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.”
When the kid from Sao Paulo first burst on the scene, he was hyped up as the next big thing, and given that he came through the ranks at Pele’s club Santos, comparisons with O Rei were inevitable.
But despite shining for Santos as a teenager, he never managed to live up to the hype when he made the move to Europe.
He first signed for Real Madrid, before signing for Manchester City as a ‘Galactico’, where he flopped quite spectacularly.
But the hype wasn’t his fault, and to be fair he’s eked out quite a respectable career; he’s still going strong at the age of 32, and has been rewarded for his performances with Atletico Mineiro this season.
Recalled to Brazil squad
The former boy wonder of Brazilian football was recalled to the Brazil squad today, having been left out for the past year.
And given the talent coming through in Brazil right now, he probably thought he’d never wear the famous yellow shirt again.
But new boss Tite saw fit to call up Robinho for next month’s friendly with Colombia, which is a fundraiser for the Chapecoense tragedy.
Robinho couldn’t hide his delight, and took to Twitter to celebrate his recall.
The Copa Libertadores is about as lawful as the Wild Wild West.
South America’s answer to the Champions League has been marred by violent scenes down the years – both on the pitch and in the stands – and we caught another glimpse of its dark side in Argentina last night, as Racing Club hosted Atletico Mineiro.
There was so much hostility that the Atletico players needed to be protected by the riot police as they went to take corners, but despite the best efforts of the swat team, former Real Madrid and Man City man Robinho was hit with a projectile.
While clearly a dangerous act, and had it hit him in the head it could have knocked him out, Robinho’s melodramatic reaction to getting hit by the lighter brought back memories of Dida getting hit with a flare all those years ago.
But his fifth choice makes you do a double take: Robinho.
Now playing for Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League, Robinho’s career promised much, but delivered little.
The former boy wonder signed for Real Madrid from Santos as a raw 20-year-old, but never settled at the Bernabeu, and following a failed move to Manchester City, he eventually returned to boyhood club Santos.
While he was always a technically gifted player, it’s a surprise to see Hazard pick him given how fall Robinho has fallen off the radar.
Barcelona superstar Neymar has named ZinedineZidane and Brazilian legends Romario and Ronaldo as three players that he would have loved to play with if he was born a decade or so earlier.
Neymar made the comments in a Q&A session with FIFA, and it is clear that the 23-year-old would throw away any rivalry between Barcelon and Real Madrid to have played with some of football’s biggest icons.
“I’m a big fan of Romario, he’s someone I’d have loved to play with. Zidane too. I just got to play with Ronaldo once, in his very last game for Brazil, but I’d have loved to have played more with him,”Neymar revealed after being asked what player, past or present, he’d most like to have played with.
Neymar also went on to reserve special praise for former Real Madrid forward Robinho, and current Barcelona right back who the Brazilian described as his best friend in football.
When asked to name the best goal he’s ever scored the forward unsurprisingly picked his stunning solo golazo against Flamengo during his time with Santos.
Former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester City playmaker Robinho has been drawn into a social media fight with Brazilian Arsenal fan on Instagram.
Several weeks ago, Brazilian forward Robinho made an eye-catching move to China, where he joined former Selecao coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande on a six-month deal.
The 31-year-old moved to Asia after he was released from Brazilian side Santos.
So what’s now happened?
This week Robinho celebrated the birth of a new daughter, who is named Giulia.
Robinho posted a picture of his new baby on Instagram (see above), however one troll used his social media update to call out the footballer as a “mercenary” for leaving Santos to move to Guangzhou.
Robinho reacted badly to that comment, and in return the footballer posted a couple of angry messages on the troll’s last Instagram update, which was at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium as the man wore a Gunners shirt.
Stop talking shit. I want to see you here in Santos, you shit.
Those Instagram messages are now spreading fast around Brazil.
Back at Santos for his second loan period since leaving the club for Real Madrid in 2005, Robinho shone on his third debut for his hometown club.
Despite losing in the Paulista ‘Clasico’ to Corinthians, the one-time golden boy of Brazilian football lit up the game with some lovely touches, though really should have scored with a couple of decent chances.
The piece de resistance was undoubtedly his panna on a Corinthians player, who then fouled him before he could retrieve the ball at the other end.