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Perri explains a footballer's life moving to England

10 March 2019

Crystal Palace signed goalkeeper Lucas Perri from Sao Paulo towards the end of January, and he has been settling in with the club ever since.

The shot-stopper upped-sticks from Brazil for the first time in his life to move to south London, and took a moment recently to explain just what happens when a player from abroad moves to England, how they settle in and in what way the change affects their life. 

Though for many people moving country may be a pivotal, life-changing decision, it appears that for a footballer, it has to be one made swiftly and without delay, as the Brazilian found himself at work on the training pitches the day after his plane landed in Blighty.

"It was fast," he explained. "I arrived and signed for the club and the next day I was already training. It was really good, I really enjoyed that and it was a fast adaptation. They have all your kit straight away.

"I stayed in a hotel then I moved to a flat in south-west London where I live with my fiancé. It was really fast because everyone gave me the support I needed in that moment: I came here, stayed in a hotel and then within 10 days I was living in a flat and my fiancé was arriving. The guys in the club all helped me. It was really, really good and fast.

"Early on, I went to watch a game at Selhurst. I trained in the morning early and walked to the stadium so I can see the whole place and it’s really nice. The atmosphere is amazing!"

But even away from Selhurst and Norwood, the sights and attractions of London still have an effect on anyone first seeing them and Perri has wasted no time around a demanding footballing schedule to enjoy them, even treating his parents to a guided tour.

He said: "My parents are visiting in town, so every off-day I go and eat with them and go to see places. I’ve shown them all the important places like Buckingham Palace; all the tourist places. They really like to walk and so now they know the place better than me!

"It’s a beautiful city. The view of everything is amazing."

But London finds its strengths not only in its appearance but in other areas, too, as Perri explains that life in the capital is entirely different to that he enjoyed on the South American coast.

"Firstly, I think London is really cold and the beginning was hard [getting used to the temperature]. London is a really secure place to live, that’s the thing that’s really impressed me.

"In Sao Paulo, it’s not quite like that. I was walking with my parents here and you can just stop to take photos without worrying that there’s someone looking to catch your phone. The security is amazing.

"It wasn’t difficult [growing up in Sao Paulo] but walking in the city to see places, or in a crowd, here you’ve got security but in Sao Paulo you can’t just walk in a crowd with your phone in your hand. I feel good for my fiancé being with me in this place."

Now, settled in London having been here for over six weeks, Perri is enjoying his time in the capital, with one part of it in particular welcoming him most warmly.

"In Selhurst, before watching the game, people approached me and asked for photos but that doesn't happen so much elsewhere!"

To watch highlights of yesterday's game and all the post-match reaction, head over to Palace TV now. Or, if you're reading on the app, just click 'Palace TV'.

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