INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

Alexandre Pato: The Rise and Fall

Alexandre Pato

Alexandre Pato and his current predicament is way off-course from the start of his career when everything he touched became gold.

Pato has been a free agent since August when his contract with Sao Paulo was terminated. Despite the fact that the coronavirus epidemic has increased the likelihood of teams signing free players, no team has approached the Brazilian attacker.

The early life of Alexandre Pato

Pato Branco, a city in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, was born into a life-threatening scenario when he was just 11 years old. The Brazillian had taken his hometown by storm at childhood club Internacional by the age of 21.

Sport Club Internacional took him up and absorbed him into their youth system not long after his recovery. He was promoted to the Brasileiro Sub-20 at the age of 16, a competition in which the baby-faced forward played guys four years his older.

Pato’s Europe Call

Pato made headlines when he broke Pele’s record for the youngest goalscorer in a FIFA-organized competition while playing for Internacional.

For a player of such skill, a move to Europe was inevitable. Resulting in AC Milan, the reigning European champions at the time, paying a whopping €24 million fee for his services.

Pato concluded his first full season in Europe as Milan’s top goalscorer with 18 goals at the age of 19. Paolo Maldini and Kaká both completed their illustrious careers in Milan. This allowed Pato to take over as the club’s genuine face.

The Beginning of The End

Pato’s time at Milan came to an end in the 2012-13 season. The Brazilian scored only twice in seven outings as the problems that plagued his previous season reappeared. Pato missed the opening six weeks of the season due to a bothersome thigh. In all, he only made 18 appearances in all competitions.

Multiple injuries forced the wunderkind to leave Italy in 2013. Moving forward, Corinthians paid €15 million for him, putting pressure on him to produce right away from the fans.

Everything continued to go south for Pato during his time in Brazil. He failed to score in must-win games, missed sitters, and underperformed in big games. As a result, his fame slowly began to fade away.

Pato’s Corinthians career was effectively ended in the Copa do Brasil when he attempted a panenka chip to score the game-winning penalty against Grêmio.

However, the striker’s attempt was easily saved by Dida, knocking Corinthians out of the cup.

Alexandre Pato after London failure

During his Corinthian stint, he scored 38 goals in 98 matches, earning him a January transfer to Chelsea. Pato however still, struggled to become match fit and only made two appearances all season, though he did manage to score once, against Aston Villa.

He, later on, joined Villarreal for a considerably low fee, €3 million after an unsuccessful Chelsea spell. Which was five times less than what Corinthians had paid for him initially. He grabbed Spain by storm very quickly, just as he had done in Brazil and Italy.

Life after moving to a Chinese club

Pato chose Tianjin Quanjian over Villarreal for €18 million in order to take advantage of the Chinese Super League‘s stratospheric pay.
Pato stated that he had excellent intentions. He wished to contribute to the promotion of Chinese football and the CSL’s brand.

“I’m convinced that the Chinese league is growing. Due to that, the level of Chinese football has the potential to reach almost the same as we see in Europe, Brazil and other major football countries,”

-Pato, according to CGTN.

Conclusion

If Pato’s career has taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always turn out the way we want them to.

A life that assured a lot but delivered very little in return. His decision to fly to China and play for money over success and ‘pure love of the game‘ is mocked.
Whatever it implies, Pato almost missed his chance when he was a youngster. He may have skipped the rainbow in favor of the pot of gold because he was afraid of losing everything after such a traumatic series of injuries.

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