A Brazilian goalkeeper, who earned a good reputation in Holland with PSV Eindhoven and was signed for Tottenham for big money in the summer of 2008.
Parents Antonio and Maria lived and worked on a farm and Heurelho and his sister Cleide helped clean out the animals and prepare the harvest. The family moved to Canoeiros, from where his mother had to leave for work at 05:00 to work for a re-forestation company. Gomes and his sister had to move again to go to school in Tres Marias, staying in a dormitory during the week because of the long distance from home.
First played in a proper game at Teotonio Brandao Vilela secondary school and at 14 was the school team's forward, as he wasn't that tall, but he shot up in height in the next few years and when they moved to Sete Lagoas, a local team were searching for players and stuck him in goal !! It went well for him on his debut and he felt comfortable there. Spotted playing for junior sides in the area, he was invited to play for Democrata and had to walk the four mile distance to the ground and then home again.
Gomes started his top flight career in his homeland under manager Phil Scolari at Cruizeiro and his form in the regional and the national championships and cups attracted a number of admirers, including PSV Eindhoven, who had a record of taking Brazilian talent back to Holland to develop. His popularity with the fans, earned through goalkeeping that earned his club the league title and a shot at Champions League football, as well as his histrionics which won the supporters over and made him a cult figure. Earned national caps, including a friendly appearance at White Hart Lane for Brazil against Wales in 2006.
The UEFA Cup tie against Spurs the previous season had seen Heurelho make a fine last minute save in Eindhoven to keep PSV in the competition, when Steed Malbranque's volley appeared to be destined for the top corner of the net. The keeper dived up to tip it over the bar and to take the game to penalties, which he did well to win for his club with a save from Jermaine Jenas' spot-kick.
This must have stuck in Sporting Director Damien Comolli's mind, as the club paid £7 million for the goalie as the man to take over from the soon-to-depart Paul Robinson.
Heurelho's early days at Tottenham were not that happy, with letting some easy goals in as the team struggled under Juande Ramos at the start of the 2008-09 season. However, following the appointment of Harry Redknapp and with a better understanding with the defenders in front of him, his performances improved and he made some vital saves as the team gathered points to pull away form the bottom of the table. The sacking of goalkeeping coach Hans Leitert who was replaced by ex-Spurs keeper Tony Parks also seemed to help Gomes come to terms with the English game.
Such was his improvement that a bid from an overseas club to take the keeper away from White Hart Lane was received in the January 2009 transfer window, matching what Tottenham paid for Gomes, but Redknapp said that the keeper had battled through hand and wrist injuries, as well as criticism of his game, to produce some highly competent performances, so he would not be selling the Brazilian.
Played a nervy part in Tottenham's good start to the 2009-2010 season, conceding a rash penalty in the first game against Liverpool and then suffering a thigh injury at Hull City that saw him replaced by Carlo Cudicini, who kept goal while the Brazilian was on the sidelines. However, on his return to the first team, his performances earned Spurs vital points to take them to fourth place - their highest Premier League finish - and a place in the Champions League for the first time.
The following season also
started with an injury, but once again, his comeback saw
Spurs go on a good run and qualify for the knock-out
stages of the Champions League with one group game left
to play. His 2010-11 season carried fewer
mistakes, but there were still concerns about his
security between the posts and at the end of that
season, Harry Redknapp brought Brad Friedel in for
competition for the goalkeeping gloves. However,
it didn't turn out that way, as the American took over
as the club's Premier League goalkeeper and Gomes was
restricted to just a handful of games in the Europa
League and one in the League Cup. Heurelho voiced
his unhappiness at having to sit out matches - not even
involved as a substitute most of the time - and hinted
he wanted a move away from White Hart Lane.
However, a knee injury around Christmas time ended any
hope of a loan move for the second half of the season
and he was rapidly becoming the third choice keeper at