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Perri Reaction: "This is the Opportunity of My Life"

24 January 2019

Crystal Palace's first signing of 2019 has arrived from Brazil: goalkeeper Lucas Perri, who put pen to paper switching from São Paulo earlier today.

The 21 year old Brazilian 'keeper joins Palace and spoke with Palace TV earlier to discuss his career so far, how it feels to have joined the Eagles and inspirational countrymen between the sticks.

On signing for Palace, Perri expressed his pride and excitement, saying, "It's an amazing feeling, I'm really glad to join the club - it's the opportunity of my life. Two months ago, I knew [about] the possibility to join Palace. Since then, I was pretty anxious to be here because I really wanted that. It's huge, it's a really important thing to me. It's the opportunity of my life and I'm going to do whatever it takes."

But London will be the first city Perri has lived in away from Brazil, having spent his entire life growing up on the south-eastern coast of South America. Looking back on his earlier years, he explained, "I grew up in São Paulo [in a city] called Campinas and I started to play aged 14 for Preta Bridge in my hometown.

"I played there for four years and then moved to São Paulo and I played for them, now I’m here! São Paulo is a massive club in Brazil, it’s the top club.

"Since I was a kid, since I was four, I liked to play in goal. I’m six foot, five inches - I was always the tallest in school classes! Rogerio Ceni was my hero, a goalie who could score goals! I started to play because of him."

As a Brazilian shot-stopper, Perri joins a long lineage of talented footballers. And, in more recent times, there has been a trend of high-profile 'keepers moving from South America to English cities.

"Brazilian ‘keepers have always been good, always," he said. "Ten years ago, they started to play here and they’ve had great success. Alisson and Ederson are inspirations for me and I hope to get close to them."

And explaining how he plays, the essence of what will allow him to get closer to those at the top, Perri said, "I really like to protect the goal, it’s the most important thing for the goalie. Today goalkeepers have to play with their feet. Safety is everything though, it’s the security for the team; to gain the team’s trust is the most important thing.

"It’s tougher in England, here the game you need more strength to play. The focus needs to be higher I think."

Perri ended the interview with a confident statement, in impeccable English. "I’m ready," he said. "I’m definitely sure about that. When I’m called upon for the first game, I’m ready."

To watch the full interview with Perri, head to Palace TV now on the official Palace app (desktop link).

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