Tavares was first talked about in 2020, when he was among the hundred contenders for the prestigious Golden Boy award, presented to the best young player in Europe. As a result, Tomasz did not break into the top 20, and the award was received by one of the strongest forwards of our time, Norwegian Erling Haaland. But it was then that the serious clubs began to take an interest in Tavares.
Tomás, who went through the entire Benfica system, did not find a place for himself in the main team. Sometimes he just had bad luck with the coaches, sometimes he got injured at the most inconvenient time. In total, the defender played less than 20 games for Lisbon, several times he was on loan. Last season, Tavares went temporarily to Basel, with whom he won the silver medal in the Swiss championship, and worked with the current starting helmsman for Spartak, Guillermo Abascal. Presumably, it was the Spaniard who initiated the invitation of the 21-year-old footballer to the ‘rojiblancos’ camp. At the same time, the Portuguese has not entered the field since May due to a cruciate ligament injury. Whether he will be able to fully recover from the damage and immediately start playing in the new team is a big question.
Another Spartak signing, Alexis Duarte, is considered one of the most progressive defenders in South America. In recent years, giants such as Boca Juniors (Argentina) and the Brazilian Vasco da Gama have taken an interest in him. There were talks about interest from top European clubs, particularly Arsenal. Supposedly, Londoners have been following Duarte for several years, but Cerro Porteño did not make a specific offer.
Before moving to Russia, Duarte played full time for his local team Cerro Porteño. For the ‘rojiazul’ Alexis spent more than a hundred games and was proclaimed champion of Paraguay twice. And last season, Alexis was the captain of Cerro in everything. Interestingly, the father of newcomer Spartak was also a professional footballer and also played for Cerro Porteño. Alexis got the nickname from his father: Octopus.
The purchase of Duarte takes on special relevance after the Slovenian Miha Mevlya left the Spartak team. As for Tavares, he will have to compete with several players at the same time for a place in the starting eleven. But there is no doubt that Abascal will find a solution. Under the command of the Spanish specialist, the rojiblancos have improved remarkably: after a disastrous last season in the RPL, this year the Muscovites leave second in the table for the winter break, six points behind Zenit Saint Petersburg. Many experts believe that Abascal’s team will be able to impose competition on the “blue-white-blue” in the battle for gold. However, Abascal himself prefers to talk about short-term goals.
– Is it possible to catch up with “Zenith”? I don’t live for tomorrow. Now I am completely focused on the training fields. We must not compare ourselves with others so as not to lose the real image. We must soberly evaluate only ourselves, – said Abascal.
Abaskal’s good work in the first part of the season in Russia did not go unnoticed in the specialist’s homeland. Rumors began to appear in the media about interest in the 33-year-old coach from various Spanish teams. Abascal himself admits that he likes everything at Spartak.
– I can guarantee my desire to work at Spartak, to improve the team, to please the fans. Everything else is rumors. Our fans should be proud not only of the great history of their club, but also of the current results. That is what we are working for here ”, Abascal emphasizes.
In the meantime
The pairings for the semifinals of the League of Nations have been announced. The draw took place at the headquarters of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Nyon, Switzerland.
The first couple will face the teams of the Netherlands and the 2022 World Cup bronze medalists, the Croats, on June 14 in Rotterdam. A day later, in Enschede, the Spanish and the current European champions, the Italians, will face each other. The mini-tournament final is scheduled for June 18, with the third-place match taking place on the same day.