By Daniel Sant’Anna from Old Trafford Brasil
Recently crowned champion as a Cruzeiro player with five games to go, Everton Ribeiro established himself as one of the greatest names from the last Brazilian Championship. He earned a place on ‘Team of the year’ alongside three of his Cruzeiro partners and was awarded with the ‘Golden Ball’ prize, given by ESPN Brasil to the best player of league. It was a fantastic year for Ribeiro.
Originally a left-back, Everton failed to impress while in Corinthians which is why he was loaned out to São Caetano where he got a chance as a midfielder, but it was with Coritiba where he really excelled and helped them to be runners-up for Copa do Brasil two years in a row.
That’s a great background but is he such a big deal?
Well, it is certain that for Brazilian football’s reality, yes. Ribeiro’s had some eye catching statistics and performances in 2013. He had 11 assists (more than any other player) and scored seven goals in the league, not bad for a midfielder in his first league with his new team – but this isn’t just all he did.
Ribeiro has more to add than just assists and goals. He scores specials goals after displaying special skills. He is, indeed, at the peak of his career right now.
That’s where the European dream begins. As Ribeiro is well aware, considering his performances and age, he is one of the hottest Brazilian prospects available. The role of the No. 10 was mastered this year by Ribeiro at Cruzeiro and he knows it as he was the the brain and heart of the whole campaign.
Clubs like United are desperate for a player like him, who can think on his feet as well as raise the tempo if needed even if he is not that fast. But the point is – can he make it in the Premier League?
We’ve seen plenty of great players trying to live the European dream only to find out that life can be hard because you have to go through a settling period. Even players from the Premier League sometimes need it (Fellaini) which goes to show how difficult it can be for a foreign player settling into a new football country and culture.
What United fans should take away from this that Ribeiro can be very useful. With the awful form from the likes of Nani and Young, Everton can adapt to the winger role where Kagawa has struggled with. That might relieve the pressure of our rising stars like Januzaj and Lingard. We do not need our young players being burned out on the attempt of saving the season.
Also, Ribeiro can produce some magic, perform a killer assist out of nowhere and score some cracking goals. If you consider his confidence, form and price, we sure could give it a go.