Héber: from partnering Firmino in Brazil to replacing David Villa in NYC

Heber played alongside ‘Alberto’ Firmino in his teens before spells in Armenia and Croatia earned him a move to New York

By Joshua Law for Yellow & Green Football

Héber didn’t have to think twice. He had received a phone call from Srecko Juricic, sporting director of Croatian club HNK Rijeka, who told him that New York City FC were preparing to make a bid. “I said I’d go,” recalls the Brazilian forward. “The scout from New York City went to Rijeka and showed me the project. It was an easy decision.” Six months on, it is not one he regrets. Héber has scored 14 goals in 17 starts in MLS, including a spectacular late winner against local rivals New York Red Bulls in August, and confirmed himself as this season’s breakthrough star.

Héber’s move to the US is is just the latest step in a winding and sometimes difficult career that has taken him from the Amazon to New York via the Brazilian lower leagues and the outer reaches of European football. He seems delighted with his new club. “The league is really good, the infrastructure is great, the stadium is always full,” he says.

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