Heurelho Gomes

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Heurelho Gomes
Heurelho Gomes 150314 Watford v Reading-92.jpg
Gomes in 2015
Personal information
Full name Heurelho da Silva Gomes[1]
Date of birth (1981-02-15) 15 February 1981 (age 38)
Place of birth João Pinheiro, MG, Brazil
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Number 1
Youth career
1999–2001 Democrata SL[3]
2001 Cruzeiro
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 Cruzeiro 61 (0)
2004–2008 PSV Eindhoven 129 (0)
2008–2014 Tottenham Hotspur 97 (0)
2013 1899 Hoffenheim (loan) 9 (0)
2014– Watford 64 (0)
National team
2003–2004 Brazil U23 14 (0)
2003–2010 Brazil 11 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:44, 02 January 2016 (UTC).

† Appearances (goals)

Heurelho da Silva Gomes (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɡõmiʃ], born 15 February 1981), commonly known as Heurelho Gomes or just Gomes, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Watford. He previously made a name for himself at Dutch club PSV, and also spent six years at Tottenham Hotspur.

Club career


Gomes started his career in his native country Brazil at Cruzeiro, where he played 59 games between 2001 and 2004. Here, he was scouted by Piet de Visser and in July 2004, he was sold to PSV.

PSV Eindhoven

He made his debut for the Eindhoven club against Serbian side Crvena Zvezda on 11 August of that year.[4]

At first, there were critics, saying that Brazilians 'should be on the field, not in the goal'. In other words, there were doubts if Gomes was reliable enough. Those doubts were quickly erased. Even though he conceded two goals in his debut against RBC, which PSV won 5–2, he proved himself to be a reliable goalkeeper. He played a major part in PSV's four latest consecutive titles in the Eredivisie and in the great European achievements. In his first season, PSV immediately reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where in the 14 attempts before, PSV wasn't able to reach the second round. In the following seasons, PSV progressed each time from the group stage.

In the Eredivisie, Gomes was known for his outstanding reflexes, which saved points for PSV more than once. Also his trademark throwing ability is well known. Gomes is able to throw the ball all the way deep into the opponents half. Also before the start of the match and second half, Gomes jumps up above the goal with his shoulders, pumping up the PSV supporters.

Before his transfer to Tottenham, Gomes was a crowd favorite at PSV. He can speak Portuguese and Spanish and while in the Netherlands, he picked up a fair amount of Dutch, although it has to be said he is not fluent in the language.

Gomes celebrates winning the 2007–08 Dutch championship with PSV.

Even though the rivalry between PSV, Feyenoord and Ajax is intense, fans from rival clubs showed sympathy for the Brazilian.

Notable was an incident in Rotterdam in the match against Feyenoord, when Gomes injured himself whilst celebrating a goal, scored by his teammate Phillip Cocu. However, he managed to continue and even managed to pull off a wonder save, keeping his side in the game, which they went on to draw.

Tottenham Hotspur

Following appointment of manager Juande Ramos, Gomes signed for Tottenham Hotspur on 27 June 2008[5] for a fee was believed to be around £7.8 million.[6] Gomes played his first game in Tottenham Hotspur colours in a pre-season friendly match on 19 July 2008 against Segunda División B side Dénia, which Tottenham won 4–2.

Gomes eventually obtained a work permit to play in the United Kingdom, despite playing less than the 75% required amount of games for Brazil in the last 2 years.

Gomes made his home debut on the 10 August 2008, keeping a clean sheet with a 5–0 victory over Roma on Tottenham's last pre-season friendly, before the English Premiership campaign 2008–09.

Tottenham lost their two opening games 2–1 to Middlesbrough and Sunderland respectively, but his presence in goal helped Spurs earn their first point of the season with a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, his reputation took a hit a week later when he let in a weak shot from Ashley Young[7] in Spurs' 2–1 home defeat against Aston Villa. These blunders continued as he conceded an own goal against Fulham on 15 November 2008, which kept his club mired deep in the relegation zone and also caused Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeping coach Hans Leitert to be sacked on 19 November 2008, with the appointment of former Spurs Goalkeeper Tony Parks made shortly after.[8] He went on to put in a strong performance against West Ham United, saving two shots deep into the match in which Tottenham won 2–0, before making two important saves to deny Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Giggs in a 0–0 draw with Manchester United.[9]

Gomes was injured in Spurs' 5–1 win over Hull in the second game of the 2009-10 Premier League season and had to be replaced by second-choice keeper Carlo Cudicini.[10] After an MRI Scan it was revealed that Gomes suffered damage to his groin which would keep him out for up to a month.[11] Gomes made his return to first team action in the 5–1 victory over Preston in the League Cup on 23 September 2009,[12] and made his Premier League comeback in the 2–1 win at Portsmouth on 17 October. During this match the Brazilian made a handful of brilliant saves, one of which was compared by former Spurs keeper Pat Jennings to a famous save made by Gordon Banks against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup.[13] On the 3 April 2010, he made two penalty saves out of three against in a 3–1 defeat away at Sunderland. On the 14 April 2010, Gomes' fine form aided Spurs in picking up their first League victory over Arsenal in 21 meetings. He saved a Robin Van Persie free kick and several other attempts on goal in succession. The following week, on 17 April 2010, Gomes again made several crucial saves as Tottenham beat Chelsea 2–1 as the team passed Manchester City to become fourth in the standings. He kept a clean sheet in a 1–0 win over Bolton and then he played a vital role in the 1–0 victory against Manchester City with two crucial saves which saw Tottenham get into the Champions League for the first time ever.

