Is Hernanes Brazil’s best midfielder since Kaká?

February 19, 2008 at 11:55 9 comments


hernanes sp away shirt


Interested in the emerging stars? check out theBrazil: the talent factory 2009 feature

São Paulo captain, Rógerio Ceni, says Lucas is São Paulo’s most talented player since Kaká. Check him out in this 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marcos Silveira  |  February 19, 2008 at 12:28

    Não sei dizer se ele é o melhor meio-campo brasileiro desde o Kaká. Mas é, sem dúvida, o melhor que o São Paulo FC teve desde a saída do atual craque do Milan. Hernanes é um jogador completo, totalmente adaptado às exigências do futebol moderno. Meia de origem, já atuou nas duas laterais e tornou-se um volante de grande categoria, eleito o melhor do último Campeonato Brasileiro. Polivalente, de grande importância tática, é nome certo para Beijing. Sorte do SPFC que renovou o seu contrato com uma multa considerável…
    Assino embaixo do que o Jon escreveu.
    Abs, Marcos

    a rough translation

    I can’t say if he is the best midfielder in Brazil since Kaká. But he is undoubtedly the best that Sao Paulo FC has had since the departure of Milan’s current star. Hernanes is a complete player, fully adapted to the demands of modern football. Originally a midfielder, he has already played on each wing and has now become an effective volante (defensive midfielder)and was voted as one of best players in last year’s Brazilian Championship. He’s multi-functional and tactically of great importance and is sure to be a name in Beijing [with Brazil’s Olympic squad]. Fortunately, SPFC has renewed his contract which includes a considerable asking fee.

  • 2. Terencenr  |  March 24, 2008 at 19:46

    thank you, bro

  • 3. Frank  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:43

    Now this is a guy who would adapt to the English Premier League very quickly. Unfortunately, his price tag will put off most clubs other than Man City and/perhaps Chelsea. Unfortunately, the player himself is also only likely to want a move to a CL team, where he will need to spend his fair share of time on the bench. Where as a move to a club like Villa, Spurs or Everton would guarantee him a starting place. Although having said that I can see Milan getting him as a replacement for kaka. I guess it will inevitably come down to money and who offers him the most.

  • 4. fabio  |  December 20, 2009 at 15:28

    queria sempre ver o hernanes de perto e ir ao jogo no morunbi

  • 5. pitacodogringo  |  August 6, 2010 at 16:17

    it’s taken longer than anyone expected, but he’s finally left São Paulo after signing for Lazio on a five year deal.

  • […] play, I will crush him if he interferes with Juventus’ CL spot. Mark my words. Anyways, check out this article debating Hernanes’ skills vs. […]

  • 7. coster manyowa  |  April 6, 2013 at 12:28

    thumbs to the samba boys,but i would like to see an organised squad with a fixed and regular serious guys!

  • 8. coster manyowa  |  April 6, 2013 at 12:31

    go samba go!we want marcelo and anderson please!

  • 9. Californai  |  April 14, 2013 at 22:43

    The Chablis is available in 6 inch planks. A favorite activity among tourists is taking a Tuscany wine tour.
    And what better way to tour a city.


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Jon Cotterill. South America football expert. Brazil/Argentina. Author 'Anatomy of a football scout: an in-depth look at player recruitment’

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