7m | Pedro Pacheco: ‘SEHA matches are always highly competitive and I am really happy to be a part of it all’

Pedro Pacheco

Throughout the last ten years, SEHA - Gazprom League has grown to be one of the best handball leagues in terms of quality, featuring European champion Vardar 1961, teams like Telekom Veszprem, PPD Zagreb and Meshkov Brest as well as many World, European and Olympic medalists. Everything it offers has attracted a lot of young players from Europe willing to point their young career in the right direction facing off against some of the best players at the moment. A few years back it has also caught eye of a young Brazilian middle back perfecting his game in handball club Pinheiros from São Paulo – Pedro Pacheco.

Why did you decide to come to Tatran Presov?

I remember watching SEHA – Gazprom League matches often back when I was still in Brazil. Most of the Brazilian players go to Portugal or Spain once they decide the time has come for them to test themselves in Europe. On the other hand, I’ve decided to go to Tatran Presov, which is competing in the SEHA – Gazprom League and is also participating in European competitions. I feel like I’ve made the right choice at the time.

The first SEHA match was a great experience for the young playmaker.
Going from watching all these matches from Brazil to actually playing them and competing was incredible. It was a dream come true for me honestly. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with coach Slavko Goluza from the beginning who was also a middle back during his playing days and who has really helped me a lot. He understands the game perfectly and knows how to help you in each and every situation. Because of all this, I feel like I’ve - with the move to Slovakia and Tatran Presov, managed to make an additional step forward in my career not only going to Europe but also reaching a very good level in terms of quality.

Pedro’s handball story started in Sao Paulo while he was waiting for the training session of the most popular and most practiced sport in Brazil. Football.
Of course, in Brazil every kid dreams of becoming a professional football player. It all starts there. One day I was waiting for the football practice when handball coach of our school team came asking me and my friends if we’d like to join the handball team. That’s how it all started. My sister was also into handball and I can say she influenced my decision to eventually stick with it.

He is now one of the players who are looking to bring men’s national team of Brazil the glory that their women’s national team has already managed to reach. With players like Langaro, Petrus and former SEHA diamond Rogerio Moraes Brazil is looking very good at the moment.
What we are doing as a national team is in my opinion going to take time. It is a process, a marathon rather than a sprint, but I feel like in case we keep on working as hard we’ll fight for medals on the biggest possible stage soon. Next WCh will be played in Poland and Sweden in January of 2023 and that will surely be a chance for us to show what we’re capable of and see how far we’ve managed to come.

And how much is SEHA – Gazprom League helping you prepare for that biggest possible stage?

It surely does. Playing against some of the best clubs in Europe at the moment and against incredible players is definitely helpful. Competing on such a level helps you develop quicker and more effectively upgrading all aspects of your game at the same time and on the go. SEHA matches are always highly competitive and I am really happy and satisfied to be a part of it all.

Influence of SEHA – Gazprom League on Pacheco’s career is also visible when we look at the list of players he likes to watch and is trying to model his game after.

I really like watching Cindric, Karacic, Palmarsson… I feel like the first two have a similar playing style to mine dictating the tempo and running the court well making the best possible on-court decisions. Of course, as a young player, I liked watching Nikola Karabatic and Daniel Narcisse but I’d say their game is a bit different than mine. I like this style in which players are given an opportunity to analyze the game on the go, make decisions and change the course of the game in a matter of seconds.

And where does Pedro Pacheco want to be in a few years?
I’d like to play in one of the best teams in Europe, on the highest possible level and compete against the best. I only hope I’ll manage to stay healthy. Injuries have slowed me down a bit lately and staying healthy and ready is my biggest wish honestly. It’s hard to talk about specific clubs I’d like to be a part of in the future, but honestly I really like Veszprem and Kiel.

What is it you like to do when you’re not on the court or in the gym?
I like to hang out with my Brazilian friends here in Presov Linhares and Colodeti. I’m also learning a new language right now – Italian. But yeah, in my free time I like to relax, think about something else rather than handball and learn new things.