Vinicius Dantas grew up in Brazil playing futsal. He then came to the United States where he played for Azusa Pacific University. After three successful seasons his talent was recognized by Jason McAteer, who took him to Tranmere Rovers. Unfortunately, he was unable to secure a work permit disallowing him from signing a contract. Despite the misfortune, he signed with Norwegian club Molde FK. After a great season, which saw him score two goals in nine appearances, Vinicius Dantas is now playing for his current club FK Bodø/Glimt of Norway’s second division.
Hey Vini, How are you enjoying the weather in Norway?
Weather in Norway isn’t ideal for living, and the winter forces us to do most of our things indoors, but once we do come outdoors it is great football weather, since it’s not very hot and its always a bit rainy that allows the pitch to be in perfect condition for a fast pace game.
What was it like growing up in Brazil? As far as football is concerned.
Growing up in Brazil makes a lot of difference in terms of the way you view the sport. You grow up learning the sport and always surrounded by people that love it, which always gives you that extra push to try your very best to make it. People are always playing everywhere.
What was harder? Transitioning from Brazil to the US or going from the US to Norway?
I think coming to Norway was a little harder since I was going away to a country where I didn’t really know anyone and there was a bit of language barrier, which is not that big since everyone speaks english. But adapting to the weather and the professional life was a bit harder than adapting to the college life, so US to Norway.
Favorite soccer memory?
Well so far my favorite soccer moment will have to be my first professional goal, it made it special since my wife and family were at the stadium watching me and they got to see my first professional goal.
A lot of people are wondering, what is football like in Norway?
Well, Norway has its winter sports as a big deal here, but soccer is the biggest sport of the country. The first two divisions are very competitive. This year two Norwegian teams made it to the Europa cup group stage and that’s a big accomplishment, it tells a little bit of the quality as well.
How did you feel about your season last year with Molde?
Playing for Molde last year was a good experience, having the coaches there introduce me to what professional football is was a big advantage. Most people around the world are introduced to professional football around the age of 17-18, coming in at 22 and jumping into one of the best teams in the country was great, and I felt like I did a good job when I came in so I’m pleased with my job for the team last season.
How will the switch to Glimt help develop you as a player?
I think coming to Glimt will help me get the playing time I need to settle myself as a professional footballer. The team has quality players that want to play football and that helps a lot. It’s a team that is fighting to go up and I came here to help them do that. It’s always important for a footballer to be involved, play and be a part of it, and here I am.
What are your goals for this season?
Well the season now is coming to an end, we have ten games left and are currently in 5th place. My personal goals are to help the team gain a promotion spot to go back to the first division, and as for myself score 5+ goals until the end of the season would be a good accomplishment for me.
What is your favorite part of being a professional footballer?
I think the best thing about being a professional footballer is the fact that you don’t have to worry about anything but football. Being able to focus on football alone helps you develop and increase parts of your game that in college with everything that you need to do is hard to focus on. So having football be the only and main thing helps a lot.
Any words of advice for aspiring professionals?
I think what I’ve learned with one year of being a professional is that fitness is just as important as skills if not more. To make into the pros you need to make sure you eat right, sleep right, and take care of your body in the right way. The big players aren’t there by accident, they put in a lot of hard work to get there and that is on and off the field.
Thanks Vini. We at FWW wish you the best of luck and look forward to interviewing you again in the future!