Summer Special | Matheus Cunha

Matheus Cunha says this season was “100 percent, without doubt” the best of his career, following a thrilling first full campaign in the Old Gold of Wolves.

A Christmas Day 2022 signing under Julen Lopetegui, the Brazilian found his feet during his opening six months in English footballer, but flourished under Gary O’Neil, scoring 14 goals and laying on eights assists.

A derby goal at the Hawthorns and hat-trick against Chelsea provided two of a number of magical afternoons with his teammates for Cunha, and for the man known for always smiling around Compton Park, it’s been a campaign to treasure in the West Midlands.

On a fine first full season

“I’ve said to everyone, this is the season I’ve enjoyed most, playing football. The numbers are with me, my teammates are amazing and have helped me to do the best season in my career. I can’t say more than thank you to everyone who has helped me, the club, the fans and I’m so happy here.

“To be part of this team, I’m enjoying it a lot, not only in the locker room, all the parts of the club, the people work and support us a lot. The teammates, the fans when we go to Molineux. It was a tough season, but when you enjoy it a lot, you don’t remember the hard moments. The combination of everything makes everyone very happy to be here.”

On numbers making him smile

“You can’t say more than the numbers, the goals and assists, that’s how I can be important for the team and how I can support others. Everyone is together. The combinations are important and make everything easier.

“A lot of players say I’m the guy who smiles a lot. I’m happy with things. Emotions are very, very clean. I smile a lot, everyone’s happy, I’m very happy.”

On his connection with the fans

“You make a connection. I think, first of all, with teammates and the club. The fans do a lot of things for us, the music and the songs are unbelievable, and we do a lot of things for them.

“I always say, before the game I’ll do something like this (the celebrations), but honestly, in the game you don’t remember. These kinds of things come. I know the fans talk with us about the West Bromwich game, I scored, and I saw the fans, their unbelievable happiness – this is our place, you can be happy here also.”

On overcoming injury in the spring

“When you’re happy, you are confident, and people around you help you to give your best version. My family helped me a lot, even in the hard moments. The hardest thing for players is to be injured, but you come back and are strong, so we are happy to give back.”

On his moments of the season

“For me, it’s the Chelsea one – the hat-trick is there. For the team and the fans together, I think West Bromwich was amazing. You really felt it was a derby and you enjoy it a lot, to win derbies.

“My favourite goal was the West Bromwich one, the atmosphere around everything. Then the moments together as a team, we remember the games and the goals.”