Who remembers the Brazilian forward by the name of Mirandinha? He was the first Brazilian to ever grace the Premiership and was brought in by then Newcastle United manager Willie McFaul for a record at the time of £575,000. The Toon faithful even created a jaunty little tune for the diminutive winger which went: ‘We’ve got Mirandinha, he’s not from Argentina, he’s from Brazil, he’s f*cking brill’!’ He was the archetypal Brazilian forward with skillful dribbling that saw him, at times, trying to take on entire teams, but possessed superior technique and enlightened the English to the previously unseen Brazilian flair. Unfortunately Mirandinha was to have his time cut short with the dismissal of McFaul and the arrival of Jim Smith causing him to be dispensed of.
What was to become of this player after his brief stint at Newcastle? After his diminutive 54 appearances for Newcastle he moved back to his native Brazil, playing for Palmeiras and moving incessantly from club to club, which saw him play in Portugal and Japan, before finally terminating his career back in Brazil. The unsettled character played for twelve club teams in total and only managed to amount four international appearances for Brazil which attests to the type mercurial talent he was.
Life after playing football must have involved some trepidation for Mirandinha, when speaking to magazine FourFourTwo he reveals that he had the chance to return to Newcastle with Kevin Keegan assuming managerial control: “When Sir John Hall took over and brought in Kevin Keegan, I had the opportunity to return, and then I made the biggest mistake of my life: I chose to stay in Brazil. How I regret that decision…” But then life is lived through the choices we make and Mirandinha has opted to stay involved with football by having managerial roles in the Brazilian league.
Hopefully he isn’t expounding his former retention of the ball tactics to the players under his supervision. Whilst coaching around the world he still holds Newcastle dear to his heart and hopes one day to return: “When Bobby Robson was there, we almost closed a deal – I was going to be one of the youth team coaches.” But instead of being a youth team coach, Mirandinha was using his talent spotting eye (how many Brazilians have Newcastle signed?) in the capacity of scouting for Newcastle.
Whether or not Mike Ashley preserved Mirandinha in his role as a scout, I’m unsure, but it remains doubtful as the motivation to travel has seemingly dictated his career, both on and off the field of play. He was quoted in 2009 as saying, “I have a good relationship with Dennis Wise, so I’m working as a scout for Newcastle. I’m confident that in the future we’ll work something out.” With the ensuing removal of Wise and structural change at Newcastle following relegation and promotion this year, I haven’t the faintest notion of where he finds himself at present. Does anyone know where this currently fabled figure lies?