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'What really happened to Alexandre Pato' - Pato has finally given his side of the story

Marcus Chan

Published 
| Last updated 

'What really happened to Alexandre Pato' - Pato has finally given his side of the story

Former AC Milan player Alexandre Pato has finally spoken about what really happened to him; a career that promised so much but delivered very little.

Pato was one of the biggest talents to come out of Brazil. He was tipped to become the best player in world football and win multiple Ballon d'Ors, but that didn't materialise.

During an incredible interview with The Player's Tribune, Pato has recalled the time before his trial with Brazilian outfit Internacional, and the experience of staying in a sex hotel the night before his trial.

"So the big day comes and we’re off to the trial at Internacional," he said. "The chance of a lifetime. We drive up from Pato Branco to Porto Alegre, nine hours on the road. We get there and my dad realises: he can’t afford a proper hotel.

"What does he do? He checks us in at a sex hotel. Man, I had no clue!! I was too young to understand. I think our room had a tiny bed, that was it."

Luckily for Pato, the trial went well and he was accepted by Inter but he revealed he nearly lost his left arm a year before.

Pato said: "I played a tournament with my arm in a sling. After the cast had come off, my friends and I played this silly game where whoever got up from the sofa would get kicked — unless he managed to run away.

"That was fun until I accidentally sat on the left arm, and the pain got so bad that it reached my legs.

"The doctor did an X-ray and found a big tumour. He said, 'He must have surgery now, or we’ll have to amputate.'

"I was shocked. I was 24 hours away from losing my left arm."

Pato eventually made it to European football, and played for one of the biggest clubs in the continent; AC Milan.

Alexandre Pato during his time at AC Milan. Image Credit: Alamy
Alexandre Pato during his time at AC Milan. Image Credit: Alamy

He said: "I was unstoppable when I was living in the present. But my head got stuck in the future."

Pato then spoke about his injury record and as a result of that, he lost total confidence in his body.

"I’d go into training thinking, I can’t get injured. If I did get hurt, I wouldn’t tell anyone," he says. "I’d be recovering from a muscle problem, then I’d twist my ankle and play on. It was swollen like a ball, but I didn’t want to let the team down.

"I wanted to please everyone. That was one of my flaws."

In 2017, Pato moved to Tianjin Tianhai in China and during his time there, he finally realised something.

He finally took control of every aspect of his career and decided to learn the culture and the language, something he didn't do during his time in Milan.

But it didn't quite work out. The formerly tipped Ballon d'Or winner now plays in the MLS with Orlando City.

Pato now plays in the MLS. Image Credit: Alamy
Pato now plays in the MLS. Image Credit: Alamy

He closed out his piece with: "Maybe I didn’t become the best player in the world. But, brother, let me tell you something. I have an amazing relationship with my family. I am at peace with myself. I have a wife that I love. The way I see it, I have a lot of Ballon d’Ors.

"If life is a game, I have won." 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Brazil, AC Milan

Marcus Chan
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