Éder Bonfim's turnaround at Timişoara

Brazilian Bonfim's debut for Timişoara in 2008 was a football player's nightmare. Introduced in the last minutes against modest Buzău, at 2-0 for Poli. His first touch of the ball was also a beginner's mistake. Unable to hit the ball, it went between his legs, to an opposing attacker, leaving him a clear shot for goal. That sealed Bonfim's fate with Poli's coach back then, Dusan Uhrin. He was introduced sporadically for the rest of the half-season, without showing anything to put behind the first impression, that of just another failed transfer.

In love with the round ball, young Bonfim recounts how he started to play football, not on the beaches of Copacabana, as one might think of a Brazilian, but in his home town of Mineiros, situated in the center of Brazil. But that did not stop him to play with his friends all day, 'till dark.

His career started with Grêmio Anápolis in 2000 as right-wing defender. Despite signing a 5 year contract in 2002, he didn't play much for Grêmio, as he was loaned to different Portuguese teams: Benfica, Estrela da Amadora, Sporting Braga and Vitória Setúbal. Finally, in 2005, he was sold to União Leiria, for which he gathered 76 appearances in 3 years. Despite being in the views of Rapid Bucharest for a longer period of time, after Leiria's relegation, Bonfim chose to come to Timişoara.

And, when he thought he ended his streak of being loaned from one team to the other, after the winter break of the 2008-2009 season, he was given to Gloria Buzău, together with other players from Timişoara. He certainly got to play more matches, and soon it became obvious he was one of the best from the Buzău squad.

Unsurprisingly, after the summer assessment of available players, new coach Ioan Ovidiu Sabău, decided to keep him at Timişoara. Not only that, but he gave the Brazilian a spot in the first eleven. His debut was another bad one, with two mistakes, facilitating Shaktar's goals. Nevertheless, his play, especially the first half, was very good. Sabău noticed that, and gave him another chance, the defender becoming a constant presence in the team, with good matches all round. Certainly, a wonderful turnaround!

Bonfim was so delighted, that he thanked the coach for believing in his abilities and offering him the chance to prove himself: "Nobody believed in me at first. My only support was my family, always close when I needed. Even when I played at Buzău, they motivated me to work hard, in hope of better times. Then came Mr. Sabău, who understood my football character and offered me the chance I desired, also giving me what I lacked most: trust."

Even Poli's boss, Marian Iancu, has praises for him, despite giving him hard times back when nobody cared about Bonfim: "He is truly a professional player. [...] He is exceptional, one of the most offensive defenders I have seen."

Many good games ahead, Éder!


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