Thursday, 8 April 2010


Without a doubt one of the most naturally gifted Brazilian goalscorers of his generation, Róbson de Souza, known to his friends as Robinho, has never been far from the headlines.

At the age of just 15 he was singled out by none other than Pele himself as the successor to the great man's crown. A heavy burden to carry you might think, but Robinho was to take it all in his stride. At the age of just 17 the youngster led his hometown team, Santos, to their first league title since Pele himself wore the Santos shirt some twenty years previous.

Some 60 goals and another league title later and Europe's elite started to take notice of the emerging star. It was that most illustrious of clubs that eventually secured a deal, Spanish giants Real Madrid. A fee of 24 million Euros took the twenty-year-old to Spain and kick-started another chapter in his career.

A tumultuous time of injuries and disagreements saw Robinho's first team appearances restricted at Real and, despite his talent, it was clear that after three seasons in Spain his future lay elsewhere.

With Chelsea the expected destination a summer of transfer shenanigans took place in 2008 with the London club keen to get a good deal on a player that Real wanted to sell. With the deal expected to go down until deadline day 'The Blues' were prepared to bide their time; it turned out that the Brazilian, however, was not.

Meanwhile in Manchester, the Citizens were keen on signing a striker to demonstrate their new found wealth and announce themselves on the world stage. Their target was Tottenham forward Dimitar Berbatov, but when neighbours Manchester United poached the Bulgarian from under their noses the City executives frantically scoured the globe for a fitting alternative.

Within minutes a deal was done to sign Robinho and with Chelsea caught on their heels Robinho duly made his desired move to England and became the most expensive player in British football, at a cost of £32.5million.

As if it were fate his debut came against none other than Chelsea. The Brazilian didn't disappoint as he curled home a free-kick to put the Citizens ahead. The Londoners ran out eventual winners but Robinho had done his job and showcased his ability to the Premier League.

However, just like at Madrid, it would once again turn sour. An influx of strikers at Eastlands saw a stuttering Robinho drop down the pecking order and, what with it being a World Cup year, the inevitable happened, he left.

In search of first team football to enhance his international chances he returned on loan to his boyhood club, Santos. The twenty-six-year-old once again announced himself in style, scoring a backheel goal late in his debut against Sáo Pauloto secure a tense victory for the Peixe.

This summer Robinho will be looking to add to his 71 caps and will have to be on top form to help his country through the Group of Death that contains Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast side, along with minnows North Korea.

All you can say is that when the pressure is on, Robinho tends to deliver.

Apologies for the poor video quality

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