Elano is only 32. That is the first surprising fact about a player who has not registered in the consciousness of most English football fans for quite some time.
I have fond memories of the Brazilian from his spell at Manchester City, where his goal-scoring and creativity lit up the blue side of the city, although not as regularly as some fans might have hoped.
His first season at City was an impressive one, and saw him score nine goals and provide a further eight assists – cementing his reputation as a creative midfielder with considerable threat.
His second campaign was less impressive, and a year later he was on his way to Galatasaray, before ultimately returning to his homeland.
He rediscovered his form in Brazil, scoring 14 times during his second season at Santos before scoring nine and setting up 10 in a campaign that ended with him at Gremio.
And now Elano has expressed his happiness at joining Flamengo on a 12-month loan.
As reported by Sambafoot and xinhuanet, the midfielder said, “I was born to play at big clubs. It’s the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to live and play in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a privilege to be a part of this club that has just been crowned champions.
“If I start well…myself and other Flamengo players might have the chance to play in the World Cup.”
So City fans may not have seen the last of their former player, with the chance – however slim – that he may get another chance with his country next summer.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald