″It exceeds my expectations″

André Claro scores three goals in as many matches and also has an assist. Club leads Série B and the goal is to return it to Liga 3; The 32-year-old striker left Valadares for S. João de Ver, a project that captivated him due to the growth of the club. The fact that he had already worked with Pedro Machado, the coach, also weighed in the decision.

Three games, as many goals and an assist. This is André Claro’s record in this start of the championship for S. João de Ver, a club for which he signed this season after having played for the first time in the Portuguese Championship the previous season, for Valadares, where he also left a mark: ten goals in 26 games. « This beginning is exceeding my expectations, but I already had the ambition to start well. I didn’t set the goal of being the top scorer, but it’s obvious that I liked it. It could be a goal to achieve », underlines the 32-year-old striker. , who alone leads the list of top scorers.

Admitting to O JOGO that he is not as explosive as in the past, however, the striker has not lost his other qualities. « I’ve played as a winger, but I made the difference in teams that played with two forwards, especially when they complemented each other. I’m not as explosive in one-on-ones anymore, but I score goals, understand the game and like to have the ball », describes André Claro , which now plays in a 3x5x2 format.

The new stage in his career is at the service of malapeiros and the explanation for the change is simple. « I found the project interesting, first because I am close to home (he is from Vila Nova de Gaia), which was one of the requirements, and also because it is an experienced club, which has already passed through Liga 3 and was growing. I like the ideas of the coach (Pedro Machado), with whom I worked at Leixões and Vilafranquense, when he was assistant », he says.

In charge of Série B, Claro does not look at S. João de Ver as the main favorite for the climb, despite that being the objective, as there are opponents to take into account. « We are thinking game by game, the main objective is to return to Liga 3, but we know how difficult this series is. Of the four, it is the strongest and most balanced. Rebordosa continues to have a great squad, Amarante has a very strong team, Paredes… There are many teams that can fight for that goal and I can’t pinpoint the favorite. What I can say is that we’ve been competent », he notes.

Morocco and the nostalgia of the I Liga

Passing through FC Porto schools, Claro had at Union Touarga (Morocco) his only experience outside Portugal. And it was short, just over a month, in 2022/23. « The club didn’t identify with me and vice versa, that’s why we agreed to terminate », he recalls, pointing out below the I Liga clubs that left his mark: « V. Setúbal, because everything went very well for me and it was the springboard; Arouca, because it gave me the opportunity to be a professional; Boavista was special for the club it is; and Estoril appeared perhaps at my peak. »

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