The Future Of “The New Ronaldinho”

23 02 2010

It’s a phrase that gets thrown around frequently. Any new talent emerging from South America automatically gets a label tagged to them, which must feel like a ball and chain.

Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira was a young lad who seemed as if he would be the heir to the throne of the master Ronaldinho. The comparisons where already there with both of these attacking midfielders beginning their career with the Porto Alegre side, Gremio.

Time Is Running Out

Time Is Running Out For Anderson

Anderson rose to fame in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in which he won the golden boot award, guiding his country to a silver medal. Hype immediately surrounded the player, and possible the misfortune of his club getting relegated the previous season was to his benefit. He managed to break through that season and scored the goal in the play-off final against Nautico which reinstated his team in Brazil’s top tier.

Very inexperienced with only five league appearances to his name, Portuguese giants FC Porto signed the talented teenager. Again he took his time to settle down, but when he made his break through there was a buzz around. They could see this lad had what it took. His pace and desire to penetrate defences meant that is was only a matter of time before the big clubs came calling. The misfortune of suffering a leg fracture courtesy of a Kostas Katsouranis challenge, stalled his progression, but only until the summer.

Manchester United came calling and signed him up for a reported £18 million. It was a joint deal which saw one of Anderson’s rival players Nani, who played for Sporting Lisbon, join him. This was deemed one of the major transfer coups of the summer. Sir Alex Ferguson said he would see these young prodigy’s eventually replacing two of the old guards in the team, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Anderson had a very impressive first season with the English giants, notably marking both Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas out of their respected matches. He was given a more holding role in the midfielder, contradicting his natural position. But with his pace, strength and stamina it came to avail and the future looked promising.

However over the course of the next 18 months he has been unable to push on from there, much to the disappointment of the Old Trafford faithful. They fail to see how such a highly promising talent could just fail to live up to expectations.

Perhaps Ferguson is the one to blame. He has surely made a mistake in employing the player to play far deeper than he naturally plays. But not really. The lad has only scored one goal in an incredible 98 appearances. His shooting ability has continued to drawn groans from the fans and it’s hard to compare this to the talent who four years ago won the silver boot award for being the top goalscorer in the U17 championships.

With his future much speculated, linked with a return to Brazil with Vasco de Gama, it looks like Anderson’s time is very much running out.


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