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Alexandre Pato: The Next Ronaldo (Either Of Them)

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264351.jpgCaughtOffside is still in Japan covering the FIFA World Club Cup and Boggs thinks he’s beaten Frank Arnesen to the ‘Next Ronaldo’ in Pato Alexandre. Although that means absolutely nothing since Frank probably knew about him years ago and Boggs can’t exactly buy him either. Basically he’s an idiot.

Brazilian club Internacional vs Egyptian side Al Ahly was set to be the first decent match of the tournament, as my attempts to scout new talent for the Premiership has instead unearthed amateur New Zealand footballers. The atmosphere at the Tokyo Olympic stadium was easily the best thus far, and by ‘atmosphere’ I mean the large percentage of Brazilian women in the crowd.

But for me, all I wanted was a taste of Alexandre “The Duck” Pato. This is a young man whose ability was almost a legend prior to the tournmant (he had played only one half of first team football and was not allowed to speak to the press).

He was bigger than I expected, with a physique similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, but the babyface and yellow boots gave him away. He started the match and immediately impressed, showing fantastic chest control and deft touches that other players struggled to achieve in the wet conditions. He had pace, power, great workrate and inevitably opened the scoring with a fine finish. The best was yet to come as, early in the second half, Pato flipped the ball up in the air with his heel before running down the sideline juggling the ball on his shoulder. Bit fancy, but it brought the crowd to it’s feet:

He eventually went off with what looked like severe cramps but the 17 year old had done plenty to add to his reputation. The tricks were the same as any you’d see on a playground, but the intelligent vision and movement he displayed were most impressive. He worked the defensive line like a seasoned pro, moving into the channels and running across the centre backs to give his midfield a pass (which failed to come). Internacional struggled to find any rhythm this match and Pato, along with Fernandao, were the only two who consistently kept the ball moving to the right areas in attack. He wasn’t perfect, losing the ball cheaply on a couple of occasions but we’re talking about potential here – not being a finished product. Best of all, when we spoke to him after the match he said he was disappointed with his own performance.

So with just over 90 minutes of professional football under his belt, Alexandre Pato remains Brazil’s hottest new talent. The final against Barcelona on Sunday (assuming they beat Club America) will be his first big test.


CaughtOffside is still in Japan
covering the FIFA World Club Cup and Boggs thinks he’s beaten Frank Arnesen to the ‘Next Ronaldo’ in Pato Alexandre. Although that means absolutely nothing since Frank probably knew about him years ago and Boggs can’t exactly buy him either. Basically he’s an idiot.

Brazilian club Internacional vs Egyptian side Al Ahly was set to be the first decent match of the tournament, as my attempts to scout new talent for the Premiership has instead unearthed amateur New Zealand footballers. The atmosphere at the Tokyo Olympic stadium was easily the best thus far, and by ‘atmosphere’ I mean the large percentage of Brazilian women in the crowd.

But for me, all I wanted was a taste of Alexandre “The Duck” Pato. This is a young man whose ability was almost a legend prior to the tournmant (he had played only one half of first team football and was not allowed to speak to the press).

He was bigger than I expected, with a physique similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, but the babyface and yellow boots gave him away. He started the match and immediately impressed, showing fantastic chest control and deft touches that other players struggled to achieve in the wet conditions. He had pace, power, great workrate and inevitably opened the scoring with a fine finish. The best was yet to come as, early in the second half, Pato flipped the ball up in the air with his heel before running down the sideline juggling the ball on his shoulder. Bit fancy, but it brought the crowd to it’s feet:

He eventually went off with what looked like severe cramps but the 17 year old had done plenty to add to his reputation. The tricks were the same as any you’d see on a playground, but the intelligent vision and movement he displayed were most impressive. He worked the defensive line like a seasoned pro, moving into the channels and running across the centre backs to give his midfield a pass (which failed to come). Internacional struggled to find any rhythm this match and Pato, along with Fernandao, were the only two who consistently kept the ball moving to the right areas in attack. He wasn’t perfect, losing the ball cheaply on a couple of occasions but we’re talking about potential here – not being a finished product. Best of all, when we spoke to him after the match he said he was disappointed with his own performance.

So with just over 90 minutes of professional football under his belt, Alexandre Pato remains Brazil’s hottest new talent. The final against Barcelona on Sunday (assuming they beat Club America) will be his first big test.


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