|Robson de Souza (born 25 January 1984), more commonly known as Robinho [xoˈbĩ j̃u], is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as forward or winger for Serie A club Milan and plays for the Brazil national team. Robinho is known for his ball control, attacking instinct and speed.|
In 1999, at only 15 years of age, Robinho was personally picked by Brazil legend Pelé as his heir apparent and went on to lead Santos FC to their first Campeonato Brasileiro title since Pelé himself played for the club. Since then, he has won a second title with Santos and two more with Spanish club Real Madrid. He won the Italian Serie A title in his first season at Milan. Robinho has won one Copa América title and two Confederations Cups with the Brazilian national team.
SantosBorn in São Vicente, São Paulo State, Robinho signed his first professional contract with Santos FC in 2002 at the age of 18. He made 24 appearances in his debut season and scored one goal as Santos won the 2002 Campeonato Brasileiro. He reached the final of the 2003 Copa Libertadores with Santos, but lost in the final to Boca Juniors. In 2004, Robinho finished with 21 goals in 37 games and led Santos to win another Campeonato Brasileiro.
His form had brought him to the attention of many European clubs in the summer of 2004, but Robinho remained with Santos after the Brazilian club rejected all offers. His form suffered in the 2005 season, however, after his mother, Marina da Silva Souza, was kidnapped by gunmen at her Praia Grande home on 6 November; she was released unharmed six weeks later after a ransom was paid.
Robinho scored nine goals in 12 league games, and his value continued to increase as his talent became more and more apparent to the powers of European football. Santos began to realize it would become increasingly difficult to hold on to their star player. In July 2005, Spanish giants Real Madrid signed Robinho by agreeing to pay a fee equal to 60 percent of the buyout clause in his contract belonging to Santos (€24).
Real MadridRobinho earned the No. 10 shirt for Real Madrid, previously worn by Luís Figo. He ended up making 37 appearances and scored 14 goals in his first season. At the start of the 2006–07 season, Robinho spent much of the first few months of the season selected as a substitute by manager Fabio Capello, even after being Man of the Match in the first Clásico against FC Barcelona that year. Only after the winter break did Robinho find himself in the starting XI and he played a crucial role as Real Madrid won their 30th league title. That title was the third league title of Robinho's career.
Capello was subsequently fired, however, and Bernd Schuster was appointed as head coach of Real Madrid. Robinho finished with 11 league goals and eight assists for Madrid in the 2007–08 La Liga season as well as four goals during Real Madrid's Champions League campaign. Robinho then got injured at the beginning of the second half of the season. He did not recover fully enough to help Madrid against Roma in the Champions League. The week before though, Robinho saved Real Madrid's La Liga title hopes with a clutch two goal performance on 3 March 2008, as Madrid defeated Recreativo de Huelva away from home. That game kept a resurgent Barcelona at bay and ultimately secured Real Madrid's 31st league title and Robinho's fourth.
Robinho was Real Madrid's third highest scorer during his Madrid years, behind strikers Raúl and Ruud van Nistelrooy. He was also the player with the second most assists, behind Guti, and the only Madrid player, along with goalkeeper Iker Casillas, to finish in the top ten of the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations for 2007–08.
Real Madrid President Ramón Calderón had promised to negotiate a new contract with Robinho at the midpoint of the 2007–08 season, which never materialised. Calderón, however, insisted talks would occur in the summer; again Calderón went back on his word. Robinho himself revealved talks never began because Madrid hoped to use him as part of the deal to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in the summer of 2008. After the failed move for Ronaldo, Madrid finally attempted to negotiate a new contract with Robinho, which he rejected and led to him wanting a transfer to Chelsea.
Manchester CityPremier League summer transfer window, Robinho completed a €42,500,000 (£32,500,000) move to Manchester City, on a four-year deal. This occurred on the same day the club was bought out by the Arab investment company Abu Dhabi United Group.
He had previously been linked with a transfer to Chelsea, and he had emphasised his desire to play for the London club up to the eve of the transfer. On 27 August, Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon said that the club were "confident" that the transaction would go through, and Madrid had also given their consent for the player to leave. Robinho's desire to move to Chelsea was such that upon signing for Man City he accidentally stated "On the last day, Chelsea made a great proposal and I accepted." To this a reporter replied: "You mean Manchester, right?". "Yeah, Manchester, sorry!" answered Robinho.
In an interview with The Guardian, Robinho stated that Manchester City being a big club and the presence of Brazilian friends Jô and Elano were incentives for him to join the team. He made his team debut and scored his very first Premier League goal on 13 September 2008, ironically in a 3–1 home defeat to Chelsea. On 26 October, he scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Stoke City, and he scored his first European goal for Manchester City in a 3–2 UEFA Cup group stage win over Twente on 6 November. He was given the captain's armband for the match against Hull City, due to Richard Dunne's suspension, which ended in a 2–2 draw.
On 19 April, he scored his 13th league goal for Manchester City in the 2–1 win away at Everton on 25 April, Manchester City's first away win since 31 August 2008. The following week, he scored his third consecutive goal in three games, against Blackburn Rovers, to help Manchester City to a 3–1 win. Robinho finished the season as Manchester City's top goal scorer with 14 and the fourth top scorer in the league.
