4-0 loss, booked and subbed at half-time - Former Arsenal starlet has bad day in Brazil

Fran Merida has had a day to forget for Atletico Paranaense in a 4-0 defeat against Botafogo.

Fran Merida was once considered one of the future stars of the Arsenal youth team, a man to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas as a technical Spanish superstar in the heart of the Gunners midfield.

But after he decided to try put a rush on his career with a move to Atletico Madrid his career began to go downhill. He struggled just as much, if not more, for first-team football in his homeland than he did in North London.

He ended up at Hercules, but left there after he lost his place in the team after being sent off for a wild challenge.

So he did the unexpected, and jumped ship to Brazil.

The Spaniard became one of a few European players to make the switch to the Brazilian football system by signing on at Atletico Paranaense.

But it took him nine months to prove himself worthy of a place in the first-team, which came two months ago against Flamengo.

But it was quite a memorable debut. Playing against a side containing fellow Arsenal flop Andre Santos, he inspired a comeback from 2-0 down scoring his club's first in a 4-2 win.

But since then things have been really up and down for the Spaniard.

A week after his sterling debut he got sent off after a nasty challenge against Corinthians - and has been in and out of the team since.

But last night he was handed a start, as Atletico-PR travelled to take on Botafogo in the Brazilian league last night - a game that went on due to a lack of players on international duty at both clubs.

And for Merida - this was certainly one to forget.

The 23-year-old chased shadows throughout the first-half, got booked and was hauled off at half-time - as a Clarence Seedorf inspired home team overran their opposition.

In fairness to Merida - they didn’t really improve after he was taken off.

The final score was 4-0 - with goals from Elias, Seedorf and a double from substitute Bruno Mendes sealing the rout.

Another down day in the topsy-turvy career of Fran Merida.

image: © wonker

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