Gama catalyst for Portugal

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

Portuguese midfielder Bruno Gama is familiar with winning at the international level.

Gama was a member of the side that won the European Under-17 title in 2003.

This year he led Portugal back to the Under-20 championships for the first time since 2001.

A player with incredible speed, Gama is the catalyst of the Portuguese attack playing just behind the two main strikers. Along with his speed, Gama has exceptional vision and passing ability.

He also has a thunderous shot which he can hit with either foot.

The 19 year old was born in Vila Verde, Portugal, and is considered the country's next big star.

Currently on loan from FC Porto to Sporting Braga, Gama scored three goals for Portugal at the Under-19 European championships last summer to help book a spot at this year's World Cup.

Portugal drew all three of its games at the European championship, with a 2-2 tie against Scotland and thrilling 4-4 encounter with Turkey and a 1-1 stalemate with Spain.

"Qualifying for the World Cup gave us a huge amount of satisfaction," Gama told FIFA.com.

"That was our main objective at the European Championship and the team is delighted to have achieved that."

Drawn in a group with New Zealand, Mexico and Gambia, Portugal is a good bet to get beyond the first round and into the quarter-finals.

They'll play their first two group matches in Toronto, and then head to

Montreal for their third. Portugal has twice won the world title at this level, claming the World Youth championship in 1989 and again in 1991.

"I think we can get through to the next round," Gama said. "Then it's just a question of taking each game as it comes."

BRUNO GAMA - PORTGUAL

Born Nov. 15, 1987 in Vila Verde, Portugal ... He started playing with Sporting Braga on their youth side when he was 10 ... Following Portugal's victory in the U-17 European Championships in 2003, Gama was signed by Portuguese powerhouse FC Porto. He played mainly with Porto's B side before being loaned back to Braga last season ... Considers Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo as and Brazilian Ronaldinho as his main inspirations ... Would like to repeat what Luis Figo and Portugal's golden generation accomplished by winning two consecutive World Youth titles in 1989 and 1991.


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