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São Paulo youngster João Schmidt promoted to the first team for next season

São Paulo coach Ney Franco believes Schmidt has
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São Paulo’s young midfielder João Schmidt has been promoted to the tricolor’s first team squad for next season with coach Ney Franco admitting the volante has “great quality”.

Schmidt, 19, who is the captain of the Brazil under-20 team, will follow in the footsteps of Breno and Lucas Moura in moving up the ranks at the Morumbi. The midfielder has already made his debut for the first team, in a 1-0 defeat to Vasco in July, but looks set to become a permanent member in 2013.

"Ney Franco has helped me a lot," he told Globo Esporte.

"In the U-20 team, he gave me the opportunity to be the captain. Here in São Paulo, was responsible for my debut in professional team.

"I believe I have his confidence and opportunities will arise."

Schmidt is expected to start the season playing in the Copa São Paulo junior tournament, before rejoining Franco’s squad who have a packed schedule in 2013 with the Campeonato Paulista, Copa Libertadores, Premier League, Recopa Sul-Americana and Copa Sul-Americana all to play for.

"I hope first to make a good Copa São Paulo to start instead of the professional team. We have so many championships ahead, everyone will have a chance to play."

The midfielder, who says his idols are Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo and Sergio Busquets, has impressed Franco with his quality and believes he can go a long way in the game.

"Without a doubt, he has great quality. He got to play some games this year and will eventually fight for his space in 2013. He is a huge player for the future."


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