Who would dream of an attacking lozenge composed by Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato, Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Robinho? AC Milan. And they have it. The departure of Robinho from Manchester City FC is yet another tale of Brazilian stars not fulfilling their potential in the English Premier League, specially at City…Elano was another.
Robinho’s record-breaking transfer to Manchester City in 2008 brought high hopes, dashed by under-performance after an astonishing start. After his 32.5 million-pound move, he scored 12 goals in 19 games, went on to score 4 more in 29 games then lost form after injury and was sent back to Brazil on loan to Santos, where he won the Paulista Championship and the Brazilian Cup. His 4-year signing by AC Milan brings him a substantial reduction in salary, but hopes of a resurgent career in Europe.
Premier League soccer is not for everyone. Sylvinho (Arsenal 1999-2001), Roque Junior (Leeds United 2002/3), Elano (Manchester City 2008-2010), Gilberto da Silva (Tottenham FC 2008/9), Scolari, Chelsea manager (2008-9) were Brazilians who for a number of motives failed to live up to high expectations.
However, is this a myth? Gilberto Silva (Arsenal 2002-2008) was a resounding success, part of the team that won the Championship undefeated in 2003/4; Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham, 2008-present), Juninho (Middlesbrough, 1995-1997, 1999-2000
and 2002-2004) certainly surpassed all hopes they and their clubs had upon signing.