Fish ready to Roar
Fresh from a fairytale debut last weekend, Henrique – known as Biliquinha or 'the slippery fish' – is hoping to make a splash in Queensland Roar's Preliminary Final in Adelaide on Saturday.
Fresh from a fairytale debut last weekend, Henrique - known as Biliquinha or 'the slippery fish' - is hoping to make a splash in Queensland Roar's Preliminary Final in Adelaide on Saturday.
The Brazilian winger came to Australia hoping to secure a contract for next season, but was signed as injury cover for fellow Brazilian Reinaldo after Tahj Minniecon succumbed to a hip-flexor injury and made an unexpected debut in the 2-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners on Friday.
Now 'Ricky', as he is known by his new team mates, says he is prepared for an even bigger match this weekend, should Minniecon fail to recover in time.
"I watched the first leg (against the Mariners) on television and the idea of actually playing in the second leg seemed impossible," he said through a translator.
"It was like a fairytale. It was very unusual but a great experience."
To make a debut in such an important game just days after arriving in a new country might be overwhelming for some, but Henrique said the welcoming nature of the club eased his nerves.
"At the game, they made me feel as though I had been a part of the squad for a long time which made me feel like I was just playing a normal game and helped me avoid the pressure of the occasion."
"I was thankful for the opportunity but I felt calm even though there was a lot of pressure to perform straight away."
Now the 23-year-old has his sights on Adelaide United and a chance to help the team qualify for the Grand Final against the Melbourne Victory.
"If I come on (against Adelaide) I feel I will be able to do much better than last week."
"It's probably one of the most important games in the club's history but the whole squad is really focused on performing."
"We need to treat this game as any other game and try to play the same so it flows as before."
"If I get selected for this game I will have had more time with the squad so I know everyone's name, where they play and also their style."
The America Mineiro product has played alongside the likes of Fred (Lyon) in Brazil and a stint at Feyenoord in Holland saw him team up with English Premier League stars Dirk Kuyt and Solomon Kalou.
But, arriving on the advice of Reinaldo, Henrique would be content to secure a contract and bring his wife to Brisbane.
"I'm really enjoying everything about Brisbane and Australia," he said.
"If I come here I feel as though I can grow as a footballer, playing in the prime league of Australia."
"The lifestyle is similar to Brazil but there is no violence and I can have a bit more piece of mind for my family."