Anderson article.

032Devil

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Anderson has no fear - on the field or in life


Ferguson's brilliant Brazilian is exemplary in his touch, exquisite in his passing and a young man ahead of his time. Duncan Castles meets him

Sunday March 30, 2008
The Observer



Sir Alex Ferguson was not amused with the gentleman of the Fourth Estate. The focus of his ire that August afternoon: an obsession with Carlos Tévez to the silent discomfort of the other South American at Manchester United's joint unveiling. 'The lad's come all the way here to speak to youse lot, has nobody got a question for him?' chided Ferguson, though still there was little interest in Tévez's stocky Brazilian sidekick.

If Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira was the clear reserve that day, an expensive teenager who had played a handful of senior games before Ferguson's summer shop in Portugal, he is first choice today. Now he is simply Anderson - prospective Young Player of the Year, favoured over Paul Scholes in key Champions League ties, the 'class with a brass, who shits on Fábregas', according to his Old Trafford paean.

United fans are as prudent with their vocal favours as they are inventive with the lyrics; mere kids generally have to wait. Anderson, though, is a footballer to go head over heels for. Nineteen, with the decision-making, position-taking intelligence of a 30-year-old. Short at 1.76m, yet muscular, balanced, and rapid enough to win most physical battles. Exquisite in his control, visionary in his passing. And as self-confident as they come.

'Scared? I've never been scared of anything,' says Anderson. 'And when the subject is playing football I'm not scared of anyone. In football you can't be scared. You are there for the football; you are there to have fun, to play.'

And to win. As of yesterday morning Anderson had taken the field in just 78 senior club games, yet his haul of medals is greater than most retiring pros. There are two Portuguese League titles and two Portuguese Cups to show for his two seasons at Porto, a Brazilian second division title for his one season in Gremio's first team; the Copa América from his only full-international tournament; the South American Under-17 title; and a runners-up medal at the Under-17 World Championship. Injured in the opening minutes of the final, he followed Cesc Fábregas in being named the junior World Cup's outstanding player.

So talented is Anderson that Porto signed him up before he had travelled to that 2005 tournament in Peru, striking a deal with the agent Jorge Mendes jointly to buy the player's registration for €8million (£6.3m). After his arrival in northern Portugal that December, his coach at Porto deliberately kept him out of the first team. Realising that once Europe's more moneyed clubs watched the midfielder play they would covet him, Co Adriaanse pragmatically elected to hide Anderson away to ensure one full season with him in his side.

Type the Portuguese phrase Batalha dos Aflitos into YouTube and you will see why Anderson holds hero status at his only Brazilian club, despite spending less than a season in Gremio's first XI. As its moniker suggests, his final match for the Porto Alegre side was a battle, a promotion play-off at Nautico in which Grêmio needed to avoid defeat to return to Brazil's top flight.

The visitors are already down to 10 men with half an hour to play when a penalty is awarded against them. Three more of their number are sent off for protesting against the referee's decision as defeat appears to become inevitable. Yet with Nautico's players bent in prayer, the penalty is saved, allowing Anderson to gather possession from the subsequent corner.

The playmaker accelerates forward from the edge of Grêmio's area, exchanging a one-two with his sole supporting team-mate before drawing an ugly foul two-thirds of the way up the left wing. The free-kick is taken swiftly, Anderson cutting into Nautico's box and across the bows of two defenders before screwing the ball back past the opposition goalkeeper. 'Inacreditável,' screams the commentator. Incredible, indeed. Nautico are broken, the match finishes 1-0, and Anderson flies back to the south, brandishing a Gremio flag in the airplane's cockpit in a conscious copy of Brazil's 2002 World Cup return.

'I was living the moment as Ronaldo did when he won the fifth World Cup,' recalls Anderson. 'I had also imagined it, waving a small Gremio flag on the plane's window. It was the best match of my life. I'd been unhappy because of the injury that took me out of the World Cup, I was only about 60 per cent fit and we had that critical match. My team-mates truly had faith in me and told me I was going to score the goal which would make us win. Still recovering from my injury, I'd looked at them and said to myself, "These guys are crazy, they are insane".'

