It was the summer of 2007. Manchester United had just won another title and they wanted to claim the initiative for the upcoming season by making several marquee signings. Tevez, Hargreaves and Nani were all brought through the Old Trafford doors.
And then along came a lesser known Brazilian by the name of Anderson (or Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira to give him his full name). The fee of £18m seems overpriced and hefty at the price but in the 2007/08 season, he went about proving his doubters wrong. Unfortunately, that was to be his only decent season he has enjoyed at United so far.
The swashbuckling, all-action approach by Anderson made him a cult figure among the Stretford End as he struck up a magnificent partnership with Hargreaves. That glorious season culminated in him being a Premier League and Champions League winner. A season later, he had an indifferent campaign where injuries made it a stop-start year for him.
The next was to be his worst of all as just in February, he injured his anterior cruciate ligament and his season was over. From then on he had to agonizingly watch on as his team relinquished their hold on the Premier League title by a single point to Chelsea. But it was around the time of Christmas where the more alarming problems began to surface.
When Anderson was injured during January of this year, he returned home without club permission and was fined 2 weeks’ wages by an Alex Ferguson incandescent with rage. This was a warning sign to us that the partying lifestyle of Anderson would soon interfere with his footballing career. All that will be revealed from the car crash now is speculation but a couple of things are crystal clear to me.
Anderson should NEVER have been up until 7 AM in a night club, especially when he’s undergoing rehab on a very serious knee injury. He should NEVER have been in a speeding 2 seater car with 3 people. Some people with blame Ronaldo for leading to this lifestyle as they were fantastic friends. At this moment in time, we should be thankful to God, nobody was killed in this crash.
When Ando, as he is called by players and fans alike, returns to the club which made him a star, he will have to face Sir Alex Ferguson. That could make or break his Old Trafford career as he won’t go easy on him at all. The decline of this magical player has shocked me with his off the field behavior.
I never got his name and number on the back of my jersey for his flashy cars or extravagant nightlife. I got it because I was inspired by the footballing power that is just Anderson. I am very glad he got an ”almight scare” according to his spokesperson. Hopefully this will prompt his to get back on the right track guided by Sir Alex.