Andreas Pereira explains why he uses his first name on the back of his shirt

by Leo Nieboer

Andreas Pereira has explained that using his first name on the back of his Manchester United shirt stems from wanting to escape the shadow of his father and carve out his own legacy.

Pereira’s father, Marcos Antonio, played for a series of Belgian clubs – including Royal Antwerp – from 2001 to 2010 when Andreas was growing up.

He is not the only player to use his first name rather than surname: Javier Hernandez used ‘Chicharito’, his nickname, while Memphis Depay had ‘Memphis’ on the back of his No.7 shirt at Old Trafford.

Speaking in an interview earlier this week, the Brazilian noted how he did not want to be remembered as merely the son of his father.

“It’s because a lot of players have Pereira,” he said.

“My dad used to play with Pereira on the back and I wanted to change because, in Belgium, everyone knows I’m the son of my dad. The son of Pereira. I wanted to change that and start my own way and be Andreas on my own and be known as Andreas.”

It is fair to say that Pereira has already stepped out way in front of his father in footballing terms. He has played for Man United in the Premier League and Champions League, receiving his first cap for Brazil last month. That, right there, puts him ahead of most.

But you can understand his logic. He remains the second Pereira in his family and the football world is littered with other Pereiras – one of whom is his teammate in goalkeeper Joel Pereira.

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