Everything you need to know about Lucas Paqueta

At 15 Lucas Paqueta had bone problems. Now, the Flamengo star will have the opportunity to grace San Siro just like his idol Kaka did a few years ago.

The new Milan focuses on quality. This is clearly demonstrated by the purchase of Lucas Tolentino Coelho de Lima, aka Paqueta, 21-year-old Flamengo gem considered the most promising talent of the Brazilian scene after the departure of former teammate Vinicius Jr to Real Madrid. Raised in the youth ranks of Flamengo, where he landed when he was just 8 years old, the youngster made his debut with the first team in 2016 and quickly become the reference point of his squad thanks to an excellent technique, a gifted left foot able to produce intoxicating dribbling and elegant movements worthy of the tradition of the best Brazilian number 10s.

Within a year and a half, Lucas Paqueta has become the undisputed idol of the torcida, earning praise from two champions like Ronaldinho and Neymar. The former Ballon d’Or considered Paqueta this summer as the best talent in Brazil, predicting a bright future for him in some top European club when the boy had already finished in the sights of Barcelona and PSG. O Ney instead labeled the 21 year old a few days ago as a “crack” ready for the big stage.

On the other hand, the images of his skills and goals scored with the shirt of Flamengo (18 in 95 appearances, including an amazing brace against Corinthians) leave no room for doubt. The elegance of his movements reminds a bit of Ricardo Kaka and a bit of the Pastore of the early days, while the outstanding dribbling and ability to skip the opponent with sudden changes of direction and his precise left foot refer to Ronaldinho. All this is combined with a strong propensity to penetrate the penalty area, where lately Paqueta has refined his header skills thanks to his 180 cm.


My favorite position is at the center, as a classic playmaker” the Brazilian star recently confessed on the Flamengo website talking about his idolatry for Kaka and the great admiration for Iniesta, “the player that has always inspired me”. But Lucas Paqueta has proven to be very versatile, so much so that he often plays as a false nine, central midfielder and even as left winger.

It is no secret that the youngster is particularly at ease wandering between midfield and attack, even with his back towards the goal, aiming mainly to the left and wreaking havoc on the opposing defense. Skilled in tight spaces and lover of effect play, Lucas Paqueta is used to make a connection between midfield and attack, always ready to move backwards to get the ball in the setting phase.


The last two friendlies played by the Seleçao national team in September against USA and El Salvador, coincided with his debut, have put on show his ductility, seeing him act both on the left in a three-man midfield and as centre forward. The aspects where he needs to work more are his right foot, currently used almost exclusively as a support element, and strength.

Lucas Paqueta has indeed grown rapidly, gaining an unbelievable 27 centimeters within three years after, still 15 years old, Flamengo put him through a specific medical treatment to solve some bone problems that, as confessed by his youth coach Carlos Naval, had stopped his natural growth in a disturbing way. Tenacity and patience allowed him to blossom and take off, demonstrating the technical baggage that can make all the Rossoneri fans dream and admire their new “crack”.