But who is Bérgson, this scorer stronger than Mbappé and Haaland in 2022?
46 goals scored in 36 games, a formidable ratio of 1.27 checkers per game played. Neither Kylian Mbappé, nor Erling Haaland, nor Robert Lewandowski did better in 2022 than the unknown Bérgson Gustavo Silveira Da Silva (or simply Bérgson). This statistic released by Sky Sport Italia has gone somewhat unnoticed in our latitudes.
But not in Malaysia, where the Brazilian forward has exploded the restarts since his arrival at Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) from Fortaleza (Brazilian P1), in March 2021. “Everyone here is talking about him, his goalscoring qualities , of his game, says Avineshwaran, a daily journalist The star. This distinction is a source of pride for all Malaysians. Bérgson has style and helped his club win all the trophies last season. »
Because the Southern Tigers, based in the city of Johor Bahru (800,000 inhabitants), do not leave even a crumb to internal competition: undisputed champions since 2014, or nine titles in a row, they also won the Cup in 2022, the FA Cup and the Piala Sumbangsih, the local Super Cup. Each time, the player trained at Porto Alegre’s flagship club Grêmio played a decisive role, thus scoring more than one goal per game.
“It’s never enough”, according to Bérgson the wolverine
“I was a bit surprised when I found out the stats, admits the Dubai number 9, where JDT is standing side-by-side with Russian and Bulgarian teams to prepare for the upcoming Malaysia Super League season which kicks off at the end of the month. I never thought I could achieve it, that’s still a lot of goals! For me it’s an advantage to be with big names, but it’s never enough because we represent one of the biggest teams in Asia. »
In the league alone, last year Bérgson scored 29 times, in all possible ways: 13 times from the right (plus 6 penalties), 6 from the left and 4 with headers… Goals from near, far, from a hitch or frankly sublime, like this gap against Sabah on 15 October. “He is a great, great player, launches Avineshwaran, definitely conquered. His first touch is perfect, he has the best shot in the country, reads the game well and combines well with his teammates, especially Arif Aiman [jeune international malaisien de 20 ans] and Fernando Forestieri [ancien international espoirs italien arrivé l’an dernier d’Udinese]. I really don’t see any weakness in him. »
However, the journalist also admits: “Many did not know what he was capable of when he arrived at the JDT. “It must be said that before arriving in Malaysia, Bérgson (32 years old on February 9), never international A and of ordinary size (1.80 m, 76 kg), had only managed once to exceed the threshold of 10 successes in the same season, with Paysandu (Brazilian P2) in 2017. He had unwound the thread of a globetrotting career, where loans abounded: 15 different clubs, including failed escapades in South Korea (at Suwon Bluewings and Busan Ipark) or Braga, in Portugal.
“In some of my previous clubs I didn’t feel like I was in my best period, the mentality wasn’t that of today, anticipates the person concerned. Now I’m having my prime and I’m really grateful for that. How the “Boss” supports me to be better year after year, week after week, that’s the secret. The “Boss” is Crown Prince Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim-son of the Sultan of Johor State-owner of the JDT and former boss of the Malaysia Super League until 2019, who now wants to see the club from him at the continental level.
In the past, the Southern Tigers have been able to attract names, even thirty-year-olds, such as the Argentine aesthete Pablo Aimar or the striker Daniel Güiza, 2008 European champion with Spain. In 2022, they finished first in their group of the Asian Champions League, ahead of Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale, South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai and China’s Guangzhou, before falling heavily in eighth place to fellow Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds (0-5 ). Metronome Bérgson scored 6 times in 6 group games.
“We are lucky to have such a player in Malaysia,” says Avineshwaran. It remains to be seen how much the Malaysia Super League is really worth, which has seen some old French acquaintances pass in recent years, such as Johan Martial (ex Brest and Troyes), Billy Ketkeophomphone (ex Angers) or Hérold Goulon (ex Le Mans)? “We cannot compare with European standards, acknowledges the journalist of The star. JDT are doing their best to compete with the best European clubs in friendly matches and their aim is to do well in the Asian Champions League. »
Fan of his compatriots Ronaldo and Ronaldinho
For Bérgson, “Malaysia Super League is competitive. The difference is that in Brazil the teams try to make a difference in the first half, before playing more cautiously in the second half. While here the teams try to win in the final minutes. But at the JDT we try to score from the start of the game. »
This fan of his compatriots Ronaldo and Ronaldinho is therefore living his best life in a country where football is the “number 1 sport”, according to Avineshwaran, and where he has scored a staggering 76 goals in 69 games spread over two seasons . “I have to savor the moment and the good performances of my team-mates who help us score,” says the 30-year-old striker, a follower of the “carpe diem”.
“I am a Brazilian goalscorer, I am happy and I love this sport,” he simply slips when asked to define himself. “I have no idea how many years I have left to play. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, I forget yesterday, I live day by day trying to do my best. »
A bit of philosophy to conclude
At this moment in which the subject slips from sporting to philosophical, let us dare to ask the question that has been tormenting us ever since we discovered the existence of the native of Alegrete, in the extreme south of Brazil: his parents baptized him in homage to the philosopher French Henri Bergson, like those of his compatriot Allan Delon, a fan of the actor? Obviously not. “I heard about him through Google,” the JDT star replies. This guy has a big and slightly different name! The thing I like the most about him is his name. »
The attacker of the JDT should perhaps try to read The laughone of the major works of its namesake, whose title is linked to the banana that he constantly exhibits on the grounds of Malaysia, where he found consecration at the age of 30.