By Chris Wright
Nice weather for ducks
There was a time, not so very long ago, that Alexandre Pato looked like the cat’s pyjamas.
After making waves as a 16/17-year-old in his debut ‘senior’ season at Internacional, it looked like AC Milan had snaffled themselves a bit of a bargain despite parting with €22million to bring the prodigious Brazilian striker to the San Siro in August of 2007.
Forced to hold on until the following January to make his Rossoneri debut due to FIFA’s pesky non-EU minor laws, Pato duly set about scoring 9 goals in 20 appearances in his first season before going on to end the next, 2008/09, as the club’s top goalscorer.
As well as the oodles of skill and technique, Pato’s raw pace and fluidity of movement were scarcely believable…
However, it was at this point that the injuries began to hit, and boy did they hit hard as the years crawled by.
Indeed, beginning in 2010-ish, Pato’s burgeoning career and promise was stymied by a succession of various knacks and niggles, some more serious than others – with repetitive muscular issues continuing to blight his career right up to the present day.
Still only 25, Pato has since returned to Brazil, joining Corinthians in 2013 and proving such a disappointment that they even paid rivals Sao Paulo a nominal fee to take him on loan for the latter part of the 2013/14 season.
As his gargantuan wages continue to bleed the waning club coffers dry (at £82,000-a-week, he is far and away their top earner), Corinthians are now calling on heavenly deities for somebody to take The Duck and his enormous bill off their hands.
In fact, Pato’s departure can’t come soon enough for Corinthians president Roberto De Andrade, who reportedly told ESPN Brazil:
“I regret buying him, but the failure is his own fault. At the time no-one was against it.
“Everyone knows that we’re praying day and night, hoping to sell him.”
We’re not entirely sure telling all and sundry just how yawningly desperate you are to flog your busted flush is the most foolproof marketing technique in the world, but we can certainly sympathise with the sentiment.
What might have been, eh? What might have been.