Updated: Aug 31
Name: Matheus Machado
Birth (Nationality): Brazil (Porto Alegre)
DOB: Mar 13, 2003 (20)
Position: CF, RW
Preferred Foot: Left
Market Value (www.transfermarkt.co.uk): €50k
Current Club: Cherno More
Contract Until: n/a
Matheus Machado is a tall striker playing for Cherno More in Bulgaria's top flight. He joined the Bulgarian club on 17.01.2023 and has made 16 appearances (821'), scoring seven goals. Machado is an interesting case. He has a great physical presence on the pitch and quick feet with decent speed, which automatically requires attention from defenders. He has also occasionally played on the right wing, allowing him to cut inside on his favourite foot.
Machado has taken the joint-most shots so far in the efbet Liga (2.84 per 90), getting 50% of those shots on target (24% conversion rate). Most intriguingly, he's a high-volume dribbling striker attempting just over six dribbles per 90, with a 72% success rate. Defenders in the Bulgarian top flight often struggle to defend against. So far this season, he has displayed good movement off the ball, allowing him to be found inside the box to be a constant goalscoring threat for his side. The hard-working forward is also engaged and motivated by his defensive responsibilities. He leads his team press well, rarely giving the opposition time to build up without disruption. According to Wyscout, Machado has 4.85 defensive duels per 90, with a respectable 59% success rate. His decent positioning of the ball allows him to make interceptions and recover the ball for his team.
Confident Ball Striker - Often attempts driven shots.
High Volume Dribbling ST - over 70% success rate
Good First Touch
He can improve his heading ability
He needs to improve on his passing ability (loose ball retention).
His physical profile + quick feet already makes him an intriguing player. He likes to use his quick feet to worm out of tight situations, and good body balance means he's hard to knock off.
Though he can improve his decision-making when attempting to beat a defender, he can dribble in 1v1 situations. Once he works space for a shot, Machado has good striking ability.
He cuts inside from the right onto his left foot and works space before hitting a low drive towards the goal. He forced the keeper to make a good save.
He's more likely to score/hit the target from the right side of the goal rather than from the left side, where he rarely hits the target. I point this out as it was noticeable Machado was not fully confident shooting from angles on the left.
Machado plays as an ST for Cherno More in a 4-2-3-1 system. He also plays RW in this system. Often, a lone striker
Uses body well (often draws fouls)
Box player - Has good movement to be found inside the box.
Aggressive when pressing - room for improvement when curving/trapping
Anticipation - Good reading the game in and out of possession
Near post movement - likes to attack the near post in crossing situations.
Willing to play on the last line and get in behind defensive lines
Comfortable running into wide areas
Can hold up play - linking up/bringing others into play has room for improvement
Can improve effectiveness when playing with back towards goal - pick better decisions.
He uses his body well to get in front of defenders and draw fouls. This can be particularly useful for counter-attacking teams, where he can take his team's pressure by holding up play or drawing a foul.
In the most recent game vs. CSKA Sofia 1-1 (26/08/2023), he suffered five fouls - was a handful to deal with.
He demonstrates the right ideas when playing with his back to the goal and linking up play. His passing technique and accuracy have lots of room for improvement.
Due to his height and strength, he's helpful to aim when the goalkeeper has to kick long. If he doesn't win the initial header, he often has the defender unbalanced, and they can't head the ball cleanly.
As his heat map suggests, he likes to drift and play on the right side of the pitch.
Excellent balance on the ball
Good stamina - willing to work hard and can do so for the majority of the 90 minutes.
His good pace + physical profile makes him a powerful runner.
Machado shows good pace and power to knock the ball past the full-back and beat him for speed in a small foot race. The defender ended up bringing down Machado to avoid him running towards goal.
Shows a good pace moving into channels, breaking defending shapes quickly on a counter.
He has the potential to have excellent hold-up play. He has good balance and strength to hold up defenders and draw free-kicks. But can improve linking play and bringing others in to play effectively.
He drives on his teammates.
Machado is committed to the cause and usually leads his side's press. He looks confident when performing defensive duties. Head rarely drops in games and looks to encourage/motivate others around him. "I doubt it. There is interest in him. Things are over with Benfica. But there are interests from other places. We, as a club, have no desire to sell him. But there is press from his agents. Rarely a footballer who knows 99% that he will leave to plays such a match and doesn't want to go out. He shows great character and is 20 years old. It will be difficult to replace him at this stage," said his manager, Ilian Iliev.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Matheus Machado could be a gem for sides outside of T5. Despite being only the age of 20, Machado doesn't have much first-team experience, only playing 16 league games in his career so far, scoring 7 (a goal every 117'). That being said, game time will be necessary for his age; if he is to move to a higher level, game time will be needed. He's had no injuries, being available and starting in 6 of the opening seven games in Bulgaria for Cherno More. In his little time so far, the tall striker has shown he could be playing at a higher level - he shows a good work ethic on the pitch, disrupting deep build-ups and is physically impressive, using his body to his advantage, earning free-kicks for his side. His game intelligence will improve with match experience.
Based on his playing style, age and strengths on the pitch, Matheus Machado is a promising striker. However, there are concerns about his passing ability and accuracy, potentially hindering his performance on the field and not suitable for possession-heavy sides. In terms of his stats, Machado has performed well so far in the Efbet Liga, especially considering his limited playing experience. It appears he has a bright future ahead of him, one that looks destined away from Bulgaria, and I am intrigued by his near future.
CSKA Sofia 1:1 Cherno More (26/08/2023)
Arda 3:3 Cherno More (15/07/2023)
Krumovgrad 1:3 Cherno More (28/07/2023)