan outfit Liverpool at the age of 17, he missed his native Salto and didn’t enjoy the atmosphere with his team-mates. He asked Walter for advice. Walter, who has the same mother but a different father, was a player with Danubio at the time and told him to try his luck with the side. Former Danubio head Anibal Rey recalls: “At Danubio we received Edinson Cavani with open arms. Besides, he came recommended by his half-brother Walter Guglielmone and he adapted quickly. In February 2006, we went with Danubio youth team to play in the Coppa Carnevale in Viareggio (Italy) and he was in the team. He put in two great performances, and it led to (Italian team) Chievo de Verona setting eyes on him and they invited him to stay for a week, training, but then the transfer didn’t happen.” Edinson was promoted to Danubio’s first team and scored his first goal for the side in May 2006, ironically against Liverpool. To begin with, Cavani was far from a prolific goalscorer and tended to miss a lot of chances, but intensive work with his coach, Matosas, helped to transform him into one of Europe's most feared hitmen. He joined Italian club Palermo in a £3.7m deal back in 2007 before moving to Napoli three years later, where he found the back of the net 104 times in 138 games in all competitions, including an incredible 38 goals last season before moved to France in the last summer.

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