In mid-January, Welliton announced his retirement. The last club of the 36-year-old striker was the modest Gremiu Novurizontino. Most likely, you are hearing about him for the first time – last season the club finished two points away from relegation from the Brazilian Serie B, and Welliton himself scored only one goal per season, terminating the contract with Grêmio a few months before the finish line.
How did the Brazilian’s career get to such a low point? Why didn’t he play in Europe after Spartak ? If you have been asking these questions, then it’s time to find out, but first about the best period of his career.
Welliton could have moved to another Moscow club, but Lokomotiv chose Odemwingie, who said that his dream was Spartak
Quite a well-known story, but if someone suddenly forgot – Welliton could well become a cult player of another Moscow club. The Brazilian’s candidacy was closely studied by Lokomotiv , but made a choice in favor of Peter Odemwingie, for whom Spartak was ready to compete with the railwaymen.
The Nigerian, who was born in Tashkent, even stated that Spartak was his dream club since childhood and came to his training camp in Austria, but in the end Odemwingie seemed overpriced, so it was he who paid 10 million euros for him ” Loko”, and Welliton remained “Spartak”.
Cherchesov insisted on the transfer of Welliton. Brazilian man greeted with scandalous monkey banner
Welliton came to Spartak in the summer of 2007. At that time, there were plenty of forwards in the club, but everything was about the same plan: the already stellar Roman Pavlyuchenko and the young Artem Dziuba and Alexander Prudnikov.
Welliton was the creation of Stanislav Cherchesov, who then only headed Spartak. Later, the future “Field Commander” stated that he was dissuaded from the transfer, but he still insisted:
“When I took one player to Spartak, they told me that he is from Goias, this is about Welliton. And to the question, yes, this is Goiás, what kind of club, what kind of city, I answered them: “Listen, but I’m from Alagir.” So what is next? Who, where, what difference does it make if it’s talent? And he insisted on Welliton, and he became the top scorer of the championship twice.
Fans of Spartak met the newcomer in a peculiar way. The problem was the 11th number, which the Brazilian preferred to choose for himself in the new club. For fans of the red-and-whites, two units became holy because of Andrey Tikhonov, which they hastened to mention by posting a banner with a simple message during his second match: “Number 11 is only for Tikhonov. Monkey go home.
Fortunately, Welliton then hardly understood anything in Russian (most likely, in English too), so he was not embarrassed by the starting negative and in the next match he gave an assist to Pavlyuchenko in the game with Kuban , and a week later for the first time scored against Rubin. And just before the end of the season (then it was still spring-autumn in the RPL), he scored 4 goals.
The next season turned out to be crumpled too – Welliton started it much better, scoring 6 goals in 9 rounds, but an injury prevented it. It was not yet the heel that hurt – damage to the groin. Because of him, he missed all rounds from the 11th to the 30th.
Welliton recovered by the beginning of 2009. Then Alex appeared in Spartak. Together they tore the league apart.
Welliton was finally able to heal the sores by the start of the 2009 season. But that year, Spartak was already different. Firstly, in April, Valery Karpin became the head coach of the red-and-whites. Secondly, Alex Meschini arrived in Moscow two months earlier. By that time, there were already four Brazilians in Spartak: Welliton, Alex, Ibson and Rafael Carioca, but the first two eventually became the main favorites of the fans.
Alex immediately began to remind especially impressionable fans about Spartak of the 90s, Titov and other iconic figures, and Welliton began to score more than ever. As a result, the striker for the first time became the top scorer of the RPL – he scored 21 goals, beating Alejandro Dominguez and Alexander Bukharov (such were the times) by 5 goals at once.a
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