The Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato, born 18 years ago when Napoli last won the championship, is expected to make his feverishly anticipated debut for Milan. Beginning at the age of 3, “Pato” has already put 15 years into his career.
Nicknamed ‘The Duck’, the translation of his surname and place of birth, Pato is regarded as one of the most exciting young prospects in world football in recent years.
Pato, signed from Internacional di Porto Alegre for 14.5 million Euros (equivalent to $21.5 million today) after the under-20 World Cup, is the most highly regarded player to come out of Brazil since Kaka, his Milan teammate. But because of his age, he had to wait until January to be eligible to play for the senior team.
This is what he is: Cool, calm, collected, communicative, endearing. This is what he is not: Over-hyped. Most of the hype is coming from his fans themselves, including a few photo montages on YouTube by love-sick self-dubbed Patomaniacas.