His second season at Manchester City did not go as well. He missed three months of the season due to injury and only played 12 games in total (10 in the Premier League), and scored one goal (against lower league club Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup). Due to this, he fell down the pecking order and sought a move away from the club in the January transfer window.
Return to SantosOn 28 January 2010, Robinho returned to his home club Santos due to moving down the pecking order at Manchester City, joining them on a six-month loan deal. He had publicly stated that at Manchester City he would play every other game, and because of the upcoming World Cup, he wanted to play every game, and so returned to Brazil with Santos after declining a move to São Paulo FC. On his return to Santos, Robinho scored a backheel against aforementioned admirers São Paulo with five minutes to spare to complete a 2–1 victory for the Peixe. In the final match of his loan deal on 4 August, Robinho helped Santos win the Copa Brasil. Although Santos lost 2–1 to Vitória, they won the tie 3–2 on aggregate to win the competition for the first time in their history. Shortly afterwards, Robinho stated that he wanted to remain with Santos rather than return to England. Manchester City, however, refused to extend the loan deal and Santos failed to make a transfer bid.
Robinho returned to training with Manchester City in August 2010 but stated that he was seeking a move away from the club before the end of the summer transfer window on 31 August. Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş in Turkey opened transfer negotiations with City, but Robinho rejected a move to Turkish football, declaring that he would rather move to a club in Spain or Italy.
2010–11 seasonOn 31 August 2010, Robinho moved to Milan from Manchester City for a fee of £15,000,000 (€18,000,000), signing a four-year contract. He made his debut as a substitute in a 2–0 defeat to newly-promoted Cesena. He started his first game with Milan in their 1–0 win over Genoa. He scored his first goal in injury time against Chievo to make the score 3–1 on 16 October 2010. He continued his goalscoring form with a goal the following week in a Serie A match against Napoli on 25 October 2010. He then scored the first goal for Milan against Sampdoria, but Giampaolo Pazzini equalised on the hour mark to end as a draw. On 4 December 2010, he scored the second goal for Milan against Brescia in their 3–0 win at the San Siro. Eight days later, on 12 December, he again scored the second goal in a 3–0 victory for Milan against Bologna. He scored his first goal of 2011 against Bari to give Milan another 3–0 victory. On 29 January, he scored against Catania following a deflection from a Zlatan Ibrahimović free kick to give Milan a 1–0 lead, then assisted Ibrahimović to give Milan a 2–0 win. On 12 February 2011, he scored his first brace for Milan against Parma to help Milan to a 4–0 win. Against Cagilari, Robinho scored a brace in the 37th week of Serie-A on 14 May 2011, leading to celebrations of the Scudetto winners after the match.
2011–12 seasonHe started the 2011–12 Serie A season well, taking part in Milan's win over Internazionale in the Supercoppa Italiana. Scoring 11 goals in all competitions, Robinho helped Milan to a disappointing second place finish in the Italian Serie A.
2012–13 seasonAfter Alexandre Pato took the number 9 jersey at Milan following the departure of club legend Filippo Inzaghi, Robinho was handed the number 7 jersey that previously belonged to Pato. Robinho started in Milan's first game of the 2012–13 Serie A against Sampdoria but was replaced by Urby Emanuelson due to an injury. Robinho made his comeback as a substitute against Cagliari, where Milan won 2–0. Four days later, Milan drew against Parma in an away match where Robinho came on as a substitute. Robinho came on as a substitute again against Internazionale, but Milan eventually lost 1–0. Robinho was then injured in training and was sidelined for the next 5 games against Lazio, Málaga CF, Genoa, Palermo, and Chievo, respectively. He made his comeback against Málaga as a substitute in the 80th minute; the game ended as a draw. He scored his first goal of the season against Juventus, which was the winner in a 1–0 victory on 25 November 2012.
International career2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup match on 13 July, which Brazil lost 1–0 to Mexico. Although Brazil chose to send their under-23 team, the CONCACAF Gold Cup matches are considered as full international matches by FIFA. He was part of Brazil squad for 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, which Brazil went on to win.
He played in four of Brazil's five matches as a reserve, but finished the tournament goalless. Robinho, however, was in top form in the Copa América 2007 a year later. For the tournament, he wore the No. 11 shirt, the same number that his childhood hero Romário wore. Robinho scored all four of Brazil's group stage goals via a hat-trick in Brazil's 3–0 group stage match against Chile, and a penalty in a 1–0 win over Ecuador. His last two goals came in a 6–1 quarter-final thrashing of Chile. Robinho reaped the individual honors, finishing as the Golden Boot winner in addition to being named the best player of the tournament.
On 28 June 2009, he was a member of the Brazil team that won the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. He played in every game in the competition, as Brazil defeated the United States 3–2 to win the tournament. On 28 June 2010, he scored against Chile as Brazil won 3–0 to advance to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup. He scored the opener in the quarter-final match against Netherlands on 2 July 2010, but Brazil eventually lost 2–1 and was eliminated.