Alexandre Pato set to miss out on Major League Soccer move
Spend even a brief time thinking of football from the late 2000s, and one name might stick out: Alexandre Pato. Termed ‘The Duck’, Pato was seen as a potential future megastar. Indeed, when he arrived at the Balon d’Or ceremony with Leonardo, then AC Milan Sporting Director, former Brazil international promised to be back in the future with The Duck in tow. However, a mixture of injuries, personal relationships, and poor career moves have seen Pato more or less ‘washed up’ at a time when he should be at his peak.
Pato has enjoyed a nomadic career, starting out in Brazil and then arriving with Milan in Italy. At Milan, he won titles and was a crucial part of the clubs push for continued relevance amid financial challenges. However, as the club began to find it hard to get funds, Pato was linked with a mega-money move to newly-rich Paris Saint-Germain in the early 2010s. The move didn’t come off, and shortly after Pato was heading back to Brazil in a big-cost move to try and rebuild his career back in his homeland.
Since arriving in Brazil, he has flitted between teams like Corinthians and Sao Paulo, playing high-quality football for intermittent periods. Often impacted with injury, as much of his career was, Pato has also made moves to the likes of China. A brief spell in England included a loan move to Chelsea, where he scored a solitary goal in two brief appearances. A brief moment in Spain, too, seen the Brazilian score just two goals in fourteen games for Villarreal.
Pato was seen as the boy of the present as well as the future but quickly fell into irrelevance. Now, he is being passed over for a move to Major League Soccer, with a move to Inter Miami unlikely to be taken up.
Where will Pato arrive next?
Pato is expected to make a move to Argentina, with several provincial clubs on the lookout for a ‘star’ to build around. However, it looks his days in Brazil are over; the 31-year-old has already burnt bridges with Sao Paulo and is no longer welcome at former club Corinthians are failing to make any consistent headway with the giants.
A return to China has also been mooted, though it looks like the Chinese leagues will be reducing investment into football drastically in the near future. As such, a player with 27 caps for Brazil, and 10 goals, looks set to end his career playing for provincial outfits in Argentina.
Going back to the days when Leonardo was sure he was a future winner of the Balon d’Or, it is hard to see what comes next for Pato. Who, though, would have expected that a player who made his Brazil debut in 2008, and who scored over 50 goals in Serie A, would be struggling to find suitors in North America before he reached his 32nd birthday?