The deal ended a controversial and difficult career for the Rossoneri which was riddled by injuries and frustration.
It’s tough to determine who got the better of this agreement as the Milanese side haven’t bought anyone to replace him and Pato hasn’t stepped on the pitch for his new team yet. What is certain is that president Silvio Berlusconi took a loss on a player that had so much potential but never reached it, and that may be Corinthians’ gain.
On August 2nd, 2007, a baby faced 17-year-old Brazilian, known as Pato, was acquired by AC Milan for €30 million. There was tons of excitement about the youngster when he first arrived. After all, he made his professional debut at 16 then went on to score 12 goals in 27 games in all competitions during his two seasons at Internacional.
Despite his impressive debut for the Rossoneri, he ended up missing a total of 83 matches due to injury, and never rediscovered his old form after his first serious thigh knock in the 2009/10 season. It’s what’s also held him back with the Seleção and the Italian side could’ve prevented the injuries.
When Alex Pato first arrived to the San Siro, he was a skinny, pimple faced teenager. All of a sudden he was a bulked up, mature adult within a year. That sort of development in that amount of time isn’t natural and can make those strengthened muscles prone to injuries.
Also, when watching Pato on breakaways, the way he runs is unorthodox. He lands on his tiptoes with every stride he takes, and that makes him even more exposed to a knock. One tackle in that scenario and he’s out for at least a few months. Why AC Milan, with the world renowned Milanello training ground and some of the best doctors on the planet, couldn’t change this is shocking.
This is where Corinthians may benefit. There’s been a few reports released that the club’s physios, who are some of the best specialists in their field, would be able to treat Pato’s problems properly. These are the same doctors and therapists that were a part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup win, so it’s highly likely that Pato’s injuries could become a thing of the past.
If that’s the case, then the 23-year-old will improve and might become a permanent starter for Brazil in 2014. Pato recorded 51 goals in 117 league appearances is a very good return and factor that he’s missed about 40% of AC Milan’s Serie A matches, that number could be a lot higher, hence why Corinthians could reap the rewards of having supposedly world class physios.
Until the Brazilian domestic season and state championships resume, it’ll remain unknown as to who won the Alexandre Pato deal. Until then, the player can move on and enjoy his return home.
While AC Milan can finally move on and not have to worry about Pato reaching his potential or keeping him healthy. In the end, it was best for both parties but it was still a disappointment the way it panned out.