- No10 has been one of Angola’s star performers at U-17 World Cup
- Aggressive dribbling style has already caught the eye of European sides
- Zito had a goal against Canada ruled out by VAR
The fans at the Estadio Bezerrao were sent into raptures on Tuesday by a spectacular somersault display, performed by Angola’s No10. Yet Zito Luvumbo’s joy lasted only seconds, as VAR ruled that there had been an offside in the build-up to his team’s second goal against Canada.
Minutes later, however, David scored to ensure that Angola would not be denied their second win in Group A, by two goals to one. And although he is yet to register a goal at the tournament, Zito’s performances have stood out in a side that has already booked its place in the last 16.
But where does he find his inspiration for such a bold playing style? When it comes to his celebrations, at least, the answer is straightforward: “I learned from video games.”
A left-footed player who lines up on the right, Zito is never afraid to dribble and take on the opposition, offering Angola an effective outlet to turn defence into attack. “I model myself on various players like Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi and plenty of others,” he told FIFA.com.
The level of self-confidence that Zito displays out on the pitch is rare, even for a youngster untarnished by the senior game. The No10 says that his style of play is also fuelled by emotion and, in that regard, he is grateful for the support of his family back in Luanda. Since arriving in Brazil, the forward has got into the habit of speaking with his mother and siblings every day. But he reserves a special affection for his father.
“My family must be really happy. My dad should be sleeping at this time, but he’s probably on the sofa watching his son. It’s an honour, a source of real pride.”
Zito is one of the few players of his age group to have already represented his country at senior level and, recently, the player was also invited for a trial at Manchester United’s academy.
However, all that matters right now is Brazil. On Friday, Zito will lead his country out once more, this time against the hosts, in a head-to-head duel to determine which side will finish top of Group A. “We’re already through to the next round. But the pressure will still be on. We’re going to underline to everyone the importance of finishing in first place. It won’t be an easy game. Brazil are the home team. But we’re going to go out there with the same attitude,” he declared.