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Barcelona and the rough gem no one remembers

For more than a decade, Barcelona has been shopping “crazy” in the transfer market. But maybe you have forgotten a strange contract named Keirrison that the Camp Nou team has made.

Keirrison: “Raw gem” no one remembers in Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images

So far, Barcelona has always been a promised land for players from South America. And referring to South America, it would be remiss not to mention the Samba dancers, who always play emotional football. It is they who can make the stands at Camp Nou passionately follow every step. But obviously not everyone embraces such luck.

Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Dani Alves and Neymar, the stars just need to hear the name to make Cules remember the sweetest memory region. But there is also a Brazilian player that no one wants to be nostalgic for. Even in the words of many people, that guy is worse than the monster that Dr. Frankenstein created in Mary Shelley’s work of the same name. That’s Keirrison!

So what happened to a player who was once the most expected Brazilian football player, who was labeled as an ugly “monster” often dressed up at Halloween festivals? Does he deserve such comparisons?

Keirrison de Souza Carneiro, was born on December 3, 1988 in a small town in Coritiba. Keirrison’s father, Adir Carneiro, is an art lover. And the reason he named his son is to remember two musicians Keith Richards and Jim Morrison.

But from an early age, young Keirrison had a strong passion for the ball. From pointless matches on the street, Keirrison was discovered by scouts in Brazil, sent to training camps, before playing impressively at local team Coritiba. Keirrison scored 65 goals in 122 games for Coritiba, and also went down in history as the youngest top scorer in the Brazilian national championship.

When Coritiba’s shirt became too cramped for the boy’s growth potential, Keirrison decided to move to Palmeiras at the age of 19. Here, Keirrison continued to explode with 24 goals in 36 appearances, nicknamed the “new Romario” by the fans because of his excellent finishing ability.

It was also a time when teams in Europe often kept an eye on young talents in Brazil. Because compared to the morning stars developing in the old continent, the young Brazilian talents mature earlier, and are also easier to adapt to the top-notch playing environment. In addition, the governing clubs in Brazil have never said no to offers of sufficient weight. The transfer money earned from the sale of “young rice” is enough for them to cover costs and reinvest in the field of youth training. That is the path of sustainable development in a country with many economic difficulties like Brazil. And for Palmeiras, Keirrison is such a “bargain”.

In January 2009, Palmeiras paid a modest fee to own Keirrison from Coritiba. But less than half a year later, they sold Keirrison to Barcelona for up to 14 million euros, a new transfer record of the team after the transfer of midfielder Henrique (sold to Barcelona a year before for 8 million euros). ). To get Keirrison’s signature, in addition to meeting the price required by the partner, Barcelona also beat both Liverpool and AS Roma, two teams are also very interested in this young striker.

Keirrison is a young talent once in Coritiba. Photo: Coritiba

Keirrison himself is also extremely excited about the prospect of joining the Catalan team. In an interview, he said: “Ever since I was little, my dream has been to play for the top teams in Europe. I feel proud when I receive some interest from both at home and abroad. But I’m sorry because right now my heart is completely on Barcelona. I have watched Ronaldo and Rivaldo play for Barcelona in the past. That motivated me to come here to achieve like them. Also, being able to play every week with Messi will also be a very special experience.”

However, when he delivered those words, Keirrison didn’t know that his dream was about to turn into a real nightmare.

In July 2009, Keirrison officially flew to Spain to sign a 5-year contract with Barcelona. At the launch of the new team, the 20-year-old young striker confidently answered the press conference: “I look forward to the upcoming journey with the team led by a talented strategist like Pep Guardiola. There have been many Brazilian players who made a name and succeeded here. This is the best team in the world and I was lucky to come here at a very young age. I want to have success and titles with Barcelona.”

But contrary to Keirrison’s open statement, Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola was quite nonchalant when asked about the new student: “Basically, the board of directors signed him. I heard that they decided to let him go on loan. So there won’t be much to say about Keirrison this season.” Pep Guardiola’s indifference seems to be a bad omen for Keirrison’s future at the team that just won a historic treble in the 2008/2009 season.

