Brazilian Alexandre Pato today tweeted that he moving to China to join Tianjin Quanjian. With that move he becomes the latest South American star to move to China, after Oscar and Tevez. Since his inception in 2007, he was considered as the next big star of Brazilian football. But unfortunately, that was not to be. We take a look at how such a promising talent ended up in China.
Brazil’s next big teenager:
Pato came to the international limelight as a 16-year-old playing for Brazilian club Internacional. He scored a goal in the FIFA Club World Cup and became the youngest player to score in a FIFA tournament. A record which was held for a long time by Pele. And suddenly world football was buzzing with the new boy. Everyone was talking about how Pato would be steering Brazil for years to come. And all of a sudden every big team in the world wanted to sign him up.
Passport stamp, Italy:
Milan eventually signed the talented youngster to their roster. But he could only make his professional debut 5 months later when he ultimately turned 18. He had a great first season in Milan scoring 9 times in 20 appearances. In his second season, he was the top scorer for his team and everything looked perfect for the Brazilian.
And then, the graph started sliding down:
While Pato was busy proving to the whole world how good he really was by scoring some wonderful goals, but luck was planning a totally different route for him. From 2011 Pato started having injuries and that was basically the start of his downfall. He continued to have one injury after another. And every time he would have a lengthy absence from football. The frequency of injuries was so bad that it totally dismantled his footballing career.
Constant first team appearance at Milan became a rarity for Pato and he was ultimately sold off to Corinthians. That was basically the end of his much-hyped career. He did try to revive it through loan spells at Sao Paolo and Chelsea. But both of them didn’t work out. He then moved to Spain to join Villareal. But after making only 14 appearances for the Yellow Submarines, Pato has decided to move to China to play for Tianjin Quanjian.
This is not the first time that he has had an offer from the Chinese side. Earlier he turned down a move to the very same club to join Chelsea on loan. Pato is among those many unfortunate talented footballers whose career were eaten up by injuries and bad luck.