£19m flop let go by Moyes 4 years ago named in Brazil World Cup squad

Brazil Fans 2

Former Manchester United boss David Moyes sacked Jo in 2009 but the former Manchester City and Everton striker has been on the up since.

Football is full of remarkable turnarounds, players going from zero to hero being just one of the examples, but this story really is astonishing - especially if you are a Manchester City or Everton fan.

Because the news that former striker Jo is on his way to the World Cup in Brazil this summer will come as a surprise to many of you.

Not only is he on his way - but Jo will certainly play a part in proceedings in his home World Cup.

Quite a turnaround, for a player booted out of Everton by David Moyes just a little over four years ago.

Jo stormed his way into European football by banging in goals for Corinthians before doing the same at CSKA Moscow for three seasons.

It was this form that saw City, using Thai riches rather than Emirati, splashed out a club record £19 million to sign the Brazilian striker in July 2008.

But he was a flop at the Etihad and his best spell in England came on a six month loan spell at Goodison Park in 2009. After an unauthorised visit to Brazil over the Christmas period in his second spell at the club, he was let go by the notoriously ruthless Moyes and was swiftly shipped out to Galatasaray by City.

His European career looked in tatters - so he did as so many do, returning to Brazil with his tail between his legs.

But even this looked like a mistake and his career reached saturation point in 2012 when, after just one disappointing season with Internacional Porto Alegre they let him go and he joined Atletico Mineiro.

And he has been a revelation.

10 goals in 29 games in his first season, 19 in 52 in his second and eight in 19 so far in the latest campaign - helping Mineiro conquer South America with a Copa Libertadores triumph in 2013.

Of course he has had help - having the legendary Ronaldinho and former star Bernard to play with makes life easier for strikers.

But the reality is his renaissance on the international stage has come from his style, not just his form. He is big, strong and potent in front of goal - the perfect back up to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s favourite front man Fred.

It was these qualities and his new more professional attitude (the afro is gone) that saw the former Chelsea boss give him an international recall in 2013 - five years after his last appearance for Selecao against Colombia.

Good fortune has helped. The injury and dip in form of Leandro Damiao, the off-field troubles of Alexandre Pato and the fitness concerns over a lethargic looking Robinho.

But in all honesty Jo really does deserve his call up - and those City and Everton fans laughing at seeing his name now, might just have some humble pie served to them in the summer.

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