Heurelho da Silva Gomes ( born 15 February 1981), better known as Heurelho 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.
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.
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.
Following appointment of manager Juande Ramos, Gomes signed for Tottenham Hotspur on 27 June 2008 for a fee was believed to be around 7.8 million. Gomes played his first game in Tottenham colours in a pre-season friendly match on 19 July 2008 against Spanish Segunda Divisin B side Dnia, 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 two years.
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. His reputation took a hit a week later, however, when he conceded a weak shot from Ashley Young 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 Spurs goalkeeping coach Hans Leitert to be sacked on 19 November 2008, with the appointment of former Spurs goalkeeper Tony Parks made shortly after.
Gomes 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.
Gomes was injured in Spurs’ 5-1 win over Hull City in the second game of the 2009-10 Premier League season and had to be replaced by second-choice goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. After an MRI scan, it was revealed that Gomes suffered damage to his groin which would keep him out for up to a month. He made his return to first team action in the 5-1 victory over Preston North End in the League Cup on 23 September 2009, 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 goalkeeper Pat Jennings to a famous save made by Gordon Banks against Brazil in the 1970 FIFA World Cup.
On 3 April 2010, he made two penalty saves out of three against in a 3-1 defeat away at Sunderland, then on 14 April, Gomes’ fine form aided Spurs in picking up their first Premier 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, Gomes again made several crucial saves as Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-1 as the team passed Manchester City to sit fourth in the League standings. He kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanders and then played a vital role in the 1-0 victory against Manchester City with two crucial saves which saw Tottenham get into the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever.
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.
Gomes’ goalkeeping ability was called into question on 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 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 allowed. 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. 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 a penalty. Subsequently, Gomes played in the 2011-12 UEFA Europa League, keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 victory over Rubin Kazan. Following Spurs’ deadline day capture of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from Lyon, Gomes slipped to fourth-choice at Spurs, but following the sale of Carlo Cudicini to the LA Galaxy, he rose back to third-choice, behind Lloris and Friedel.
Loan to 1899 Hoffenheim
On the final day of the January 2013 transfer window, Gomes agreed to join German Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the season. On 2 February, he made his debut as Hoffenheim won 2-1 against SC Freiburg. After the match, manager Marco Kurz praised Gomes, saying, “Gomes has shown a very solid performance. Although he has only trained once with us, his aura was strong.” Throughout the match, Gomes made four crucial saves and looked assured in claiming six crosses, commanding his penalty area. By his third match for Hoffenheim, he was already captaining the team, although his season ended prematurely when, on 6 April 2013, he broke his metacarpus during an important 3-0 home win over Fortuna Dsseldorf. He had to undergo hand surgery.
Return to Tottenham
After his injury, Gomes returned to Tottenham and started the 2013-14 season with Spurs. Gomes’ role remained as third-choice, however, as the backup to Brad Friedel and the club number one Hugo Lloris. On 22 May 2014, Tottenham announced that Gomes would leave the club the following month when his contract expired.
Gomes signed a one-year deal, with an option of a second, at Championship side Watford on 24 May 2014. 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.
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 was not 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 Seleo’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 2010 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 Jlio Csar as a substitute.
- As of match played 22 April 2017.
|Cruzeiro||2002||Brasileiro Srie A||14||0||0||0||14||0|
|2003||Brasileiro Srie A||40||0||11||0||14||0||65||0|
|2004||Brasileiro Srie A||5||0||22||0||27||0|
|Tottenham Hotspur||2008-09||Premier League||34||0||1||0||0||0||8||0||43||0|
|1899 Hoffenheim (loan)||2012-13||Bundesliga||9||0||0||0||9||0|