Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Remember him?

Hey American readers (and possibly others): you remember this commercial don't you?

This was the main commercial that Nike ran leading up to and during the 1998 World Cup in France. While I recognized many, but not all, of the players at the time, one guy I did not know, but felt compelled to watch, was the guy dribbling down the people mover--Denilson. He was an up and coming player, just 20 years old, who had just been a part of the then world record transfer fee when Sao Paulo sold him to Real Betis for about $32 million. Yeah, he never lived up to that.

Denilson started his career at Sao Paulo and racked up nearly 60 goals in 110 games. He got his first call up to the Brazil squad in 1996, the year he turned 19. Two years later, Denilson made the move to Spain, and then everything fell apart.

Denilson was on the books at Betis from 1998-2005. Including the one season he was out on loan to Flamengo while Betis dropped to Spain's second division, Denilson scored 16 goals in 197 matches. That's really not good for a striker, especially during the prime years of his life as far as football is concerned. Betis finally unloaded him to Bordeaux, where he lasted one season. He popped up again in MLS in 2007, but failed miserably again. Where does one go after failing at MLS? Vietnam, apparently.

Yes, the big news out of Vietnam today is that fallen star Denilson has signed with--get this--Hai Phong Cement FC, which it appears can be shortened to just Cement FC. If you want to see how to produce a groan-worthy headline with that information, just go check the linked article's headline. Great job Soccernet.

The shocking thing, for me, is that Denilson is just 31. I don't know if I expected him to age faster because of his absence off of my radar or what, but the idea that a 31 year old with a World Cup winner's medal is plying his trade in Vietnam just seems pretty damn odd. The article does mention that he will be paid better than the current high wage in Vietnam--$10k a month. So, he's got that going for him, which is nice.


WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

31? That's 19 in Teddy Sheringham years. He's still got a long career in front of him.

ü75 said...

But it's like 120 in Brian Piccolo years.

ü75 said...

I already feel really dirty for typing that.

Ibracadabra said...

My guess is that on the day they filmed this ad in an airport, the terrorist color coded threat level was only blue - or "guarded," rather than orange, or "high."

Mosher said...

Lucky bugger. I'd live in Vietnam if I could cover my cost of living. They're rabid about football - you should see the crowds outside the stadia on matchdays, particularly the international stadium in Hanoi.

No ticket? Who cares? Turn up and have a party in the streets!

$10000 a month in Vietnam is enough to get a really plush villa and all the trimmings. And the government's less corrupt than ours...