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Monday, 29 June 2020

The Alexandre Pato conundrum

Alexandre Pato is still only 30 years old.

It is really not difficult to conjure an alternate timeline in which he has racked up hundreds of goals for a Champions League team and is gearing up for a fourth World Cup as Brazil’s No 9.


Instead, he is toiling away for São Paulo, his best run of form in the last decade having come not in Europe but in the Chinese Super League. He dreams of a return to Milan, but that possibility looks well beyond him now. He last played for his country seven years ago.

It is a dizzying contrast. And so the question persists: What on earth happened?

I tried to answer that question, with the help of James Horncastle, for The Athletic. 

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