19th June – Kleberson

Kleberson might not have been a success at Manchester United but he played a big part in Brazil winning the World Cup in 2002.

The midfielder should also be someone that players in their World Cup squads should look up to as he was not a starter at the beginning of the tournament but by the end became an integral part of the team. After starting the quarter final against England he would go on to set up one of Ronaldo’s goals in the final against Germany.

It was his performances at first club Atletico Paranaense, where he played 100 league games and was a part of their title winning side in 2001. After the World Cup it was becoming harder for the Brazilian side to keep hold of him with many big European clubs interested in signing him. On the 12th August 2003, it was Manchester United who signed him for £6.5 million. Unfortunately he didn’t get off to a great start and picked up an injury in just his second appearance.

Kleberson AP

His time at Old Trafford only lasted two seasons and 30 appearances in all competitions but he did manage two goals in home wins against Blackburn Rovers and Everton. He then moved on to Besiktas in 2005 and it started off well with the midfielder playing 46 times in his first season but then his contract was terminated as he claimed that he was not getting his wages on time.

Kleberson MU

Flamengo signed Kleberson on a free transfer but he was unable to play for the club until February 2008 due to issues with his previous club. There were even more problems between the player and Besiktas and it ended with his new club having to pay a fee and Besiktas having to compensate the player. When he finally did get back to playing without any complications, he quickly rediscovered his form and became an influential player for the team and even earned a recall to the national side.

While on international duty he picked up an injury in a friendly against Estonia, which was meant to keep him out for a long time, however he came back early and played in the 2-1 win over Gremio which secured his second Brazilian Serie A title.

Kleberson Flamengo

After one more season at the club, he returned to first club Atletico but it ended terribly as they were relegated to Serie B and therefore Kleberson signed for Bahia. He scored his first goal for his new club against former side Flamengo but other than that it was largely unspectacular. He then moved on to America, playing for Philadelphia Union, Indy Eleven and Fort Lauderdale Strikers before retiring in 2016.

The final word can go to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. “He is an athletic midfield player who can play in a number of positions. One of the reasons we sold Seba Veron was because we knew we were getting Kleberson – that shows how highly we regard his talent.”

13th April – Anderson

Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira or simply just Anderson is 26 today and is someone that has won many honours throughout his career but it has not always been easy for him.

Sadly at the age of nine he lost his father and had to help his mother and had to help out the family as much as he could and this is what inspired him to become a footballer. He said when he was a youngster that he would buy a house for his mother and a football pitch for all the kids in the neighbourhood.

At the age of 16 he was showing exceptional talent and started his career at Gremio where he gained iconic status by scoring the goal that got them promoted to the top division in Brazil in one of the most remarkable games in the entire history of football. It is known as the Batalha dos Aflitos. Gremio were reduced to seven men during the game and their opponents Nautico missed two penalties. 72 seconds after the second penalty was missed Anderson took on two defenders and the keeper to score 16 minutes into stoppage time.
Anderson Gremio
Quite the start to his career and in January 2006 he joined Porto and made his debut in March playing a part in helping the team seal the Portuguese Championship. The next season was a little more difficult because he broke his leg in a game against Benfica but still managed to pick up his second title medal.
Anderson Porto
He was liked by everyone at the club and when he left for Manchester United the chairman Jorge Nuno Pinto said: “I wish him happiness at Manchester United, he will have a great career there.” He was only the second Brazilian to play for the club but it was easy for him to settle at the club as there were a number of Portuguese speaking players already there. During his first few years he was a little inconsistent but when he was needed he always stepped up. Especially when it came to penalty shooutouts, he scored in the 2008 Champions League final shootout and the winning spot kick against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final in 2009.

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva had been impressed by his countryman. “It’s not that easy for a Brazilian to adapt to English football but he’s done it already.”
Anderson Man United
During the 2009-10 season he suffered a terrible injury that would keep him out of the World Cup and it wasn’t until the 19th September that he returned to the team but he had done enough in the last few seasons to get a contract extension. Later that season he went on to score twice in the Champions League semi final which secured their place in the final for the third time in four years.

After Sir Alex Ferguson left the club Anderson fell out of favour and he joined Italian club Fiorentina for the rest of the season in January 2014.

The last word can go to his former manager Ferguson after the midfielder signed his new contract: “We are delighted he has signed a new contract, he has developed tremendously since joining us and he has fantastic potential at 22, he is going to be a really top player.”