Johnny is off to an impressive start with his new club in Spain and his most recent performances have made fans go crazy for the USMNT midfielder.
Playing his whole career in the Brasileirao, Johnny’s big-break transfer to Europe seemed like a big jump in competition level, subject to months of adaptation to a new league, new language and new country.
However, in a combination of factors — multiple injuries, jam-packed calendar and Cardoso’s quick settlement in Spain — the USMNT player has turned quite a lot of heads in the first few weeks and games in Europe. Fans are labeling the American as “one of the most complete players they’ve ever seen.”
Real Betis fans go crazy over Johnny Cardoso’s performances
Johnny is Betis’ new starboy.
Since making his debut in LaLiga for Real Betis in a 6-goal thriller against FC Barcelona that saw them lose a late comeback, Johnny’s “fire fighter” performance from the starting XI in just his first match in Europe impressed Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini from the start. The American has been in the starting lineup for the latest three matches.
His performances as defensive midfielder (as opposed to the more attacking role he was given against Barcelona), have made the 20-year-old flourish around the pitch, turning himself into one of the most important players for Betis in 2024. Constantly intercepting and clearing any dangerous chances from the opponent, keeping a high accurate pass percentage and even getting an assist in his last game, Johnny has started to make Betis fans hallucinate over his signing.
After his MOTM performance against Cádiz last Friday, Cardoso’s assist and impressive 90 minutes on the pitch left Spanish fans ‘speechless’ over the kind of player they got on their hands, going as far as calling him ‘one of the most complete center midfielders they’ve ever seen’.
No se quién lo siguió, pero es uno de los pivotes más completos que he visto en mi vida. Tan vistoso como resolutivo, sus ídolos son Rodri y Sergio Busquets, con eso lo digo todo.— skillbet (@Skillbet1907) February 9, 2024
De donde ha salido éste tío?
No recuerdo una adaptación tan rápida con rendimiento tan bueno desde Dorlan Pabon.— Julio César (@JulioCesar_969) February 10, 2024
QUIEN LO FICHÓ ES DIOS— Aida Borreguero (@aidaborreguero1) February 9, 2024
Tiene físico, muestra disciplina, tiene talento. Tiene todas las condiciones para ser de los mejores 5 en los próximos años— Κηδεμόνας (@apoyo_ossandon) February 10, 2024
“He’s got a good physique, shows discipline and has talent. He has the conditions to become one of the best number 5's in the upcoming years.” "He's a god." "Where did this guy come from?" said fans on X.
EXHIBICIÓN. pic.twitter.com/N1urO1FJ4a— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis) February 9, 2024
Johnny, who made 144 appearances for South American giants Internacional in the Brasileirao, was signed by Betis for only $6 million last January and is quickly turning into a bargain of a signing.
“He is an important player for [Betis],” said manager Manuel Pellegrini. “He will improve his level as games go by… he has adapted very well to the game,” he added.
Cardoso will hope to continue his amazing form with Betis on the European stage when they face off against Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Conference League knockout stages this Thursday.