Piazon’s two seasons on loan with the right club in Fulham were eventful, to say the least. The Brazilian joined us with minutes of the 2016 summer transfer window remaining and went on to make 58 appearances, score 12 goals, suffer heartache in the playoffs, set a club record going 23 games unbeaten and of course the scenes at Wembley! Daniel Smith spoke to Lucas about all of the above and more…
DS – How did you get your first opportunity in professional football?
LP – Well my very first professional game was in the league cup with Chelsea against Wolves and I played as a left winger (my favourite position).
DS – Growing up, did you take more inspiration from European football or the Brazilian national team? Who were your boyhood heroes?
LP – I have always been a huge fan of football in general but as a kid I would love watching the Brazilian’s and my favourite to watch was Ronaldinho when he was at Barcelona.
DS – The first loan move to Fulham seemed to come out of nowhere at the very last minute on deadline day. When did you first learn about the deal and was it an easy decision to sign?
LP – It came to me on the last day that there was a possibility for a move to Fulham and for me it was an easy decision because I wouldn’t need to move anywhere. I could stay home and still get to play in a good team. So, I didn’t think twice.
DB – You scored after just 14 mins of your debut in the league cup against Bristol City at the Cottage. However, we went onto lose the game 1-2 in the last minute. Mixed emotions at full time?
LP – I was happy with the goal and the way the team played that day. I was also happy to have that first opportunity because I wasn’t getting much game time in the league and I thought we deserved a better result on the day. We had good chances to win that match and even missed a penalty. A very common occurrence during that first season!
DS – You seemed to enjoy winding up the Reading fans and likewise, they gave you abuse back. What happened to create that tension?
LP – It started when we beat them 5-0 at home. They booed me during that game and when they beat us in the second game at the Madejski, we missed a penalty in the last minute and you could see me smashing the ball away after the miss in frustration. They used that image on twitter to laugh at me and when they eliminated us from the playoffs later that season, they were all over me with bad comments and stuff on Twitter.
So, it started there and got worst when I scored in front of them the next season and told them to relax…
DS – Was the semi final playoff defeat harder to take because it came against Reading and was more personal?
LP – Not really, it just felt bad not making to Wembley because it was clear we were the better team.
DS – Was the second loan deal always in the plans or was it something that materialised at a later date when you had returned to Chelsea? Was there ever an option to make it a permanent deal?
LP – I had that in my mind as soon as we lost at Reading. I wanted to stay and try one more time for promotion and luckily the club had the same plans. So, it was easy to work it out for a new loan.
No, it was a simple loan move unfortunately.
DS – Obviously recovering from injuries is very frustrating and you’ve suffered a couple of lengthy ones. What did you do to pass the time or was most of your life spent with the physio?
LP – The jaw was not too bad because after 6 weeks I was playing again but the leg injury was tough! I’ve never been that long out of playing and 5 months out injured was horrible.
The first 3 weeks after the surgery was so boring. Just sofa and tv everyday and then after that I had long days of physiotherapy and treatment.
DS – You were very much part of our 23 game unbeaten run and promotion to the Premier League but you didn’t get to play in the playoff final at Wembley. Was it hard to take missing out on that opportunity?
LP – It was a bit hard because until the meeting before the game, Abou and I didn’t know who would start the final.
Slav called us into his office the day before the game and told us both to be ready because he couldn’t make a decision yet. At that point I couldn’t be too disappointed because I had to ready anyway if they needed me and when the ref blew that whistle I couldn’t care less that I didn’t play, I was just so happy for all of us.
It was amazing! One of the greatest days of my life for sure. We suffered a lot on the bench in those final 20 minutes but it was all worth it.
DS – You have made it very clear in the past, how much you enjoyed it at Fulham. What was it about the club that you liked so much?
LP – Everything to be honest. I enjoyed the way we played football. The changing room was great and I made lifetime friends. I loved playing at the Cottage. It is a great location close to home. It was all so good.
DS – Did you know that you are the first and only Brazilian so far to play for Fulham? So, not only have you helped us in a big way with promotion, you also wrote your own personal chapter into Fulham’s history books. How does that make you feel?
LP – It feels good knowing that we did something special for a club that I have a lot of love for.
So it is something to be very proud of.
DS – After 58 appearances in a Fulham shirt, is there a particular match that stands out as your favourite?
LP – Favourite match has to be the one at Wembley for sure.
DS – How about your favourite goal?
LP – Favourite goal has to be the Reading one haha!
DS – What was your relationship like with Slavisa?
LP – It was good. He is a calm guy, quite funny. We all had good relationships with the gaffer.
DS – Who were your closest friends at the club and have you kept in touch with anyone from Fulham?
LP – Tough one. Had a really good relationship with Kmac, Rui Fonte, Madl and Djalo but I think the ones that I spent the most time with were Madl in my first year and Djalo in the second.
DS – Have you found the various loan spells in your career frustrating or have you embraced the opportunities?
LP – Honestly every place I went on loan had some special moments. Sometimes there were a few ups and down but definitely more ups and I was able to learn, grow and see other cultures. I know I can say that I tried to make the best out of it.
DS – Finally Lucas, which would you prefer to eat, pie or pasty?
LP – Pasty for sure haha