Alexander Duck He was one of the greatest promises in world football, but when the time came for him to show his potential on the pitch, the striker suffered several injuries, failed to live up to expectations and eventually left Europe without being able to settle. himself. He is currently 32 years old and mls of United Statesfrom where he made an in-depth analysis of his career.
The Brazilian striker published a long article in The players’ stand where he recounts his beginnings as a footballer, even before making his debut at Inter in Porto Alegre, when his family barely had the money to pay for basic education: “We had food on the table , but at the private school I couldn’t even afford the books. I showed up with photocopies. After a game of futsal, A talent scout recommended his father to take him for a tryout at the red club.
It was a nine-hour journey from his hometown to Porto Alegre and when his father arrived he found they had no money to cover the cost of a hotel:We settled into a sex hotel. I had no idea, I was too young to understand. I think our room had a small bed, that was all. The hotel was in front of the Beira-Rio, so people were having sex looking at the Inter stadium”.
His performances satisfied the club and he quickly joined the youth team, something that had been unimaginable to him a year earlier, when he almost lost an arm. It is that after suffering a fracture and recovering with the help of a cast, a domestic accident (he fell on his own arm) made him feel a sharp pain which alarmed the specialists.
“The doctor did an X-ray and found a large tumor. He said: ‘You have to have surgery now , or we will have to amputate”. I was shocked. I was 24 hours away from losing my left arm.. His family had no money to pay for the surgery, but then the doctor paid for what was needed: “I will never forget that name, Paulo Roberto Mussi. He gave me a new life .
At the age of 17, he was part of the team of Inter who traveled to Japan to play Club World Cup before the Barcelona d’Iniesta, Puyol, Deco, Dugjohnsen and Xavi, among other stars. The Brazilian team won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Adriano Gabiru and Pato fulfilled his dream of meeting Ronaldinho, with whom he was able to change shirts. What he didn’t know was that soon he would be sharing a locker room with his idol.
It is that the following year, when he does not even accumulate 30 games as a professional, he receives offers from the best clubs in the world like Ajax, Barcelona itself or Real Madrid. But the opted for Milan: “Have you ever played with this team on PlayStation? They were unreal!! Kaka, Seedorf, Pirlo, Maldini, Nesta, Gattuso, Shevchenko…She goes I was unstoppable! Or Phenomenon, the REAL Ronaldo. I had to play with this guy. What programming, man. They had just won the Champions League. Milan was the team back then.
This Italian executive was led by none other than Carlo Ancelotti, current Real Madrid coach: “He has become a father to me. He even named his dog Pato. Did you see that picture of him at the bus stop in Madrid, with the sunglasses and the cigarette? Good andn Milan was going to train in a helicopter. He lived in Parma and his wife knew how to fly one. It was like James Bond. If anyone lived in style it was Carlo”.
During his time in the Italy team, he formed a great friendship with coffee and his children, who were practically his age, and he also learned from the best. He was even able to observe – he didn’t dare take part in it – a free-throw championship between Ronaldinho, Pirlo, David Beckham and Seedorf.
In 2009 he received the golden boy, award for the best footballer in the world under 21, which is why the international press has speculated that he will soon win the Ballon d’Or for the best player on the planet. Something that ultimately did not happen.
“In 2010, I started injuring myself all the time. I lost confidence in my own body. I was afraid of what people would say about me. I went to practice thinking I couldn’t get hurt. If I was hurt, I didn’t tell anyone. I was recovering from a muscular problem, then I sprained my ankle and continued to play. (Ankle) It was swollen like a ball, but I didn’t want to let the team down. I wanted to please everyone. It was one of my flaws. People expected him to score 30 goals a season, but he couldn’t even step onto the pitch.”
With the physical problems the criticism started and soon he stopped being named as the next big star to start being blamed for his poor performances: “They wanted blood, sweat and tears. They were right with the tears. I paid a high price.”
Then begins a tour of the clubs among which Corinthians, San Pablo, a frustrated return to Milan, Chelsea, Villarreal and even China’s Tianjin Quanjian. His level in some was more than acceptable, although he never returned to have the performances he had on his Inter debut or when he arrived in Milan.
At Corinthians, he experienced an episode of unforgettable violence after missing a penalty while trying to bite her during a Brazil Cup definition: “The fans wanted to kill me. He was crossing the city of São Paulo with armed bodyguards and an armored car with tear gas canisters. The fans who stormed our training camp had sticks and knives. it was scary. Things have happened that have no place in football.”
At Milan, he also hasn’t had a great time in recent years as management asked him to continue and he later rejected an offer from PSG, preventing Carlos Tevez’s arrival., who was a fan favourite: “Silvio (Berlusconi) told me to stay. He was hurt, so fans were like, “Ooohh, Pato didn’t want to leave! With Tevez we would be champions! “. The press also went crazy.
In Brazil They discovered that the reason for his constant injuries had to do with a shrinking of his muscles. But by that time, I had already suffered too much: “A doctor in Germany injected me with a liquid all over my back; the next day I was crossing Munich airport, bent over in pain. A doctor stuck me 20 needles every morning and every night”. Regarding this stage where each specialist gave him a different diagnosis, he was sincere: “I cried and cried and cried. I was afraid that I would never play football again.”
After passing through Chinese football, he left for the United States, where he hit rock bottom: “I was still single, so I decided to take advantage of my freedom. I went to Los Angeles. He wanted the best hotel, the best car, the best parties. I found myself in this place where a girl was snorting cocaine next to me. Suddenly I was like, ‘What am I doing here?‘. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was an empty world. I asked a friend, ‘Am I really going to spend the rest of my life alone?’ This party changed his life.
During one of his returns to Brazil, he contacted his friend Rebeca, whom he fell madly in love with and within a few months proposed to her. Today, she is his wife and the woman of his life. It was she and the Church who changed their minds: “It was a revelation. The Bible had all the answers he was looking for. I looked up at the sky and said, ‘Lord, I don’t want this life anymore.’
Pato is now enjoying his days in MLS wearing the jersey of orlando-city and he is delighted to find the level that will lead him to represent the Brazilian national team again, inspired by cases such as those of Thaigo Silva or Dani Alves. Although it sounds complicated, he is happy with what he has achieved: “Maybe I didn’t become the best player in the world. But, brother, let me tell you something. I have an incredible relationship with my family. I am at peace with myself. I have a wife that I love. In my opinion, I have a lot of Ballon d’Or. If life is a game, I won”.