Just six days after completing his dream transfer with Barcelona, ​​Keirrison moved to Benfica on a one-year loan deal, not knowing he would never play at Barca even once. It was not until later that the secret was revealed by the president, Joan Laporta, that he signed a contract with Keirrison for the purpose of investment, to later sell when the price is available. That was clearly a bad policy adopted by Laporta during the last few years of his presidency. And of course that policy was in trouble. From Henrique to Keirrison…

Laporta hopes Benfica is a cradle to promote Keirrison’s talent, but the Barcelona president “looks old again”. Because Benfica then just appointed Jorge Jusus as head coach with the task of bringing back the traditional room of the domestic championship after 5 empty seasons. The Portuguese strategist prioritizes experienced players.

And to compare with famous goalscorers like Oscar Cardozo, Javier Saviola or Nuno Gomes, a new Keirrison coming to Europe to play football is like a student trying to find a way to compete with those who have already played football. have many years of work experience. “Benfica is a big club in Portugal but it makes no sense to move to a place with so many quality strikers. They made an offer and Barcelona accepted it. If I knew that, I would never have gone there.” Keirrison later lamented.

Keirrison played at Benfica shortly before returning to Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images

The truth is that Keirrison has talent, but at such an age, the players are very susceptible to psychological problems, as well as having to adapt to a completely different playing environment than their home country Brazil. Having to often sit on the bench at Benfica made Keirrison lose the confidence he needed. He played only 355 minutes before deciding to look for another opportunity in the winter transfer market 2010.

At the time of returning to Camp Nou in January 2010, the Barcelona leadership tried to find a way to sell Keirrison but they could not find a partner willing to spend money. Continuation of an 18-month loan agreement with Fiorentina is signed. At the same time, the Italian representative has the option to buy outright. After reaching the knockout round in the Champions League, Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli needed to strengthen his attack when “The Viola” was struggling in Serie A. And the “new Romario” background is worth a try. As for himself, after Spain and Portugal, Keirrison continued his adventure to Italy, in the most forced way.

Keirrison got off to a bad start with a stoppage-time goal against Lazio to bring home a point for the new team. He also scored a goal in a 2-2 draw against Jose Mourinho’s invincible Inter Milan. But that’s all Keirrison did at Fiorentina. Prandelli can give Keirrison more chances, but Fiorentina can’t. That summer, Prandelli left Fiorentina to take over as head coach of Italy, and Keirrison was returned to Barcelona a year ahead of schedule.

Fiorentina is the last stop at Keirrison in Europe. Photo: Getty Images

And a player who can’t compete for a place at Benfica or Fiorentina, has no chance of playing alongside Lionel Messi, David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez. By this time, Joan Laporta was so disgusted with this failed investment, let alone Pep Guardiola – who had never appreciated Keirrison. In the summer of 2010, Camp Nou saw a player whose spirit was broken when he was forced to return to his hometown of Brazil to start over. Keirrison was only 21 years old at the time.

The first “fall” of life was too big, plus the inspiration to play football was crushed by the storms in Europe, making Keirrison unable to shine at Santos. Here, Keirrison is just a sidekick for a true young talent who will rise to superstardom in the near future. That is Neymar – Santos’ endless inspiration on the journey to winning the Copa Libertadores.

Leaving Santos, moving to Cruzeiro, things are still not improving, even worse. Especially when Keirrison first suffered a serious knee injury that kept him out for most of the season. He was eventually released by Barcelona ahead of time to return to his boyhood club Coritiba in March 2012. Since then, the name Keirrison has also sunk into the past.

Keirrison’s case is similar to Freddy Adu’s, both are “soon to bloom” stars. This is also a valuable lesson for players who are too hasty to go abroad to play football, while themselves are not ready in all aspects. With the exception of Coritiba, Keirrison has never played a full two seasons with any team in each of these players’ places.

More than a decade on, the Cules now no longer remember the name Keirrison, because in fact they have never seen this player play for Barcelona. The only thing left is just the label of the failed contract of the century under Pep Guardiola, despite the fact that the Spanish strategist had nothing to do with bringing Keirrison back. This mistake inherently stemmed from the disastrous transfer policy of one-time president Juan Laporta.

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