Lucas Piazon had a big scare after the Pan-American games last year that took place in Canada, being accused of committing a crime along with a colleague from Brazil's under-22 national team. The sexual assault charges were dropped earlier this week, and for the first time since the summer, the Chelsea loanee spoke to the Brazilian press about how he dealt with the process, and the lesson he learned from it.
"[My family and I] were left in agony, anxious to see the case getting solved. When the news broke out, we were quite relieved and happy. It isn't easy to be accused like that, out of the left-field, as I was."
"I first heard about it like everyone else, through the Internet, the newspapers. It was a big shock to my family, myself, my relatives in Brazil... So, it was a great relief for everyone."
"I remained silent so the news couldn't gather more steam. Anything that I said could be misinterpretated and used against me. But in reality, I was calm. I saw that my family was very nervous, but only I know the truth."
"I had a clear conscience and I knew that this story wouldn't have a different ending. I got a lot of support from friends, on social media, from Chelsea and Reading... Everyone stood by my side and they gave me tranquility to keep on playing and living normally."
"As my lawyers stated, [the charges were] irresponsibility from their police. Even with the court telling them that there was no accusation to be made, they went through and tarnished my reputation."
"The lesson left is that when we're staying at a different country, we need to be even more careful. We need to take care of ourselves more than what we do in our native country."
Despite these off-pitch issues, Piazon has managed to find firm footing at Championship side Reading, playing in 19 games for the club so far this season. While former Chelsea assistant Steve Clarke is no longer in charge, new boss Brian McDermott has continued to pick him regularly as the Royals attempt to get back into the promotion play-off hunt.
"The Championship is complicated, isn't it? They don't have the most beautiful game, they're more disputed. There's a lot of sheer strength, fight, lots of effort. So, it's hard."
"They think that it's easy because it's the second tier, but it's complicated. I'm liking it. It's a good experience. I'm learning a lot. We're still midway through the season and we will be fighting for a play-off berth to get to the Premier League. We're still in the fight. It's been a good experience."
-Lucas Piazon; source: Globo Esporte
Next up for Reading will be Walsall and Piazon's former Chelsea youth teammate Milan Lalkovic in Saturday's FA Cup 4th round tie.