Happy Birthday Leo!
Our defender Leo Matos turns 34 today, and PAOK FC would like to wish him many years of health, happiness and successes on both a personal and professional level.
Leo Matos was born in Rio de Janeiro on 02.04.1986 and he grew up in the neighborhood of Sao Goncalo.
He started playing football at the age of eight in the youth academy of Flamengo and represented Brazil at Under-17 level, winning the World Championship. His impressive performances attracted the attention of Marseille, who signed him in January 2003.
The 17-year-old Brazilian did not seem to hit it off with the French club initially, however, and he returned to Flamengo just one-and-a-half years later, where he took his first steps as a full professional. After that he went back to try again at Marseille, and this time got some pitch time in matches. But again he did not settle and returned to Brazil once more.
Between 2007 and 2010, hHe represented Tombense, Parana, Figueirense and Vila Nova, before once more trying his luck in Europe – this time switching to Chornomorets Odesa in February 2010, where he soon became one of the leading players at both his club and in the Ukrainian championship.
Even though his natural position is at right-back, in the Ukraine Matos mainly played on the right wing at Chornomorets, demonstrating that he could operate just as well there. In the summer of 2014 he signed for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, and it was there he converted himself from a right-sided wingback to a left wingback with great success. He was part of the team that reached the Europa League final in the 2014-15 season when they were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Sevilla.
From the summer of 2016 he has been at PAOK and established himself as one of the club’s top performers and one of the best right backs in the Greek league.
He has made 157 appearances in the black and white shirt of PAOK, scoring 26 goals and contributing 17 assists.
Happy Birthday El Loco!