Heurelho da Silva Gomes (born 15 February 1981) is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Watford. He previously made a name for himself at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, and also spent six years at Tottenham Hotspur.
Gomes began as a forward, only becoming a goalkeeper at age 19. 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.
Gomes made his debut for the Eindhoven club against Serbian side Red Star Belgrade on 11 August 2004. He conceded two goals in his league debut against RBC Roosendaal, which PSV won 5-2, but secured his first team place and played a major part in PSV’s four consecutive titles in the Eredivisie and European achievements. In his first season, PSV reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where in their 14 previous attempts, they had not reached the second round. In the following seasons, PSV progressed each time from the group stage.
In the Eredivisie, Gomes was known for his reflexes, which saved points for PSV more than once. He was also able to throw the ball deep into the opponent’s half. In a match against Feyenoord, Gomes injured himself whilst celebrating a goal scored by his teammate Phillip Cocu. However, he managed to continue and later managed to make an important save, keeping his side in the game, which they went on to draw.
Following the 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 number of games for Brazil in the last two years. Gomes made his home debut on 10 August 2008, keeping a clean sheet with a 5-0 victory over Roma on Tottenham’s last pre-season friendly, before the 2008-09 Premier League began.
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 rival club 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 in a London derby 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 shoot-out 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. He won the Player of the Season award at the end of the 2015/16 season.
Gomes made his debut for Brazil in the 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, alongside Jlio Csar and Doni. 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.
In 15 March 2019 Gomes announced that he was retiring at the end of the season to become a pastor and footballing agent. According to Gomes he had been offered coaching positions but turned them down saying that he felt it would not leave him time for his pastoral life, saying that he felt a call from God.
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupOtherTotalDivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsCruzeiro2002Brasileiro Srie A140001402003Brasileiro Srie A4001101406502004Brasileiro Srie A50220270Total5901103601060PSV2004-05Eredivisie30000003002005-06Eredivisie32000804002006-07Eredivisie320001004202007-08Eredivisie3400060400Total1280002401520Tottenham Hotspur2008-09Premier League3401000804302009-10Premier League3108030004202010-11Premier League30010001004102011-12Premier League00001030402012-13Premier League00000000002013-14Premier League0000000000Total9501004021013001899 Hoffenheim (loan)2012-13Bundesliga900090Watford2014-15Championship44000004402015-16Premier League38010003902016-17Premier League38010003902017-18Premier League24010102602018-19Premier League006020802019-20Premier League00003030Total14408060001580Career total43502901008105550
- Campeonato Brasileiro Srie A: 2003
- Copa do Brasil: 2003
- Campeonato Mineiro: 2002, 2003, 2004