He appeared as if out of thin air, conjured up for the sake of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s transfer for €5 million (4.5m + .5 in bonuses). He’s now moving on to Paris Saint-Germain, also as if through some sort of process-less wizardry, Barça earning a rumored €4 million on the deal. 2 years, 89 games, 2 goals, and 10 trophies on, Maxwell Scherrer Cabelino Andrade leaves with a good record and a series of solid performances under his belt.
At times he was instrumental, forging a solid defensive record out of Eric Abidal’s injury woes in the 2009-10 season. Yet he was also often forgotten. Once dubbed an honorary Brazilian on Twitter by a friend when taking a picture with the CL trophy alongside Dani Alves and Adriano, he’s the one that you might not be able to name if you were listing off the squad. And yet when he was on the field, there was never much doubt about his quality. Sure, he’s not the fastest guy on the planet, not the guy showing off his footskills all the time, and not the guy slamming the ball into the back of the net.
No, Maxwell was the guy doing the little things behind-the-scenes: getting in the way of passing lanes, being an outlet for a teammate in a tough spot, sweeping his hair out of his eyes while winking. Every team needs those things. And every team consistently under-appreciates them, as do the fans.
But why now? Why offload him? He appeared in 41 matches last season and even scored in the Club World Cup against Al-Sadd this season. One of the reasons is because he’s 30 and not getting any faster. That’s for sure. Another reason is the purported interested in bringing in another, younger left back to become Abidal’s understudy for a couple of years and eventually replace King Eric when he retires. The name currently on everyone’s lips regarding that position is Jordi Alba, but it could be any of several different defenders, really. It’s just rumors. Adriano also covers the LB position for the time being–in FIFA12 I sold them both to make way for Gareth Bale and Gregory van der Wiel–and is just 27. Now we get to speculate wildly, though! Neymar for LB!
Also, big apologies if my Portuguese in the title is just jibberish. I put it into Google Translator since I speak not a lick of that fine language.