The much coveted striker started his career in Brazil before moving on to the Japanese J League. It was during his spell in Japan where he found his goalscoring touch, netting more than 25 goals for two separate clubs - Consadole Sapporo and Tokyo Verdy.
The Brazilian’s form for Tokyo Verdy, for whom he scored an impressive 37 goals in 42 appearances, is what allowed him the opportunity to test himself at a higher level. In 2008 Porto took the gamble and smashed their transfer record to sign him for an impressive £16m.
Hulk's rise to fame came during the 2010/11 season, where he played a pivotal part in a Porto side that ran away with the league, winning 27 of 30 matches to remain unbeaten. The club also won the Taça de Portugal and the Europa League. Hulk’s value had more than doubled, and during the 2011/12 season where Porto once again won the league, he was linked to all the top clubs around Europe, including Chelsea on more than one occasion.
It was to everyone’s surprise, however, that Hulk opted for Russia and Zenit Saint Petersburg confirmed the signing for a Russian transfer record of approximately £46m in September 2012. His record at the Russian club has been solid, netting 16 league goals in 32 appearances and helping Zenit qualify for the next phase in the Champions League at the expense of his former club, Porto.
Hulk has cited a lack of competition as his main reason for wanting away and, according to the journal Izvestia, he has asked his club’s directors ‘to not put up any obstacles’ and grant him a move away from the club next summer.
The news will have once again alerted Europe’s top clubs, especially Chelsea given their past interest and Mourinho’s cry for a killer touch in front of goal.
‘The strikers try the best they can, so I don’t know what to do’, Mourinho said.
With Roman Abramovich’s Russian links, Chelsea’s past interest and Hulk’s own admission that he wants to leave, surely we can expect some movement in this transfer saga over the coming months.
Will Chelsea finally land Hulk ?
images: © Agência Brasil