Is Palmeiras’ Keirrison really worth all the hype?

February 12, 2009 at 08:54 8 comments


There's just no stopping Keirrison

There's just no stopping Keirrison

Palmeiras forward Keirrison is one of the most talked about players currently operating in Brazil. He’s been compared to Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Ronaldo and not a week goes by without the youngster being linked with a big-money move to the likes of Real Madrid or Liverpool. But has he been hyped up out of all proportion?

As an 18-year-old, Keirrison, or K9 as he’s nicknamed, scored 12 goals in Coritiba’s promotion drive in the second division of the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2007.

Critics said this was a flash in the pan and that the skinny frontman would fail in the more demanding Série A. The result was that despite missing part of the Brasileiro through injury, Keirrison finished joint top scorer in the league with 21 goals (see them here) alongside over-30s Washington, then of Fluminense, and Santos’s Kléber Pereira. The numbers become even more impress when one considers he knocked in another 20 goals in all competitions for a rather limited Coritiba team.

Early this year came another test: a move to the high profile Palmeiras. Keirrison scored two on his debut against Mogi Mirim but could have had four or five. His record so far is a very productive eight goals from six games (5 in the Campeonato Paulista, 3 in the Libertadores).

Ok. So the opposition may not have been that brilliant so far. And three of his goals have been from the penalty spot. But the 20-year-old has already shown a remarkable versatility. Keirrison put away a marvellous chipped goal vs Mogi Mirim. 

He reacted with a poacher’s instinct to nip in against two defenders in the away game at Real Potosí in the Libertadores. Admittedly, the forward dived to win the penalty against Santos in the recent derby. But just after the second-half resumed, Keirrison showed his speed of thought and movement when he pounced on a loose ball in the area and fired in. Against Mirassol in the Paulista on Wednesday evening, the player struck again with another excellent finish – this time a beautifully placed shot to the bottom right of the net.   

But it’s not just his goal scoring ability that makes Keirrison so special. He also has the ability to connect with the talented players around him. Already K9 had formed a good understanding with Cleiton Xavier. Now an exciting partnership with the highly skilful (though inconsistent) Diego Souza could be on the cards.

At 1:81m (and growing) he’s not the tallest of forwards but does get his share of headed goals. But Keirrison is already aware that he needs to bulk up if he is going to be able to compete at a higher level and is working on it.

If you add to his attributes an excellent first-touch, good positional play and a knack of getting away from his markers, it becomes clear why Keirrison is on the shopping list of so many European clubs.

The only fly in the ointment for the Premier league teams is that the 20-year-old hasn’t appeared for Brazil. With one youngster, Alexandre Pato, already in the squad, it’s unlikely that Dunga will risk calling Keirrison up for any of Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers – unless there are injuries to the likes of Pato, Adriano, Luís Fabiano etc.

However, the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June this year is a possibility. But if for some reason Keirrison is overlooked then, Brazil have a friendly vs Estonia in August and that would be an ideal fixture to unveil the player to the world.   

Under the tutelage of coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, K9 can only improve. By the time his contract expires with Palmeiras in the middle of the year, Keirrison will be a much better player and his owners, the football management group Traffic and Coritiba, will be getting ready for a big payday.

Is Keirrison the real deal? You bet he is!

For more on Keirrison see Brazil: the talent factory

Entry filed under: Keirrison, Liverpool rumours. Tags: , , , , , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul  |  February 13, 2009 at 11:22

    As a Palmeiras supporter, I’m really impressed with this years team. I hope that Keirrison would consider playing until the end of the Brasileirao with Palmeiras. I think he would get Dunga’s attention more as the best striker in Brazil than sitting on the bench in Europe. I was also happy to hear that GolTV is now transmitting the Campeonato Paulista here in Canada. I’m glad I won’t have to watch the games online. I also look forward to hearing you commenting on the game for the first time Jon.



  • 2. Sexton Blake  |  February 13, 2009 at 16:12

    What was the reaction in Brazil to the S.A. U20 triumph?

  • 3. pitacodogringo  |  February 14, 2009 at 10:27

    Hi Paul
    we’re showing Palmeiras vs Paulista today – though it will be a reserve side as the first team are already in Quito for the Libertadores game vs LDU. it will be a good chance to see Marquinho in action as a starter – hope the commentary meets your expectations! haha

  • 4. pitacodogringo  |  February 14, 2009 at 10:28

    Sexton Blake

    there really wasn’t that much fuss made about it to be honest. i suppose everyone here thought Brazil were going to win it anyway

  • 5. mark  |  February 22, 2009 at 07:38

    Keirrison Should Sign For Man utd And Be Playing In The Brazil national team

  • 6. magnumopus  |  March 29, 2009 at 13:32

    If he doesn’t play for the Brazilian national team then he will not get a work permit for England!

  • 7. pitacodogringo  |  March 29, 2009 at 13:38

    you’re quite right. but i did mention this in the post (third paragraph from the bottom)

  • 8. Blindside  |  March 30, 2009 at 07:01

    Talent , he might have but please note that he is a slight-build physique and where would that put him in the very physical huff and push of the EPL ? I am afraid he would be dealt with quite brutally . Best he stays in Brazil where “avoidance ” football is played or tries out Italy/Spain .


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Jon Cotterill. Commentator/expert/eyes on South American football. São Paulo/Buenos Aires. Trying to shout more.

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