Hannover defender Waldemar Anton embraces Jonathas after the latter's match-winning goal in the 1-0 victory against Schalke on Matchday 2. - © © imago / Nordphoto
Hannover defender Waldemar Anton embraces Jonathas after the latter's match-winning goal in the 1-0 victory against Schalke on Matchday 2. - © © imago / Nordphoto

Hannover and new striker Jonathas already proving the perfect match

In exactly the same manner as his club have upon their return to the Bundesliga, Hannover 96 new boy Jonathas has made an instant and eye-catching impact in the short time since his arrival.

Andre Breitenreiter's charges have won the first two games of the league season, one of only four clubs to do so, and will spend the international break residing in the giddy heights of fourth.

The second of those two victories, Matchday 2's 1-0 triumph against Schalke as Bundesliga football returned to the HDI Arena, was in large part thanks to Hannover's new Brazilian striker, Jonathas, who did what he does best and scored within five minutes of his introduction as a second-half substitute.

Picking up the ball on the edge of the box following Thilo Kehrer's misplaced pass, Marvin Bakalorz slalomed into the box and squared for Jonathas, who took his chance with aplomb, swiftly sliding the ball underneath the onrushing Ralf Fährmann and into the net with his first shot in the Bundesliga.

Watch: see Jonathas' debut goal in Hannover's win against Schalke on Matchday 2


According to Jonathas' colleague up front, Martin Harnik, a debut strike had been on the cards since the Brazilian new boy pitched up and scored within three minutes of his first training session.

"You could see in training that he's ice-cold in front of goal," said Harnik. "If he keeps this up, then he'll be a real addition."

Such coolness in the box, as demonstrated against Schalke, is exactly why Die Roten were persuaded to loosen the purse strings to sign Jonathas from Rubin Kazan. As Hannover sporting director Horst Heldt underlined upon announcing the transfer, "everywhere he's been, he's scored goals."

And so it was again on Sunday for the burly Brazilian, whose happy knack of goalscoring has now extended to Hannover.

"I'm delighted that I managed to score straight away," said Jonathas, who was chosen as the the home fans' Man of the Match.

"The team has welcomed me really well and it doesn't feel like I've only been here for a week. I couldn't have imagined a better start and I'm really pleased to have been able to contribute to an important win."

These were no mere platitudes, either. The delight was reflected following his goal: Jonathas pointed at the name on the back of his shirt and then the club badge on his chest, a celebration that seemed to say 'Remember the name - I'm here to stay'.

It is hardly a surprise that it took Jonathas no time at all to settle into new surroundings: since arriving in Europe at 20 with AZ Alkmaar, his has been an itinerant career; Hannover represent the Minas Gerais native's ninth European club since 2009.

The striker has become used to adapting to new cultures and styles of football, even if his bedding-in period in the Bundesliga has been akin to that of a duck taking to water.

After several seasons spent criss-crossing the continent from Spain to Russia, however, Jonathas is finally looking to put down roots in one place with his young family.

"After playing for a lot of clubs so far in my career, I'd like to settle in Hannover," said the 28-year-old upon his unveiling.

That desire to put down roots is another similarity hinting that Jonathas and Hannover could be the perfect match. After several up-and-down years, the Lower Saxony club are also looking to settle, hoping to remain in the Bundesliga and make this a permanent return to the top flight.

Die Roten were relegated from the Bundesliga in 2015/16 following several seasons of mediocrity, but bounced back at the first time of asking last campaign with a second-place finish in the second tier.

Indeed, with Breitenreiter in charge of matters on the field and Heldt overseeing developments off it – a duo that worked successfully together at Schalke in 2015/16 and appear to be doing the same in Lower Saxony – the 96ers are at their most settled in several years.

Accordingly, hopes are high this term that Hannover will take the first step towards repeating the 14-season top-flight stay that preceded that recent relegation.

With so much in common, then, it is little wonder that Jonathas and Hannover have hit it off so quickly.

Click right here for more Hannover news and features!