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Forgotten football stars: Alexandre Pato

Sao Paulo v Cruzeiro - Brasileirao Series A 2019
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The Forgotten football stars series is back at Ronaldo.com and today we are talking about another former Brazil international, Alexandre Pato.

Alexandre Pato is one of those Brazilian talents who experienced a lot of ups and downs in their career.

Believe it or not, Pato is only 29 years old at the moment, although it seems that he is in football for all eternity.

He emerged on the scene back in 2006, making his debut for SC Internacional at the age of 17. He scored on his debut in the Brazilian league and was later included in Internacional’s squad for the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.

Pato broke Pele’s long-standing record there when he found the net against Al Ahly, becoming the youngest ever player to score in a FIFA-organised competition at the age of 17 years and 102 days.

As a teenager, Alexandre Pato was extremely quick and agile forward with excellent technical ability and an eye for goal. He was considered as one of Brazil’s greatest talents back then and was finally snapped up by the European champions at the time – AC Milan for a transfer fee of €24 million in July 2007.

The Brazilian however, officially joined the Rossoneri in January 2008 due to FIFA football regulations regarding non-EU minors.

He had a fantastic start of his career in Europe, netting nine goals in 18 appearances during the second half of the 2007-08 Serie A campaign.

In the following season, Pato scored 18 goals for the AC Milan across all competitions and was later named as the Serie A Young Footballer of the Year.

At the end of 2009, he also won the Golden Boy award, which officially made him the most talented player in football.

Unfortunately, that’s when his troubles began. The Brazilian played only seven games in the second part of the 2009-10 campaign due to muscle injuries and made only 25 Serie A appearances in the next season, noting 14 goals and four assists.

His muscular problems continued in the next period as well, with Pato missing over 50 games for the Rossoneri in the following year and a half.

In January 2013, Alexandre Pato decided to continue his rehabilitation process at home and signed for Corinthians in a €15 million transfer deal. He scored nine goals for Corinthians in 2013 and spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons on loan at Sao Paulo.

After netting 28 goals in three years in Brazil, the 26-year old at the time returned to Europe in January 2016, signing for Chelsea on a six-month loan deal. However, he failed to adapt to life in England and made only two Premier League appearances for the Blues.

Alexandre Pato’s next destination was Villarreal. He spent six months at the Spanish club, finding the net six times in 24 games across all competitions and in January 2017 the Brazilian was on the move again.

This time he traveled to China and signed for Tianjin Quanjian for a transfer fee of £15.5 million.

Pato managed to find his best self in the Chinese Super League, scoring 36 goals in 60 appearances for Tianjin. However, on 27 March 2019, he returned to Brazil again and re-signed for Sao Paulo.

All in all, Alexandre Pato has scored 184 goals for club and country in his rollercoaster of a career so far, and we repeat, he is only 29 years old.

Would you like to see the Brazilian back in Europe before he retires? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.