At the age of 19, he wrote a book, became a father, and made his Under-23 debut for Brazil.
So Manchester United should not be concerned about whether their latest Ajax addition, winger Antony, is mature enough to handle being the club’s third most costly signing.
6Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Ajax forward AntonyCredit: AFPAntony, a 6Brazil international, rose through the ranks at Sau Paulo.However, £84 million is still a lot of money for a player who has built a reputation for himself but does not play in one of Europe’s so-called top five leagues. It remains a risk.Antony, 22, is set to play in Dutch football’s biggest-ever move, but he has previously taken everything in stride, so perhaps the newest chapter of his career will be no different.Antony elevated his game to a new level after going from South America to Ajax in 2020, with both Manchester City and Everton failing with bids, and now joins manager Erik ten Hag and defender Lisandro Martinez from Amsterdam to Manchester.This is more excellent business for Ajax. This summer, their revenue increased to £193 million, including Martinez’s £48.3 million transfer to Manchester United, but their expenses increased to £91 million.6Antony has one child with partner Rosilene XavierCredit: Instagram: @Antony006The Red Devils have agreed an £84million to sign Antony from AjaxCredit: Instagram: @Antony00
Antony has proved to be a hit in Holland even though club legend Marco van Basten slammed his record move from Sao Paulo, which was worth £13m but could end up nearer £18m.
Van Basten, who has now probably changed his tune, said: “At Ajax, they have a very big mouth.
“Our youth education is so great. And then you are going to buy a youth player for a mega amount. Something is wrong then.
“If you hit yourself so terribly in the chest that the youth education is so great, then of course it is ridiculous that you are going to buy a youth player from Brazil for 25 million euros.”
At the age of ten, Antony Matheus Dos Santos joined the academy of local team Sao Paulo.
He contributed to their victory in the J League World Challenge in Japan and was named best player, earning him his first professional contract at the age of 18 in 2018.
Antony became a father to son Lorenzo 12 months later and made his debut for Brazil U-23s, playing alongside Bruno Guimaraes, who is now at Newcastle.
Antony then wrote From Overcoming A Real Dream, a diary about being a rising star in Brazil.
He discussed his problems in the Sao Paulo youth system and revealed that he was on the verge of getting released three times.
Tottenham’s Lucas Moura praised the youngster on his debut for Sao Paulo and advised him to “work hard” and keep playing matches.
Antony and Moura have subsequently become close friends.
He is only 5ft 9in tall, plays right midfield or attack, and is known for cutting in on his left foot.
6Antony has scored twice in nine caps for the Brazilian national teamCredit: Getty6ASince joining Ajax in 2020, ntony has won two Eredivisie titles.Getty ImagesDespite Premier League interest, Antony joined Ajax in 2020, earning over £12,000 per week.His new Brazilian teammates dedicated a rap to him upon his arrival.Bem-vindo Antony (Welcome Antony), penned by Sarita Lorena, a Brazilian who had lived in Holland for many years, was recorded by David Neres and Danilo.Antony, a devout Catholic who enjoys jet skiing, was a revelation at the Johan Cruyff Arena, where he won two Eredivisie titles under Ten Hag.He maintained his excellent form at the start of the season, scoring once and assisting twice in the first two Eredivisie games before being rested for the match against Sparta Rotterdam.Despite his inexperience on the international stage, Antony hopes to shine at the World Cup in Qatar.He made his senior Brazilian debut in a World Cup qualification against Venezuela eleven months ago and has now appeared nine times.However, Antony has had a falling out with Ajax in recent months.
He said: “In February of this year, my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club.
“In June, I interrupted my vacation and came personally to inform the managers of Ajax, including the new coach, about my wish to leave and that they should consider this possibility.”
And on Friday, he said: “In a meeting with the club, I expressed my old interest in leaving, only this time with a considerable offer on the table.