AC Milan Profiles: Why Robinho's Career Has Been a Huge Disappointment

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IMarch 20, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 15:  Robinho of AC Milan looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between AC Milan and Arsenal at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 15, 2012 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

When you look at Robinho's potential, it's clear that his career has been an enormous disappointment.

Pegged at an early age as the new Pele by the legend himself, Robinho had already lost right out of the gate. Usually, a massive tag like this is reserved for sensationalist journalists looking to sell headlines, but when a declaration of this magnitude is bestowed upon a player by Pele himself, it's a recipe for disaster.

A disappointing start to his career at Real Madrid sent the flamboyant Brazilian packing his bags for England, where Manchester City overpaid for his services.

Throughout his career, Robinho was overestimated and overrated due to factors out of his direct control. The declarations made by Pele when he was only 15 were doubled when Manchester City made him the most expensive Premier League signing at the time, shelling out a whopping £32.5 million for his services. He never fit in with the English club, and rumors of the club's disappointment at the entire situation meant his career would derail and send him to Santos, the team where his faux legacy began.

This is where Milan comes in. Long gone were the lavish spending days of the 1990s, when the Rossoneri could field two world-class XI's, and owner Silvio Berlusconi knew he had to reach into the bargain bin for players who were heavily discounted because they'd been shunned by their current clubs. Robinho was purchased alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the shock last-minute August signings that gave Milan fans a reason for renewed faith and optimism.

Right away, Robinho teased Milan with his occasional world-class performances. In the 2011-12 season, he managed 14 league goals alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato. Milan won the Scudetto that year in Robinho's finest outing as a professional footballer. 

Unfortunately, this would be the last time the player would make a true impact on the club.

Fast forward to 2013, and the player has been deemed expendable by both coach Massimiliano Allegri and CEO Adriano Galliani, who unsuccessfully tried selling him back to Brazil in the January transfer window.

Robinho will most likely be the first player sent packing by Milan this summer, as the player could rekindle the flame with Santos, the club that launched him more than a decade ago.

In the end, Pele showed us his scouting talent is about as accurate as the Mayan calendar, and the supposed heir to his greatness never really fit in anywhere. It's a classic case of the media hyping a player to a level that cannot realistically be reached.