Brazil is known for many things, like its beautiful beaches and its iconic carnival festivals. However, it is best known for producing some of the world’s greatest players in soccer. Among the greatest names of the beautiful sport are Pelé, Ronaldo Nazario, and Ronaldinho, to name a few. Aspiring to etch his name in soccer is Gleison Sousa.
Gleison Sousa is a Brazilian soccer player based in Miami. Playing primarily as a forward capable of taking either flank, Sousa is undoubtedly continuing the Brazilian flare. While he is well on his way to becoming another great in the beautiful sport, Sousa remains the same character from the beginning of his story.
Born in a small town called Jaguaribe, Sousa came from humble beginnings. His parents were unable to complete their education and had to work to provide for eight children. By nine years old, he sold popsicles on the streets to pay the monthly fee for soccer practice. They would later leave for a better life. Moving to Santa Catarina, his parents would work hard to keep food on the table.
While he was undoubtedly gifted in soccer, Sousa left the sport to join his brother in dance competitions. Together with their crew, they made a name for themselves, excelling in tournaments and earning a reputation in their region. Despite their many successes, Sousa felt something was still missing. It took a difficult breakup for him to realize that he missed his passion.
Despite how late he was by Brazilian standards, Gleison Sousa started playing professionally at 22. The decision paid off as he would get the opportunity to play all over the country and fly to Italy for a summer. Following his stint there, Sousa would move to Germany and play for two years. However, his stay did not go as he expected
Lodging at an agent’s house, Sousa was humiliated in front of other players when the agent came home intoxicated. He started badmouthing Sousa, claiming he needed more money. However, it was not the first time the Brazilian was criticized, and he decided to confront him. The altercation led to the agent kicking him out of the house.
Walking through the streets of Germany and unable to speak German or English, Sousa decided to contact a singer he’d met and connected with a couple weeks earlier. Reaching out to her, she agreed to meet him. For two years, they would live together with her friends, falling in love along the way. Throughout the years together, she would help him find a club and visa opportunities. Toward the end of his visa, Sousa and his girlfriend got pregnant. The couple decided to move to the United States with her family and raise their daughter. Eventually, they got married.
Today, Sousa plays for Adrestia FC, competing in the UPSL league and coaching children of all ages with Bold Nation Corp. His wife, Stefania Dominguez, has become an established artist in the music industry under the stage name Nia Ocean. Although it’s been a long and arduous road, Gleison continues to chase his biggest dream yet: to play the Major Leagues. His story and experience has brought him this far, allowing him to now help his family back home.
Sousa started later in his soccer career, but as he makes his way to the Major Leagues, his skills, experience, and Brazilian flair continue to bring excitement to the pitch.