Rugby at Portsmouth
Corinthians forward Jo has been telling ESPN Brasil about his time at Manchester City with a series of brilliant anecdotes. One particularly funny one involves compatriot Robinho in one of his first forays in England.
Getting a few facts wrong, Jo recalled: “In Robinho’s debut against Portsmouth in 2008 I scored my first goal with Manchester City’s shirt, but this game had a really funny story before.
“We were positioned in the tunnel and their defence was Sylvain Distin and Sol Campbell, one of the midfielders was Bouba Diop, and there was Peter Crouch in the attack. It was almost a team only of giants.
“Then Robinho looked at the guys and said to me, ‘F***, Jô, are we going to play rugby? Look at the size of the guys’ (laughs). I just replied: ‘Yes, Robinho, welcome to the English League.”
That’s a brilliant anecdote but that wasn’t Robinho’s City debut. His City debut came in a 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea. He scored City’s only goal from a terrific free-kick. He would only score 15 more goals for City.
It’s not the amount City would have hoped for from their then-record signing but it was still 10 more than Jo. Remembered as one of the Premier League’s biggest flops, he only scored one Premier League goal for City.
Recalling the toughest defenders he faced in England, Jo named a famous Man United pair.
“Rio Ferdinand was fantastic in the positioning, and also had a lot of strength. Vidic also had an unusual desire, we usually ended the game with a bruised shin. It was always difficult to face guys like that.”