After 11 years at Manchester United, Andreas Pereira completed his move to fellow Premier League side Fulham, arriving as part of the London side’s reinforcements on their return to England’s top flight. And it hasn’t taken him long to settle into life in the capital city…

When you’ve been somewhere for over a decade it can be hard to move on. But following his summer switch to newly promoted Fulham, Andreas Pereira hasn’t looked back, slotting right into a midfield that hasn’t seemed out of place in any of their opening fixtures so far, a testament to Marco Silva’s recruitment policy. Despite his 11-year spell at United, during which time he made 75 appearances for the first-team, Pereira’s move to Craven Cottage came on the back of spending the last two seasons on loan at Lazio in Italy and Flamengo in his native Brazil. So now the Brazilian national who was born in Belgium and carved his teeth in England, Spain and Italy is looking forward to a settled period in London for himself and his his family.

Spending time with the midfielder it’s easy to see why the Fulham fans have taken to him so quickly: he’s an industrious player on the pitch and he’s embraced the culture surrounding the club off it. Time will tell how far both he and Marco Silva’s Fulham can go, but Pereira is definitely in it for the long-haul, eyeing a lasting legacy at the club, which will be music to supporters’ ears. 

From his journey in the game so far to life in London and how he's adapting, we covered a broad range of topics as Pereira showed us round his new home.

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From 16 years old in United's youth academy to 26 now; 10 years on, how would you describe the ride?

It's been a crazy ride. You know, when I arrived at Manchester I was so young. I landed with so many dreams: to play in Old Trafford being just one and to play in England in general was another. Then, over time you experience so many things. I played for United and all my dreams came true. Of course I had dreams of lifting trophies, dreams I had from when I was a little boy. So many things were fulfilled though – playing England, playing in Old Trafford, in Stamford Bridge at The Emirates Stadium. I got to do all of that which has been amazing.

I had a few experiences of going out on loan. I played in Italy and in Spain and they were really nice experiences, I really enjoyed it. Now to be back in England as a 26 year old with a lot of experience, it’s a chance for me to share and show all that I have learnt. I have the ability to help the team more than I ever have. Fulham is such a traditional club, there’s so much character at Craven Cottage and I’m very excited for the season to be up and running. I’m excited to show all these people my qualities and really have a positive impact on our team.

Football is a wild industry, to go through so many experiences at such a young age and grow and mature, how much of a mental challenge has it been?

It’s mentally very tough, you know. You go away from your country where you're living to a different place in the world, which has it’s own different mentality. I experienced that again when I went on loan to Spain and to Italy where they think totally differently. So, you have to adapt every time, but I think that has helped me to develop a lot. You have to be mentally strong in this game. I think the people around you – like my family – helped me a lot through this and even the people at the various clubs, they would always call me, make sure I was OK and everything was good. It’s nice to have that level of support through the journey.

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From Belgium to the world, you’ve seen and experienced everything that football has to offer. How do you feel now coming out the other side and landing in London? Do you feel like you’ve grown and matured thanks to those experiences?

Yeah I feel like all those experiences open your eyes to the world. The world of football on the pitch but life off it also. I experienced all kinds of environments and played in so many different places and competitions. Italy and Spain are so different but then Brazil, last year, that was a totally different experience all together. There I saw, lets say, some interesting things…It was incredible. Those experiences make you feel ready for anything that may now come my way. I feel like I’m equipped to handle anything football throws at me now. I’ve learnt through my experiences.

When you say interesting experiences…I can tell, there was something behind the eyes, something more to what you meant there…what was Brazil like?

Yeah… if we talk about the mentality and how important football is to the people over there, that’s what I mean by different. The fans there… wow! There’s a lot of pressure over there but a different kind of pressure. At United there was of course pressure but in Brazil it’s totally unique. If you don’t win games, fans come to your house, they come to the training ground. You could say it’s a little bit hostile but man they are passionate and it’s incredible to see. It’s such a good experience you could have as a player and in life. It’s a reminder of the importance of the game. Fans over there only accept success and trophies. It was surreal to see.

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What do you think you learnt about yourself personally most in that time? Did all the different cultures help shape your tastes and interests both on and off the pitch?

Yeah I think what I learnt most was how to be around people with different interests to you or a different way of life. Things like when I moved to Spain and siestas being a thing that people do, it was all new to me. Siestas are sacred! You can’t mess with that time for someone. That wasn’t something I was used to as someone with a Brazilian upbringing who lived in Belgium. I went to England early on and no one sleeps in the afternoon there so to then go to see this lifestyle in Spain was incredible. An eye opener.

It’s something you learn. I met my wife there so now that routine is just part of life. Then when I think of Italy and the food, all those things, all the best things about the culture. You tend to soak up all the things that are great about a place and try and bring them into your world. That’s what I want to do in the places I visit. I want to make that place part of me and me part of that place. Like a mutual respect.