Gomes (in green) clashing with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny in a North London derby in November 2010

On 20 October 2010, Gomes received a red card for fouling Jonathan Biabiany within the first ten minutes of the first half against European Champions Inter Milan at the San Siro in the Champions League. Tottenham Hotspur lost the match 4–3, after going 4–0 down inside the first 35 minutes, despite a second half hat-trick from Gareth Bale.[14]

Gomes' goalkeeping ability was called into question on the 13 April 2011 in the second leg tie against Real Madrid after a long shot from Cristiano Ronaldo slipped out of Gomes' hands over his head and into the goal to put Real Madrid 5–0 up on aggregate.

Gomes took blame for another controversial goal against Chelsea on the 30 April after a shot from Frank Lampard slipped between his legs and although Gomes scrambled back and appeared to clear the ball, the goal was given.[15] Spurs went on to lose the game 2–1.

After several high-profile errors and misjudgements by Gomes, Tottenham signed 40-year-old keeper Brad Friedel on a free transfer from Aston Villa to provide competition in the first team. Friedel began the season as the starter with Gomes being relegated to the bench and later being left out of match day squads entirely, which led to immediate speculation regarding his future at the club.[16] Gomes played his first match of the 2011–12 season in a League Cup defeat to Stoke City 6–7 in a penalty shootout after Massimo Luongo missed the penalty. Subsequently, Gomes played in the Europa League, keeping a clean sheet in the 1–0 victory over Rubin Kazan. Following Spurs deadline day capture of Hugo Lloris, Gomes slipped to fourth choice goalkeeper at Spurs, but following the sale of Cudicini to Los Angeles Galaxy, he became third choice behind Lloris and Friedel.

Loan to 1899 Hoffenheim

On the final day of the January 2013 transfer window, Gomes agreed to join the German team 1899 Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the season.[17] On 2 February, Gomes made his debut as Hoffenheim won 2–1 against Freiburg. After the match, Manager Marco Kurz praised Gomes, "Gomes has shown a very solid performance. Although he has only trained once with us, his aura was strong.", as throughout the match, Gomes made four crucial saves and looked assured in claiming six crosses, commanding his penalty area.[18] By his third match for Hoffenheim, he was already captaining the team, but his season ended prematurely when, on 6 April 2013, he broke his metacarpus during an important 3–0 home win over Fortuna Düsseldorf. He had to undergo hand surgery.[19]

Return to Tottenham after loan period

After his injury, Gomes returned to Tottenham and started the season 2013–14 with Spurs. However, Gomes's role became third choice goalkeeper, as the backup for 42-year-old American Brad Friedel and the club's first choice Hugo Lloris. On May 22, 2014 Tottenham announced that Gomes would leave the club the following month when his contract expires.[20]


Gomes warming-up for Watford.

Gomes signed a one-year deal, with an option of a second, at Championship side Watford on 24 May 2014.[21] In his first season with the Championship club Gomes played in 44 games helping the club gain promotion to the Premier League.

Following the Hornets' promotion to the Premier League, Gomes signed a new three-year contract with the club on 20 May 2015.[22]

International career

Gomes made his debut for Brazil in 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Although the competition is for senior national teams, Brazil chose to send an Under-23 squad to the competition. Gomes made five appearances as Brazil went to the final and finished second after being beaten by Mexico 1–0.

Despite being part of the Brazilian squad that won the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup as the third-choice keeper behind Dida and Marcos, Gomes did not receive any playing time. He was also excluded from then coach Carlos Alberto Parreira's final 23-man roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

It wasn't until his inclusion in the team for a series of late-summer friendlies, as a consequence of new Brazil coach Dunga's desire to play many of the Seleção's younger stars, that Gomes has finally gained some consistent playing time in goal. On 14 August 2006, he was called up for a friendly against Norway, which ended in a 1–1 draw. On 3 September 2006, he played in Brazil's 3–0 win over rivals Argentina at Emirates Stadium in England. Two days later, Gomes kept a second consecutive clean sheet in a 2–0 victory over Wales at White Hart Lane. His latest stint between the sticks was during a 2–1 win over Ecuador on 10 October 2006.

On 11 May 2010, it was announced that Gomes would be part of the Brazilian squad which would compete at the World Cup in South Africa. Gomes made a rare appearance for Brazil in a World Cup warm-up game, replacing Brazil's number one keeper Júlio César as a substitute.[23]







  1. "The Football League Limited: Club list of registered players as at 16th May 2015" (PDF). The Football League. 16 May 2015. p. 35. Retrieved 19 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 5 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  6. Jacob, Gary (27 June 2008). "Tottenham pay £7m for Brazil goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes". Times. London: www.times online.co.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  14. "Inter Milan 4 Tottenham 3". BBC Sport. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Chelsea 2–1 Tottenham". BBC News. 30 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  18. "Heurelho Gomes causes a stir on Hoffenheim debut". Here is the City. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Saisonende für Heurelho Gomes" (in German). achtzehn99.de. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Heurelho Gomes to depart Tottenham". ESPN. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. http://www.watfordfc.com/news/article/140524-heurelho-gomes-signs-for-watford-1571831.aspx
  22. http://www.watfordfc.com/news/article/150520-heurelho-gomes-new-watford-fc-contract-2463252.aspx
  23. Julio Cesar injury mars Brazil victory irishtimes.com 2 June 2010

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