Atlético Madrid Femenino's 23-year-old Brazilian forward Ludmila da Silva was the talk of the town last weekend as the new season got underway. She scored twice in Atleti's 0-4 thrashing of Málaga - a result which puts the Rojiblancos top of the table. Diario AS caught up with Ludmila this week to look forward to the team's next big game, Thursday's Champions League MatchDay 1 clash with Manchester City WFC.
After the opening weekend of action in the Liga Iberdrola, everyone is talking about you...
I'm very happy to have scored my first goal in the Liga Iberdrola. I think I made the exact movement which the coach (Sánchez Vera) asked of me. Linari started the move, then Sosa put me through with a great pass and all I had to do was put the ball in the back of the net.
Counter attacking skills
Your speed, the pace you showed on Saturday was something else...
Yes. My pace is on the strong points to me game and several kinds of moves are intrinsic in me, it's a quality I try to make the most of.
How is life in Atlético?
I feel totally at home. The girls gave me a warm welcome, the whole team. Playing for Atleti is what every player dreams about.
This is your second season at the club…
I'm only just starting out and I'm really enjoying myself.
Which players in the team do you get along best with?
Messi (Silvia Meseguer) and Amanda, but I get on really well with everyone.
Life in the capital
Tell us a little about your daily routine in Madrid?
I go from my home to the training ground then back home. I share a flat with another of the team's Brazilian players, Rinaly, who only recently arrived. I enjoy watching films in my free time but mostly I am with my family. Sometimes I'll go and watch a pagode (live music, a type of samba).
How did you come to sign for Atlético?
It was through my agent. I was playing for São Paulo and had already my debut with the national team. The club saw me and took an interest in me.
You actually started out in athletics, not football…
Yes, but that was mainly school competitions against other schools. I've always played football, although not always seriously or professionally. I only played for fun.
When you joined Atleti last summer, you said your dream was to buy a house for your Mum. Have you managed to do that yet?
Not yet, I'm still saving to be able to do it. When the moment comes I'll do it. In Brazil, I lived with my aunt, en São Paulo, in Jaraguá. I grew up living with her. My mum lives in another city - Guarulhos.
Round of 32 meeting with City at the Cerro del Espino
On Thursday, the Champions League starts with Atlético meeting Manchester City...
Manchester City are a very difficult opponent because their players form the base of the England team. It'll be a game decided by small details.
What was the worst moment last season: losing 12-2 to Wolfsburg or losing the Copa de la Reina in the last minute of extra-time?
Both were very tough, really tough, but maybe the Champions League defeat was the worst.
Atleti is your first club outside of Brazil - is it the most difficult club you've played for?
The most difficult part for me has been learning the language and adapting out on the pitch although I'm getting by now. I want to take Spanish lessons but I've always struggled to learn new languages.
Have you performances with Atlético been noticed back home in Brazil?
I don't really know because they don't really value what we do. I come from a favela and so I am not really too worried about what the media says. The only thing I want is to make the most of this experience of playing football and that the girls in the community I grew up in can see that another word does exist; and apart from that, that through football they can realize their dreams and get to know other cultures and countries. It is worth making an effort to achieve your dreams.
What differences have you noticed between the Brazilian game and the Spanish game?
Here in Spain, the girls are more technical.