There are less flattering parallels with Ronaldo. Used to a national team who almost uniformly treat them with tolerant openness, Brazilian journalists describe Anderson as mascarado: arrogant in attitude in a manner unmerited by his status. Last week he rolled up to the team's London hotel in a heavily customised Audi R9, R&B blaring from the sound system, designer threads on his back as he strode past reporters.

He tells a good story of the battalion of agents attempting to secure his signature as the star of Porto Alegre local youth leagues, and is brazenly honest in his attitude to cash. 'I was 12 or 13 years old,' he says. 'This guy asked if we could talk and I said yes. Then he said, "I give you everything you want; I give you whatever you choose". "Is that right?" I answered. "You really give everything I want? OK then, I want $13 million tomorrow in my bank account and I sign with you". He stared at me, asked if I was being serious. I said I was and he turned his back and left. Yes, I like money a lot. Who doesn't?'

There is, though, good reason for such materialism. Anderson's father died in 2001 and by the age of 14 his Gremio youth-team salary supported his mother, sister and two brothers. 'It was not entirely a bread-winning issue, but helping the family,' he says. 'I became used to being a man very young. I was 15, but already thinking as if I was 22, 23 or 24 and making very tough decisions about my future. I had to help the family, but that was also a responsibility I assumed before myself. And that I still do today and hope to be able to do for my family until I am 60.

'Football helped me out in my life. I can tell you that from my first group of friends, only two or three are still alive. All the others passed away, mostly from drug addiction or being involved in drug dealing. I took the path of joy and happiness, instead of a life of drugs and becoming one more addicted, jailed dealer or thief.'

United billeted the former street kid and fellow Portuguese Liga acquisition Nani with Cristiano Ronaldo for their first month in England. Though he now has a house of his own, Anderson's family have remained in Porto. Instead the teenager lives with his 'second mother', Mendes's employee Manuela Brandao, a former national newspaper journalist in Portugal. 'He's my little boy,' says Brandao. 'When he came to Porto he was only 17, just a kid. Jorge told me I had to look after him like a little son, so now I stay with him in England.' As is his habit with his most valued clients (including Ronaldo and Nani), Mendes makes regular house visits.

Ferguson loves him, describing Anderson as 'a big-game player', touting him for Young Player of the Year honours, and justifying his €30m transfer as one that needed to be done swiftly before he matured into one of the world's best footballers. The Scot has also added a new position to a range that already included No10, winger and left-back, by giving Anderson the majority of his games as a defensive midfielder - albeit an unusually creative one.

'If Anderson stays where he is, he can be fantastic,' says another Brazil midfielder, Gilberto Silva. 'He makes the difference because he can score goals and come back to mark. He has a good technique and so much pace in his game. It's not that easy for a Brazilian to adapt to English football in the first season, but he's done it already - and in a new position.'

Anderson merely emphasises the learning process, arguing that it will be another six or seven years before he becomes 'a great, professional player'. As the commentator said, inacreditável.
 

032Devil

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Didn't know he lost his father so young and he raised the family.

I'll certainly view him in a different light now on.


Respect.
 

Chris H

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Here's Batalha dos Aflitos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_9vpLcz92g&NR=1

Great film. That's what you call passion.
Supplement it with this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ismw4Hjvj_s&feature=related for just straight footage of what occurred, from the penalty kick onwards (doesn't show handbags with the ref). At 3:00 in the announcer is going nuts, and all you can understand is Anderson's name being repeated over and over - it's great. At the end they show the quick free kick and his run toward goal, which the telecast mostly missed at first because they were taken by surprise just like Gremio's opponents.
 

GloryHunter07

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Looks like he can be a top player if he keeps his feet on the ground. Theres not a better club for him to be at for that to happen.
 

Immature

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Didn't really hit me until I watched the video


the kid's a 'kin good passer of the ball though

Thats a brilliant video, Never got bored watching that. Is it me or is Andersons Videos More enjoyable to watch then Those Ronaldo videos you see alot on youtube?
 

fatboy

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I loved watching his physical battle with Reo-Coker near the byline towards the end of the game. Amazing strength in the kid.
 

nares22

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He has such passion for the game. And people always saiy, God is fair. He tests you and later on pays you dividents over your marks in his test.

having lost his father at such a young age, he clearly has gone through a lot in life even as a kid. Now, God has given him a 'father' in Fergie. He cant be more luckier.

