heurelho gomes - fact file

2008 - 2014        goalkeeper



Born on 15th February 1981 in Joao Pinheiro, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Height : -  1.91m  (6' 4")

Weight : -   82 kgs    (st lbs)

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 Spurs..

Gomes went on to have a loan spell in Germany, but this was ended by injury and he returned to White Hart Lane, where he became a forgotten figure, occasionally appearing on the bench, when it became a reminder he was still at the club.  There were rumours that he might join Leeds United on loan in January 2014, but at the end of his contract in the summer of 2014, Spurs released him and he quickly set himself up with a new club moving to Watford on a free transfer.

NICKNAME :  'Octopus';


Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Democrata Sete Lagoas (Brazil) ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
CRB Alagoas (Brazil) ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
Guarani Sao Paulo (Brazil) ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
Cruzeiro (Brazil) 2000 ?? 4th September 2002  v  Sao Paulo  59 ??
PSV Eindhoven (Holland) 2004 ?? October 2004  v  Crvena Zvezda 128 ??
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR July 2008 £7,000,000 16th August 2008  v Middlesbrough (Premier League) (away)  lost 1-2 ?? ??
Hoffenhein (Germany) January 2013 Loan ??  ?? ??
Watford 1st July 2014 Free ??  ?? ??
- ?? ?? ??  ?? ??

Career Record
Cruzeiro (Brazil)
59 League appearances; goals
PSV Eindhoven (Holland)
128 League appearances; goals
- Dutch Cup appearances; goals
- European appearances; goals
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals
- -
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
European appearances; goals

Brazil international
17 full caps;  0 goals
Under-21 caps; goals
Minas Gerais Championship winners medal 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2003-2004 (Cruizeiro)
South Minas Cup winners medal 2002; 2003 (Cruizeiro)
Minas Gerais Superchampions winners medal 2002 (Cruizeiro)
Brazil League Championship winners medal 2003 (Cruizeiro)
Brazil Cup winners medal 2003 (Cruizeiro)
Dutch Eredivisie Championship winners medal 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008 (PSV Eindhoven)
Dutch Cup winners medal 2004-2005 (PSV Eindhoven)
Confederations Cup winners medal 2005, 2009 (Brazil)

- appearance



Was rated second best goalkeeper in the Premier League according to Opta statistics for the season 2009-10.


What they said about Heurelho Gomes
his ability ... Tony Parks (THFC goalkeeping coach) 18.12.2008 (THFC programme)

"I knew of Gomes before he came to Spurs through his time at PSV and from the first minute I worked with him in training, I knew he was a top goalkeeper who was perhaps just struggling a little with confidence.  You look at the agility and his ability to make saves and I have to do no work with that whatsoever.  That's all in the bag already. 

He's come into a more physical league and I think he's tried to prove himself by trying to deal with every cross that comes in and that's one of the things we have spoken about, slowing his mind down and making the right decisions and that sometimes, the right decision isn't to try to come for everything.

His ability is unquestionable and he's an absolute gentleman who wants to work hard, wants to improve and wants to impress.  He just wants to be number one."

on saving penalties (for PSV v Spurs on 18.09.2008 in the UEFA Cup) ...  16.05.2009 (THFC programme)

"It's all about the moment.  If you try to research too much you can focus on trying to remember things about the player in front of you and not concentrate on the moment. 

Against Spurs, my goalkeeping coach told me for example that the last few penalties Berbatov took, he put three to the right and four to the left, but I told him I didn't want to know all of that.  Instead, I watch the player as he approaches, look for the eyes and decide as late as possible which way I will dive."

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What Heurelho Gomes said about ...
saving penalties in shoot-outs ...  18.09.2008 (Spurs programme)

"It's all about the moment.  If you try to research too much you can focus more on trying to remember things about the player in front of you and not concentrate on the moment." 

his relationship with the fans ...  18.09.2008 (Spurs programme)

"I have always had a good relationship with supporters at all the clubs I've been at and that is important.  It can give you confidence and Maybe when you don't have a good game, you know the relationship is strong and they trust you, which makes you determined to do better next time.

I want to have a friendship with every one of the Spurs fans because they are special.  In Brazil, the clubs are like big families and the supporters are an important part of that family, that's what I want it to feel like here too."

his early life in Brazil ...  05.10.2008 (Spurs programme)

“Our home consisted literally of bricks and a roof, but when my sister and I went to Tres Marias, we stayed in just a small room with a kitchen and a toilet.  Cleide slept on the bed and I slept on the floor.” “We had very little money and no electricity, so although football was second nature to most kids in Brazil, that was certainly not the case for me.” 

the quality of the Premier League ...  02.05.2009 (Spurs programme)

"The Premier League is very entertaining, but it is also so difficult and I don't think that is normal.  This afternoon we are playing a side which is bottom (WBA) and yet we know that they are going to be tough opponents and they will beat us if we do not put in a good performance.  When I played in Brazil and in Holland, you had some easy games and when you played the team at the bottom you were expected to win.  That doesn't happen here."

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Season League FA Cup League Cup UEFA Cup
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