It’s safe to say when great footballers make big-moves to Europe from their homeland, it can swing one of two ways. Take Lionel Messi’s move from Newell’s Old Boys to Barcelona- that’s an example of when it really works out.
But often, it can be a real struggle to adapt to the often faster-paced style of football and for some players, it really doesn’t work out.
Perhaps the most prime example of this in the past season was Alexandre’s Pato loan move to Chelsea last season, which has been branded across the world as one of the most fruitless transfers in footballing history. For the wage that was paid to the Brazilian, it’s safe to say he did very little during his tenure in London.
He made only two appearances during his spell in England, making his debut at the start of April, despite joining at the end of January. Unsurprisingly, Pato’s agent claimed that his client was keen to make the move permanent and off course, why wouldn’t he for the amount of work he did?
But as expected, Chelsea didn’t take up the option to sign Pato permanently and he went back to Brazil as he sought another move to Europe. And with that return now confirmed, the Brazilian international will have the chance to impress in Spain, where there will be a few doubters waiting for him.
But its another chance for a new start and for the once great striker to show his true credentials, of the likes when we saw him tear up Serie A for the first time during his tenure with AC Milan. It is from this spell where he really made his mark, scoring 63 goals in over 150 appearances.
His pace, power and ability to go round players was superb, but for a few years now we really haven’t seen the same player. Injury problems caused his career to come to somewhat of a standstill and he hasn’t featured on the international scale for over three years.
Villarreal on the other hand will hope to help Pato rediscover the form that made him such a household name back in 2008. The Yellow Submarine finished in a very respectable sixth place in La Liga last season, and manager Fernando Roig will be trying his best to get his new Brazilian up to scratch as quickly as possible.
It’s a case of new beginnings, and trying to rediscover that once great passion and flair. We know it’s there, somewhere.