By 90Min
February 08, 2018

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is not only a top shot stopper, but is secretly also a rather capable midfielder, after the Brazilian international revealed that he often be asked to play outfield during his first stint at Benfica upon first moving to Europe.

Ederson left boyhood club Sao Paulo at the age of 16 to join the Portuguese giant's youth setup. Beyond his initial calling as a goalkeeper, he found himself occasionally filling gaps in midfield as well, something it appears he had a gift for given the calmness he expresses on the ball now.

Michael Steele/GettyImages

"When I played in the Benfica youth teams, they would always call me to play in midfield if someone was missing and I didn't ever embarrass myself," the 24-year-old explained in an interview with FourFourTwo.

"So, if necessary I'm definitely up to the task. It wouldn't be easy, especially in the Premier League, but I think I could manage the challenge. I was always comfortable with the ball at my feet, and this helps me during games. I think it's a natural talent."

City boss Pep Guardiola has found what he was looking for in a 'sweeper keeper', with Ederson, doing what former number one Claudio Bravo could not and acting as an extra arm of the passing game - he is much more than just a goalkeeper.

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

Eyebrows were raised when City shelled out £35m on relatively unknown goalkeeper with just one full season of first-team experience, but Ederson has so far proved the fee was justified.

Unsurprisingly, Ederson began honing his ball skills and technique while back home in Brazil. And it was there that he also discovered another ability: the art of free-kicks.

Sao Paulo staff were certainly no strangers to seeing a goalkeeper take free-kicks, with the legendary stopper Rogerio Ceni (pictured below) incredibly scoring 131 goals for the club during his lengthy career. Paraguayan hero Jose Luis Chilavert was another South American goalkeeper who was famously a dead ball expert.

HECTOR RETAMAL/GettyImages

"One of my coaches encouraged me to try [taking a free-kick]," Ederson explained.

"In the beginning, I didn't want to take any free-kicks but he pushed me to do it. Then I started scoring a few goals and everything changed. But I don't do it anymore. City have plenty of specialists in this area."

He may be reluctant, but should City wrap up the title early could Ederson try his luck in a Premier League game before the end of the season? Only time will tell, but it is surely something fans would be curious to see.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)