What Happened to Soccer Player Kerlon? - Fan Arch

What Happened to Soccer Player Kerlon?

What Happened to Soccer Player Kerlon?

Kerlon Moura Souza, known for his unique and flashy "seal dribble" where he bounced the ball on his forehead while running, was once a highly promising Brazilian footballer. However, his career took a downward spiral due to a series of injuries and other challenges that ultimately led to his premature retirement at the age of 29.

Early Career and Move to Europe

Kerlon's footballing journey began in the lower leagues of Brazil before his talent caught the eye of European clubs. In 2008, he signed for Inter Milan, but due to non-European places being filled in the squad, he was immediately sent on loan to Chievo in a complicated part-ownership move.

Struggles in Europe

Kerlon's time in Europe was marred by recurring knee injuries, which severely limited his playing time. Despite training with Inter and hoping to impress the new coach, Jose Mourinho, he was informed that he wasn't part of the coach's plans and could train apart from the others. He also suffered a lack of playing time during loan spells back in Brazil, and by 2012, he had only played nine league matches in four years.

Nomadic Spell and Retirement

Following his struggles in Europe, Kerlon embarked on a nomadic spell, playing for clubs in Japan, USA, Malta, Brazil, and Slovakia. However, his career was plagued by further fitness problems, leading to a total of eight surgeries, six of which were on his knee. The toll of being fouled by defenders and the persistent injuries ultimately led Kerlon to retire at the age of 29.

Impact of Injuries

Kerlon's career was overshadowed by severe and persistent injuries, with more than a decade of rough play by defenders taking a toll on his body. His trademark seal dribble made him a target for rough play, and most clips of this skill end with him being fouled in some way, demonstrating the challenges he faced on the field.

Decline and Retirement

By 2012, Kerlon's decline was evident as he struggled to find major clubs interested in his signature after being released by Inter. He joined Japanese third-division side Fujieda MYFC, where he had a brief resurgence before moving to the USA, where he trained briefly with the Atlanta Silverbacks before retiring from professional football.

Legacy

Kerlon was one of the first YouTube footballers, gaining worldwide fame through skill compilation videos. His attacking midfield position and flair on the field drew comparisons to Ronaldinho, and he was a subject of admiration for his unique playing style. However, his career was cut short due to the relentless injuries and challenges he faced.

Kerlon's career was a story of unfulfilled potential and untimely demise, with injuries and the physical toll of his unique playing style ultimately leading to his premature retirement from professional football.


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