“Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side”. Lou Reed’s famous hit has so far seemed to be something of a spiritual guide for 21-year-old Brazilian striker Jonathan Reis. An undoubted talent, brimming with skill, but difficult to manage and intent on being larger than life. Since 2007, Reis has been at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, and has never failed to show his quality on the pitch, providing that is, he can keep out of trouble off it.
Just three weeks ago Reis played his first match of the season with PSV and bagged a brace. Coming off the bench at the start of the second half, at home to VVV-Venlo, the Brazilian broke the deadlock and opened the scoring, helping PSV past what had been, until then, a solid Venlo defensive wall. As Reis stepped on to the pitch, he received a standing ovation from the 33,000 strong crowd – it is a sign of his talent that despite off the pitch troubles, Reis is a cult figure at the Philips Stadion. Two weeks later, Reis turned out for his second game, away in Tilburg against Willem II, and was again on the scoresheet,
striking PSV’s fourth with a powerful shot. He struck again soon after, against Debrecen in the Europa League
The Brazilian also had a hand in PSV’s unexpectedly large 10-0 demolition of Feyenoord at the Philips Stadion on Sunday. Reis scored the first, third and sixth goals against the Rotterdam giants. As PSV ran riot, his hat-trick further confirmed what everyone in Holland already knows – Reis is good, very good.
Reis is highly rated by PSV. Exceptionally quick and with superb technical ability, the club have faith that he can grow into a key performer. Coach Fred Rutten is so aware of Reis’ exciting talents that he moved to offer the player a contract at the start of the season. This despite PSV having sacked Reis last January due to his use of cocaine.
Oscar Wilde believed “the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it”. It is a philosophy Reis would appear to subscribe to. During his first season in Holland, he broke his left foot twice. On the second occasion, former coach Huub Stevens blamed the player for a self-inflicted injury, having believed Reis to have prematurely removed the cast from his foot. When Reis eventually recovered from injury, Stevens demoted him to the reserves, then loaned him to Brazilian side FC Tupi due to, in the words of the coach, “unprofessional behaviour” – Reis had returned to Holland late from Brazil after the winter break.
After Reis tested positive for drug use last January, the striker refused to seek treatment. Consequently, PSV showed him the door. Reis eventually made his return on 17th July, signing a new one-year contract, with an option for a three-year extension. However, more trouble was not far away. On 19th September, in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Brazilian was stopped on the road from Weert to Eindhoven, and found to be driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Speaking for PSV, the club’s technical director Marcel Brands quickly explained that “the player will receive a hefty fine, but no further action will be taken. Jonathan has acknowledged his mistake. He is now having treatment and we knew that there would be pitfalls in the personal rehabilitation process. However, he will be given a chance to make amends.”
PSV have a great tradition when it comes to discovering and then developing Brazilian talent. Stars like Romario, Ronaldo, Alex and Heurelho Gomes are just some of those to have passed through the doors at De Herdgang over the years. Reis was scouted in 2007, when the youngster was turning out for Atletico Mineiro, and arrived in Holland with fellow countrymen Cassio Ramos and Fagner Conserva Lemos. Since the trio were given games for the reserves however, it was abundantly clear that it was Reis who was the brightest gem, just waiting to be polished.
The Contagem-born youngster immediately impressed amongst PSV’s future crop, shining out like a beacon as the Dutch side’s Under-18s won the Teborg tournament – Reis scored a brace in the final as PSV bested Boca Juniors. Next Reis was crowed best striker at the 2007 Otten Cup, the international youth tournament regularly staged by PSV. It was only a matter of time until the Brazilian made the breakthrough to the first team, and he duly did so in the 2009/10 campaign, scoring three goals in the Eredivisie, four in the Europa League and one in Dutch Cup – all while never becoming a regular in the starting
PSV are doing all they can to shield their young talent and keep him on the straight and narrow. The Eindhoven club have barred Reis from speaking to the media and his training has been intensified, PSV determined not to test the adage “the devil makes work for idle hands”. Now, for the third time, Reis has made his comeback, vowing “I intend to repair the trust”. Everybody at PSV hopes this is not the umpteenth unfulfilled promise.
Fonte: Inside Futbol