'Everything is very different' - Franca

Matheus Franca
[Getty Images]

Matheus Franca is grateful for how warmly he has been received at Selhurst Park, despite an injury-disrupted first season with Crystal Palace.

The Brazilian managed just 10 Premier League appearances but showed glimpses of his talent when fit and says the supporters have been a constant encouragement.

"They associate samba with Brazilians - they really like it," Franca told Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte and reported on the club website. "When I got there, there was a samba parade during my presentation. It was really cool.

“In every game, when they [the fans] start 'nanana', I already know it's my song and it gives me an extra boost. I think it's really cool and important when the fans create new songs. I really liked it and felt embraced by the fans' affection."

Coming to England has been a steep learning curve for the 20-year-old who conceded settling in had been difficult.

"The biggest challenge, without a doubt, was the language and communication," he said. "I took English classes, but when I got there it was very different. Adapting to the language and culture was very difficult, but now I'm used to it.

"My family, my parents and my wife were very important to me. They gave me a lot of love so that I could perform at my best on the field.

"I have learned a lot there, with the intensity and change of pace, which are completely different there. Whether it is passing or marking, everything is very different. I had to adapt, and I am improving."

"One of mine and my family's big dreams was to play in England. I've already been able to provide assists, I've been the star of a match, and I want to score my first goal in the Premier League.

"These are small dreams that I'm going to make come true and there are also big dreams that I'll think about later on. Let's take it step by step."