When you take all those experiences and an opportunity to join a club like Fulham comes up, what goes through your mind?

You know it was the perfect fit really. When Marco Silva called me and he said ‘I want you to come here because your playing style is what I like and it's the way I think about football’ and I had a few calls with him and for me it was the perfect platform, a big club like Fulham, playing in the Premier League, it's a perfect platform for me to show what I can do and to show what kind of player I am.

This is especially true with the manager that thinks the same as me, while it’s also the same style of football, so I found it was a perfect match. I saw it as a great opportunity, so everything I did until now I prepared myself, I went out on loan, I have experience from outside, I've played already in England, I know how it is. So, I can say I'm at the best part in my career, I'm at my best level, and I think I can only grow more here at this fantastic club with the manager.

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That opportunity to experience London and live here full time, is that something that you were hungry for as well?

Yes, it's for my family as well and my wife and kids to enjoy here. We went to a few parks and it's really nice to be here. We see a little bit more sunshine here than in Manchester [Laughs]. So they were happy about that. And of course I want to visit here, you know. I still haven’t been to Big Ben, and I want to go and visit some other places. But it was a big part in my decision as well. This is London; great city, and great club, so yeah, it was very important.

It really is a unique football club. You’ll never find another club with a cottage in the corner of their stadium! What do you make of the charm and feeling around the club?

The feeling that I've got straight away is that it's a very family club. Everybody knows everyone and straight away when I came to the training ground and at the stadium, you feel the connection with the fans. I had a very warm welcome, and I can say it's a very warm club. I don’t how I can explain but it feels like cosy – everyone is together, and if you have any problems or any things that you need help with, everyone wants to help you.

So straight away I had a good feeling, and all the people were helping me.

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That relationship with the fans, it feels like you’ve already made such a strong connection in a really short space of time. How important is that for you?

It's really important for me because they push us on the pitch. From the first game that I played here, the friendly game we played, the first game in the league against Liverpool, they were straight behind us and behind me. It's very important for me as I felt comfortable on the pitch straight away. When we had the first win, to see the fans enjoying themselves at the same time as us, looking at them and cheering us on, you get extra power, and more motivation. So it's a good connection.

You’ve already shown what you’re about and we’re still in the early days of the season. What are your ambitions for the season?

You have the ambition as a club to stay in the Premier League because they know it was difficult in the past few seasons, they went up and down. But the main thing is to stay in the Premier League and of course do as well as possible because we know we have great quality players in our squad and we have a fantastic coach, so we know we have everything to stay in the Premier League and to even surprise some people.

Just switching back to the London environment and being in the city, are you planning on taking the Tube anywhere?

[Laughs] I'm going to try to. I have a Tube station next to my apartment where I live, but I didn’t have time yet to do it but yeah, I'm curious. I never took it ever, so my wife would want to do it one day, and yeah, we would like to do it.

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Away from football, can you tell me a little bit about what makes you tick?  You're come across as somebody who likes to express themselves, do you see yourself as quite a creative person in that sense?

Yeah I like to wear some special things, maybe some out of the box things, but I like to express myself off the pitch, with my family most of the time. Spending time with them, I like to go out, you know, to parks and stuff with my kids. And just enjoy, and even today you know, maybe we're going to go out with my family to Harrods and have a great time there.

Bet your kids will go absolutely nuts there.

[Laughs]  Yeah.

And your wife as well probably.

My wife as well, yeah. 

What about both short and long term, with Fulham, obviously you said about wanting to stay in the Premier League, but for you personally, are you someone who wants to make a bit of history, create a bit of a legacy where you go?

Yeah I would like to. I came here and I would like to stay here of course and create something with the club, make history. Staying in the Premier League, doing well – we always can dream, and go for something bigger, and I think we should do with the team that we have. As for myself, I want to do as great as I can so that they will always remember me here.

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It's a strange season given the World Cup break in the middle. Where’s your head space in terms of the international game and where do you see yourself there?

At the moment I'm not really thinking about that.  I'm thinking about here in Fulham, adapting as soon as I can at this, doing good and playing games and getting points so I feel good and I feel confident in football and myself at the club. And then after, I know that I have quality that if I'm on my best level anything can happen.  But I'm not really thinking about if I can go to the World Cup or not, things will come naturally if deserved.

Finally then, away from the pitch, are there things that you'd like to experience that you haven’t done yet? Not just in terms of through football but making your mark or trying new things?

I'm helping people in Brazil always, helping the children’s hospital. I couldn’t go unfortunately because I am always playing and now we don’t have time off but, with the World Cup, if I don’t go I will go to Brazil and hopefully I will have some time then to see the kids there and to help them even more and we're trying to make a plan to make some places bigger where it can help more children.

So, that’s a project that my dad and my uncle are doing in Brazil.

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Andreas Pereira wears the adidas X Speedportal .1, which you can pick up at