I hope he goes on to be a big big star. And I cant be asking for too much when he plays day in and day out with the likes of Ronnie,Wazza,hargo , Tevez and Giggsy and sholesy and many more !!!
 

Alex

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I loved watching his physical battle with Reo-Coker near the byline towards the end of the game. Amazing strength in the kid.
The game was done and dusted but he still showed the desire of a champion, what a fecking brilliant signing, he has it all.
 

VII

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His passing is almost on Veron's level. And that's saying alot as I rate Veron's passing as one of the best ever.
 

Immature

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His passing is almost on Veron's level. And that's saying alot as I rate Veron's passing as one of the best ever.
The difference is that Anderson doesn't just pass like veron, but he adds something extra and that something extra is when he passes, he immiediatly runs and I mean runs and makes space to give the person he passed it too more choice...thats why I enjoy his video compilations. Young kids could easily learn from him, feck me but I'm going to learn from him.
 

Cupid Stunt

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I wouldnt say his passing is on Verons level or anywhere near. Regarding his development as a player i think there is alot to be done. His positional sense isnt good enough, but that comes with experiance. He also trys the spectacular a little too often and doesnt make the game look simple like Scholes, but again this quality will come with experiance. I think all his weakness's are mainly due to his lack of games at the top level. He didnt play much for Gremio or Porto and is still leaning how to read the game. The one other thing aswell is, he cant yet last 90 minutes at Premiership pace, but.. in time.

When talking about his technical skills.. amazing. Physically for around 60 minutes of the game he is dominating the midfield area and his experiance in life could only have gave him strong mental strength. Anderson also does things which cant be coached.

The one thing i worry about most is.. In Brazil football is loved, a national treasure and the enthusiasm for the game is great but some view football as a way out of poverty and after they have got millions in the bank, won a few trophys.. then the desire to train hard, behave proffesionally and lay off the drink, ect. Isnt there anymore, it has happened to so many Brazilian "Wonderkids" If he has the love of the game as a Giggs, Scholes, ect. He could be seen in years to come as an all time great.
 

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The difference is that Anderson doesn't just pass like veron, but he adds something extra and that something extra is when he passes, he immiediatly runs and I mean runs and makes space to give the person he passed it too more choice...thats why I enjoy his video compilations. Young kids could easily learn from him, feck me but I'm going to learn from him.
Pass and move with the Anderson groove.

I think next season Anderson just might mark himself down as one of the best 2 or 3 midfielders in the premiership. And I know some people already feel that way about him, but its not the case - yet.

And people keep saying about him scoring goals.. He will score some, yes. But not many. When its said "He's going to replace Scholes" it doesnt mean he'll be exactly the same type of player. No matter how he develops he will always be a better dribbler and far, far, far more solid than Scholes defensively. Asking him to score goals like Scholes used to is too much. 4 or 5 a season is well and enough.

Also, I think its worth pointing out that in time he could play like Carrick. What I mean by that is he could be relied upon for his ball winning abilities, so much so that we could pair him with a midfielder who likes to bomb forward and score goals and not have to worry about the opposition's attacks - because with time and experience Anderson will improve his positioning and Michael Carrick is a great player for him to watch in terms of that. There are comparisons in this thread with Veron - Well what I mean is, he could turn out to be what we wanted from Veron. A player who plays deep and wins the ball but also creates some fantastic attacks from that position ala. Carrick.

In two years time, this boy will be on the lips of every football fan - Just like Ronaldo now. His goalscoring wont quite be as good though :yawn:
 

BabyLayz

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Pass and move with the Anderson groove.

I think next season Anderson just might mark himself down as one of the best 2 or 3 midfielders in the premiership. And I know some people already feel that way about him, but its not the case - yet.

And people keep saying about him scoring goals.. He will score some, yes. But not many. When its said "He's going to replace Scholes" it doesnt mean he'll be exactly the same type of player. No matter how he develops he will always be a better dribbler and far, far, far more solid than Scholes defensively. Asking him to score goals like Scholes used to is too much. 4 or 5 a season is well and enough.

