Is Hernanes Brazil’s best midfielder since Kaká?
Interested in the emerging stars? check out theBrazil: the talent factory 2009 feature
Sunday’s game vs Marília may have ended in defeat for São Paulo but for Hernanes the match may prove to be a turning point in his career.
Thirty-seven minutes into the first half, the classy midfielder curled home an exquisite free kick, which left Maríla’s experienced keeper, Mauro, with no chance.
Ultimately, São Paulo came away empty-handed, but Hernanes’ performance would have been noted by Muricy Ramalho, Dunga and by any foreign scouts fortunate enough to be watching.
Set-pieces apart, Hernanes’ marking, positioning, passing, vision and his ability to drive forward from deep positions was somewhat reminiscent of a young Kaká in his days with the Morumbi club.
Clearly Hernanes has a long way to go before he comes anywhere near to reaching the heights that Kaká has scaled. And naturally, there are a number of differences between the São Paulo man and the Milan star.
Hernanes may in fact, be the more naturally-talented of the two. Technically, there are few players that come close to the midfielder. The 22 year old is completely adept with both feet – a rarity even among Brazilians. Hernanes made his debut for São Paulo against Botafogo in June 2005. After a bright start, the player was then loaned out to neighbours Santos André. While at São Paulo, coach Paulo Autuori used the youngster on both flanks as even then, no one was quite sure if he was right or left-footed (for the record he is right-footed).
Hernanes is also more versatile than Kaká. São Paulo’s number fifteen has already played on the wings and in the centre of the park. Last season, Hernanes was converted into a volante (defensive midfielder) by Muricy Ramalho. Many see this as a criminal waste of the player’s talent but the move has paid dividends for São Paulo. Kaká has essentially played the same role (though very effectively) since day one.
Hernanes is a team player. He is not a ball hog and more often than not will make the quick, smart pass. While he is abundantly gifted, Hernanes is no flash Harry but can wrong foot opponents with the same ease that England’s Glen Hoddle used to in his heyday.
Add to this a good work rate and a willingness to stay on his feet, and it is clear why Hernanes is regarded so highly.
Obviously, the midfielder is not the finished article. São Paulo are aware of this but have wisely extended his contract until December 2012. This though, is more than likely an act of a club wishing to protect their investment. Once São Paulo’s campaign in the Libertadores is over, the Morumbi outfit will listen to offers for their gifted midfielder.
Fact sheet Anderson Hernanes de Carvalho Andrade
Born: 29/5/85 Recife, Brazil
1999 – Unibol Pernambuco FC
2001 – São Paulo FC
2006 – EC Santo André
2007 – São Paulo FC
2008 – Called up by Brazil for friendly vs Republic of Ireland
Cracker vs Marila March 2009 here
Goal vs Botafogo October 2008 here
see the goal and his acrobatic celebration here
see his goal versus Atlético Mineiro 7 june 08 here
You can see an interview with Hernanes on Footbrazil, which should go out around 6/5/08
update – Hernanes also took the number place in the Times recent ‘Football’s 50 top rising talents’ list
Entry filed under: Hernanes, Kaká. Tags: AC Milan, Brazilian football, Campeonato Paulista 2008, esporte, estadual, football, Futebol, futebol negócio, internacional football, Kaká, Paulista, São Paulo, São Paulo Futebol Clube, soccer, spfs, Sport, sports, World Football.