5 Promising Brazilian Footballers Who Have Disappointed

Callum Fox@@cjfox21Contributor IIIJuly 23, 2013

5 Promising Brazilian Footballers Who Have Disappointed

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    Plenty of promising Brazilian footballers make the trip abroad in an effort to earn a living playing football in one of Europe's many leagues, with the dream of making it at a big club, but in recent years many have disappointed.

    Brazil has exported countless stars who went on to make an impact on the world stage, but the famed production line has also coughed out a few duds.

    For every Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho that graces Europe's elite, there's a Brazilian who tried his luck abroad and failed to make a name for himself.

    Here at Bleacher Report, we've investigated the Brazilians that failed miserably on the world stage and compiled their tales of woe for your reading pleasure.

    The players that follow are ranked in no particular order and represent the biggest failures of Brazilian football since the turn of the millennium.

    Click on the button below to see the five promising Brazilians who disappointed after securing their dream move to Europe.


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    Kerlon, the inventor of the infamous "seal dribble," will go down in history as one of the most disappointing Brazilian prospects some seven years after making his debut for Cruzeiro in 2005.

    The YouTube sensation delighted and amazed spectators by flicking the ball onto his head and racing past defenders with it precariously balanced on his forehead.

    But his actual footballing talent was cruelly exposed after Serie A side Chievo picked him up in 2008 alongside Inter in a part-ownership deal, splitting Kerlon's transfer rights between them.

    After just four games for Chievo in 2008/09, sustaining a serious knee injury, Inter bought him outright and loaned him out to Ajax the next season.

    However, his humiliation began when Ajax promptly placed him in their reserve team, and Kerlon returned to Inter without making a single first-team appearance.

    Kerlon was then loaned back to Brazil two seasons running with Parana and Nacional de Nova Serrana. but he made just one appearance in two years.

    Some consistency finally arrived as he made the move to Japan with Fujieda, where he appeared 20 times last season, scoring nine goals in the process.

    With just 41 games and multiple knee injuries in seven years since making his debut, Kerlon's career has taken a downward spiral since the glory days of the "seal dribble."


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    Coritiba's Keirrison was another bright hope that disappointed after trying his luck abroad with Spanish giants Barcelona.

    Having scored 38 goals in 70 games for Coritiba and Palmeiras as a youngster, he attracted interested from Europe's elite clubs, but it was the Blaugrana that swooped for him in a €14 million deal in 2009.

    Keirrison was then loaned out to Portuguese giants Benfica for the 2009/10 season in order to gain experience, but he made just five appearances that season before returning to his parent club.

    A six-month loan to Fiorentina in 2010/11 was a moderate success with three goals in 10 games, and he was loaned out again to Santos for the second half of the season.

    Ten goals in 27 games for Santos saw him earn loans to Cruzeiro, and then Coritiba, in 2011/12, and the latter is where he remains today.

    Still contracted to Barcelona, Keirrison has never made an appearance in the famous Blaugrana shirt and looks unlikely to do so in the near future.

    Another story of unfulfilled promise, as the 24-year-old seems set to be sold back to a Brasileirao club after his loan period expires.


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    Manchester United supporters will recall the horror they witnessed when World Cup winner Kleberson strutted his stuff at Old Trafford.

    Commonly named as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's biggest transfer mistakes, Kleberson began his career at Atletico Paranaense as a hugely talented midfielder.

    Twelve goals in 100 games convinced the then Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari to put his faith in the youngster at the 2002 World Cup, where the Selecao emerged victorious.

    On the back of his stellar performances for his nation, the Red Devils moved for Kleberson in 2003, fending off competition from Leeds United.

    Seen as a replacement for the departing Juan Sebastian Veron and playing alongside Roy Keane, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Kleberson's performances didn't quite live up to his illustrious peers.

    With just 20 appearances and two goals in two years with United, he was packed off to Turkish club Besiktas in 2005, where he spent two years before returning to Brazil with Flamengo in 2007.

    Now 34 years of age, he has spent his twilight years playing for Atletico Paranaense, Bahia and is now on loan to Philadelphia Union.


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    Denilson promised so much when La Liga side Real Betis broke the world record transfer record with a £21.5 million swoop for the Sao Paulo star.

    The then 21-year-old was poised to take Europe by storm as an extraordinarily talented winger, but his performances never quite matched up to his enormous price tag.

    Seven years and 186 appearances later, Denilson began a nomadic trek with seven different clubs, beginning with Bordeaux in 2005.

    With one season and 33 appearances under his belt with the Ligue 1 side, Denilson failed to agree a wage rise with the French club and headed off to Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr in 2006.

    In 2007, he left Al Nassr to join MLS side FC Dallas, becoming their designated player, but he disappointed in his time in the United States.

    Denilson was then offloaded back to Brazil in 2008 with Palmeiras, but spent the season on the bench as a impact player under Vanderlei Luxemburgo.

    The Brazilian then left Palmeiras in 2009, playing for the likes of Itumbiara in Brazil before joining Vietnamese side Xi Mang Hai Phong and ended his career in 2010 with Kavala FC in Greece.

Alexandre Pato

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    Alexandre Pato's career evokes a sense of disappointment for many AC Milan supporters, as the Brazilian known as "The Duck" seemed destined to enjoy a long and successful career with the Rossoneri.

    Pato exploded onto the stage aged 16, immediately impressing onlookers for Internacional, and it wasn't long before AC Milan signed the youngster in 2007 once the player turned 18.

    The Brazilian made an instant impact in the Serie A, netting double digits in three successive seasons with the Rossoneri, winning the league title in 2010/11.

    But it turned sour for Pato as a succession of injuries, starting in 2010 with a hamstring injury, would blight his later years at the San Siro.

    With various muscular injuries, Pato struggled for form and consistency, leading fans to become frustrated with the player.

    After a furious reaction by AC Milan supporters to a missed penalty in a 3-1 home defeat, Pato's time at the San Siro came to an end as he was sold to Corinthians in January 2013.

    He made an instant impact on his Corinthians debut with a goal against Oeste, but injuries and competition for places have limited his appearances so far for the Timao.