Wings Sign Brazilian Defender Leonardo Catarina

by Lisa Sillaway


Park City, KS (November 13, 2019) - Leo Catarina might tell you exactly how excited he is to join the 40th anniversary Wichita Wings team, but don't expect him to talk about his rather stellar soccer career where he followed the path of many soccer legends. He is humble and prefers to look to the future.

"Well, I don't like to just tell everyone this, but here we go," he joked when asked. "I had great experience in Brazil with soccer, and played five years in Santos, where Pele and Neymar played. I also played for four years for Corinthians, where Ronaldo played."

When pressed, he might tell you that he also happened to play with few guys that are known world-wide. Catarina played with Neymar for five years, Marquinhos for four years, had the opportunity to take the field with Ronaldo, played with Roberto Carlos and watched his incredible free-kick goal against France, played alongside Emerson (current Chelsea star), Felipe Anderson (West Ham) and few others. Humble or not, it's easy to see that Catarina has picked up a few things from the legends on the field.

"How badly I fight for the ball, every single tackle, every 50/50 ball I go to win," he said. "I give my 200% percent on the field. Especially when I have an opportunity like playing for the Wings."

Local soccer fans might recognize his play and his energy on the field. Catarina  played two years for Cloud County Community College and then two years for Friends University before playing for FC Wichita. Having heard about the history of the local indoor club, Catarina was thrilled to be asked to join the team this month.

"Being picked and selected to represent the community and the Wings for Wichita, I can't describe how happy I am, how excited being part of this group for this new chapter in my life," he said. "I will definitely do and try my best."

That best will include not just world-class ball handling skills but also a strong personality and a strong connection to his team.

"I like to talk a lot with my team mates, giving them energy to keep going and improve themselves both on-and-off the field," Catarina said.

See Catarina and his new indoor team on the field as the Wichita Wings open their season at home on Dec. 28. Season tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster and at the Hartman Arena.