Ana Vitória at PSG 2023/24: Adding Brazilian flair to the Parisian midfield – scout report
Ana Vitória is a Brazilian international player, aged 23, who has just moved from Benfica to PSG Women. This transfer represents a lot for the Brazilian since it is her first big move after she started her career with Mixto in 2015 and then played for Corinthians before flying to Europe.
Her European journey started in Portugal with Benfica, where she played from 2019 to 2023 and was one of the team’s most impactful players. Actually, Vitória achieved a higher step in her career by joining a big team like PSG, and this upgrade will undoubtedly include advantages but also challenges.
Despite playing at a prestigious club with outstanding teammates, one of the challenges that she could encounter Vitória would be her ability to adapt to her new environment, culture, and especially to her rivals in the team. Knowing that she will probably play as a midfielder or as a winger, Vitória will undoubtedly have a lot of competition within the team and will have to be at her best at the start of the season to confirm a regular spot for herself.
In this tactical analysis and scout report, we will focus on identifying Vitória’s most remarkable strengths and weaknesses and exploring her role at Benfica. At the same time, the analysis will include a study of the Brazilian’s possible position at PSG and her roles within the team’s tactics.
Strengths and weaknesses
Vitória can play in various midfield and even attacking positions, and this already represents an advantage for teams having the services of the Brazilian since not all midfielders can be as tactically flexible or can interpret different positions with almost the same efficiency. Vitória proved on several occasions that she could cope with such various missions both at Benfica and with the Brazilian national team.
Vitória has got the passing accuracy and vision needed to be an instrumental midfielder in terms of playmaking while combining this talent with excellent physical abilities and an excellent pace which allows head coaches to use her as a winger so often, knowing that she would guarantee at the same time a continuous attacking contribution and a solid defensive resistance on wings.
She has an average of 81% in terms of passing accuracy, with 76.7% of accuracy for passes to the final third, which is an impressive number. This statistic highlights Vitória’s great passing technique and especially her excellent decision-making when making assists or providing key passes. And this represents one of her many strengths.
The following picture shows one of Vitória’s best assists and showcases her outstanding creativity in the final third. A back-heel assist was executed while being tightly marked and moving towards her team’s own half. Yet, these circumstances didn’t prevent Vitória from performing what turned out to be a rewarding idea by breaking Twente’s defensive line with that back-heel pass and allowing her teammate to be in a one vs one situation with the goalkeeper.
Given her technique and creativity in the final third, Vitória can be added to the seemingly endless list of entertaining Brazilian football players. The only thing that would need some improvement from Vitória would be her dribbling usage: when to dribble more and when it will be required to play more straightforwardly and pass the ball faster.
Vitória’s dribbling success rate of 65.7% represents a good average for a midfielder. Nevertheless, acquiring more awareness of when to dribble more and when to avoid dribbling and opt for passes would help Vitória be more crucial and fundamental. Also, taking the initiative a bit more when playing on the wing while being in one vs one duel and having to dribble would help Vitória be more dangerous as a winger.
This doesn’t mean that Vitória is not dangerous as a winger because even when she prefers not to get past opponents, she finds some excellent alternative solutions, like fixing her direct opponent and going for a pass or a cross. This is what happened on various occasions, and in this example in particular, in which Vitória advanced through the left wing, fixed her direct opponent and waited for her teammate’s movement without the ball before providing a creative assist with the exterior part of the foot.
Vitória can be useful for scoring goals, too, since she often helps with goals whenever possible, even though her average of shots on target last season wasn’t extraordinary, with 43.5%. Vitória has some pretty good finishing skills, which differentiates her from other midfielders and adds to her versatility. She has dealt with complicated passes and finished actions as needed, even by resorting to volleys and half-volleys like in the following example. Here, Vitória received a cross inside the box and acted like a striker by moving towards the ball and attempting a beautiful volley that ended in the net.
Roles at Benfica
Vitória has been at the heart of Benfica’s project and has numerous vital roles within the team, including free-kick taking, goalscoring, assist-making, defending when needed and providing passing options on the wings and inside the box. Most of these roles were executed accurately by Vitória, especially when she was used as a winger since this position allows her to advance a bit more and be more dangerous in attack.
At the same time, Vitória can play as a central midfielder without issues, even though this heatmap shows that she moves more on the wings. She is solid in terms of defensive duels, with 55.6% won on average, and can also play the defensive playmaker role very well.
As an example of Vitória’s notable roles at Benfica, we can notice in the following example that she shoots with her left foot in this action to score a goal from a difficult angle after advancing from the left wing. This highlights that shooting with the left foot doesn’t really represent an issue for Vitória and that the Brazilian can play both in the right and left winger positions with almost the same efficiency while providing threat in both cases.
Besides being a very impactful player from open play, Vitória is also a very reliable player during set-pieces, either when she takes or waits for the delivery. She often creates danger when she waits for deliveries as she usually knows how to avoid marking and ask for the ball as she did during the following set-piece. In fact, Vitória was able to score a goal after receiving a through pass in the free space thanks to her movement without the ball to escape from her direct marker before shooting on goal with success.
Also, Vitória can help PSG regarding set-pieces since she can be considered a set-piece specialist. She proved on several occasions that she could score goals from free-kicks, and this adds a lot to her strengths and helps her team have more reliable set-piece takers, even though PSG already have competitors in this regard.
Possible position and roles at PSG
At PSG, Vitória will undoubtedly have to battle for a regular spot since there are competitors for each place, especially in midfield, where players like Hamraoui, Bachmann, Groenen, Lieke Martens and more are difficult to challenge. Yet, Vitória has the abilities needed to confirm herself and show her abilities to Gérard Prêcheur.
Vitória suits PSG’s 4-4-2 system and can play as a winger in this formation, especially when the head coach wants to play with a conservative lineup instead of a more defensive one. At the same time, she can battle for a spot in midfield, especially when the team uses the 4-3-3 formation, as Vitória interprets the central midfielder role very well while keeping the defensive midfielder role to Hamraoui.
But to suit PSG’s tactics and be helpful for the team, Vitória will need to ensure that she commits few mistakes, especially in the defensive phase and exploit the chances she will get from an attacking perspective, especially when it comes to set-piece taking, assist making opportunities, and goalscoring situations. If she succeeds in achieving these targets, Vitória will become a crucial player for PSG despite the competition from other outstanding players.
Ana Vitória is one of Brazil’s current best talents, and this move from Benfica to PSG will surely help Vitória develop more as a player and be an even more complete midfielder. Adaptation to her new environment will be vital to succeeding at PSG. Plus, knowing how to deal with pressure and games against other big teams like Lyon, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Wolfsburg, and Arsenal in UWCL will be crucial for Vitória’s success.