Brazilian full-back Wanderson de Jesus Martins, commonly known as Caju, is having the time of his life while defending Cyprus’ champions Aris Limassol. He will enter the field tomorrow (5) against Rangers in the Europa League, in a difficult group that still features Sparta Prague and Real Betis.
In Brazil, Caju played for Santos and Goiás, but most of his career happened in Europe, where he won the Taça de Portugal with Braga and then the Cyprus’ national championship with both Apoel and Aris Limassol.
He does feel at home playing in Cyprus, as he is happy to affirm, because everything is historical at the team: the first title of the first division was because of him and his companions, as was their first participation in European competition last season, on the Conference League.
“It was the first time in the history of Aris Limassol playing in a European competition, so it was a very exciting and unique moment for us and everyone at the club, even though we only played in the playoffs. For me personally, it was even more special because I was able to score the team’s first goal in the history of the competition. It was a great experience, unfortunately we didn’t make it to the group stage, but it made us arrive this season with a little more baggage for the Champions League playoffs and also for the Europa League.”
Caju, you left Brazil and are now in Cyprus. What are the biggest differences in everyday life?
It has always been a goal since the beginning of my career to have the opportunity to play in European football. I left Brazil and came to Cyprus and then went to Portugal. They are different cultures, different languages, but thank God I managed to adapt well and I was very well received everywhere I went. Today I feel at home here in Cyprus and I can say that I am very happy.
At this moment, you are making history in Cyprus and especially in the team. What does it mean to you?
I am very happy with my entire journey here in Cyprus, from my first time here being champion with Apoel and now marking my name in the history of Aris Limassol. I am very grateful to the club for trusting in my work and allowing me to experience this historic and unprecedented moment in the history of Aris, becoming champion for the first time and competing in European competitions.
⚡️ Caju set to complete 5 years in our club: ARIS Limassol announces the extension of agreement with Wanderson Caju until the summer of 2026!
🟢 Congratulations Caju! We hope you enjoy even greater success with ARIS!
— Aris Limassol FC (@ArisLimassol) August 7, 2023
What explains these successful team campaigns?
The board has been investing heavily in the team in recent seasons and also in structure so that we have the best conditions to perform on the field. Thank God the fruits are being harvested and we have placed Aris at the top of local football and also taking the club to the European stage now in the group stage of the Europa League.
How was your adaptation to the team and the country in general?
I had already played in Cypriot football, I adapted very well to the country and the local culture, I identified a lot with Cyprus, so my second time here, now at Aris, made the adaptation even easier. I’m very happy here and I’m increasingly getting along with my teammates.
What are your expectations for this Europa League season?
Our expectations are the best possible, it is a unique moment in the club’s history, our fans are passionate and are living their dream watching their favorite team in the Europa League. We hope to have a good competition and perhaps advance to the next stage of the competition.
.@EuropaLeague in Limassol 🔥
This Thursday we are taking on @RangersFC ⚔️
Tickets are available: https://t.co/3JRDK9ESNz
— Aris Limassol FC (@ArisLimassol) October 1, 2023