Also, I think its worth pointing out that in time he could play like Carrick. What I mean by that is he could be relied upon for his ball winning abilities, so much so that we could pair him with a midfielder who likes to bomb forward and score goals and not have to worry about the opposition's attacks - because with time and experience Anderson will improve his positioning and Michael Carrick is a great player for him to watch in terms of that. There are comparisons in this thread with Veron - Well what I mean is, he could turn out to be what we wanted from Veron. A player who plays deep and wins the ball but also creates some fantastic attacks from that position ala. Carrick.

In two years time, this boy will be on the lips of every football fan - Just like Ronaldo now. His goalscoring wont quite be as good though :yawn:
Lets hope Anderson proves you wrong, the same way Ronaldo proved Drogba wrong.
 

Bape

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Pass and move with the Anderson groove.

I think next season Anderson just might mark himself down as one of the best 2 or 3 midfielders in the premiership. And I know some people already feel that way about him, but its not the case - yet.

And people keep saying about him scoring goals.. He will score some, yes. But not many. When its said "He's going to replace Scholes" it doesnt mean he'll be exactly the same type of player. No matter how he develops he will always be a better dribbler and far, far, far more solid than Scholes defensively. Asking him to score goals like Scholes used to is too much. 4 or 5 a season is well and enough.

Also, I think its worth pointing out that in time he could play like Carrick. What I mean by that is he could be relied upon for his ball winning abilities, so much so that we could pair him with a midfielder who likes to bomb forward and score goals and not have to worry about the opposition's attacks - because with time and experience Anderson will improve his positioning and Michael Carrick is a great player for him to watch in terms of that. There are comparisons in this thread with Veron - Well what I mean is, he could turn out to be what we wanted from Veron. A player who plays deep and wins the ball but also creates some fantastic attacks from that position ala. Carrick.


In two years time, this boy will be on the lips of every football fan - Just like Ronaldo now. His goalscoring wont quite be as good though :yawn:
Silly idea, Anderson should and will never be converted into a deep lying playmaker type player Carrick is, nor will he be the most effective in that position. I'm guessing you have never seen Anderson play before he joined us, because it can't be more bleeding obvious that his future lies further up the field.
 

rooney__10

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decent article but we cant compare him to anyone yet or make bold statements. Great potentiol and has shown us some great signs this season. I do like him and its very easy to make bold statements, I just hope he doesnt get brazilian fever and loose his head down the line but he is under the right people. Not to make a bold statement more a descrption, the way he runs with the ball with his chest out does remind me of maradona.

From what I have seen and based purely on that I feel his best position is in a midfield two noteably with carick or hargreaves. I dont think he should play on the left which I earlier thought was an option. Hes decent behind the striker or on the tip of a midfield three
 

Ferguson

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It's all about how he improves.

Just compare Ronaldo to Quaresma. There was once a time when they both were similar prodigies, but Quaresma is still the selfish, endless stepovers player he was back then.

Anderson is at the right club to improve. With the midfielders we have he'll be challenged to improve every day in training.

This is why we need the likes of Giggs and Scholes around the club right now to provide stability and leadership for the young generation of players.
 

Ekeke

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Silly idea, Anderson should and will never be converted into a deep lying playmaker type player Carrick is, nor will he be the most effective in that position. I'm guessing you have never seen Anderson play before he joined us, because it can't be more bleeding obvious that his future lies further up the field.
He can already play like Carrick, minus the positioning. We've already seen that. And just because he has other qualities doesn't mean he cant play the defensive role. We've already seen him do that next to Scholes this season - one of our performances where we played our most flowing football.

We saw it with Vieira getting forward for Arsenal. It's not always the case to just say to one player "You hold for 90 minutes" and "You get forward" to the other guy. They can take turns now and again.
 

Bape

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He can already play like Carrick, minus the positioning. We've already seen that. And just because he has other qualities doesn't mean he cant play the defensive role. We've already seen him do that next to Scholes this season - one of our performances where we played our most flowing football.

We saw it with Vieira getting forward for Arsenal. It's not always the case to just say to one player "You hold for 90 minutes" and "You get forward" to the other guy. They can take turns now and again.
He's played well with Scholes in one match, the others have been terrible.
 

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He has so much potential its scary, we need to be patient with him though. When I see the mistakes he's making at the moment and hear that was only his 80th senior match against roma!!!!!!!! I can only imagine what we may have on our hands........
 

Elliott

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I just hope he hits form again before the season is over. Hate the fact that he's going to the olympics. He needs a good, long rest.