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New Scoring Hope for Kashima
New acquisition for Kashima Antlers Brazilian forward Alex Mineiro who had been recovering from an injury to his right thigh was finally able to join the rest of his team for practice.

His real full name is Alexander Pereira Cardoso; however I hear he changed it to Alex Mineiro because there were a lot of players with the nickname "Alex". So he used the name of the region he is from (Minas Gerais --> Mineiro, meaning "of Minas"). Called "child of lightning" in Brazil, he joined up with Takayuki Suzuki in the forward position during practice, and made a number of impressive shots on goal.

Last season he was paired with Washington (who this season transferred to Verdy Tokyo -- see article) and scored 27 goals for Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense. Kashima had been digging their own grave last year with their inability to score crucial goals; there is great expectation for Mineiro to help the team in that department. Not only does he have the speed, but his shots have an explosive quality and accuracy that has impressed his teammates.

He had long known about Zico's career with Kashima and always had a good impression of the team. Former Kashima player Bismarck had played the role of go-between during negotiations, so it is easy to see that on top of the financial incentives of playing in Japan there were other factors that helped clinch the deal. Of course, he will certainly not be alone in Japan with so many Brazilian players in the J.League already (including his buddy Washington); his coach in Kashima, Toninho Cerezo, is Brazilian afterall. There should be a minimum of communication problems there.

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