Scouting report: The next Romario still has time on his side

While some Brazilian youngsters come to Europe and quickly become world superstars, things do always go immediately to plan.

Last summer, Palmeiras forward Keirrison arrived at Camp Nou after a rapid rise to the pinnacle of the domestic game in Brazil, and was already being touted as a potential star for Dunga’s side at the 2010 World Cup.

However his progress has since stalled.

Keirrison is a product of Coritiba’s youth team, and was promoted to the first team in 2006, helping the side win the Brazilian second division title a year later, scoring 12 goals in the process.

He continued his goal scoring feats, first by scoring 18 goals in the 2008 Parana state championships, then by netting a further 21 goals in the Brazilian Serie A. He finished joint top scorer in the league and was voted the league’s best newcomer.

In the January of 2009 Keirrison moved to Brazilian giants Palmeiras, but his early form quickly saw him linked with a move to Europe, and indeed just seven appearances and five goals later, he was a Barcelona player.

Immediately sent out on loan in order to familiarise himself with the European game rather than sit on the Camp Nou bench, Keirrison spent six months at Benfica, before switching to Fiorentina in January.

Although the 21-year-old hasn’t always had things go his way since switching continents, the signs are that things could slowly be turning in his favour.

FourFourTwo contributor and blogger Celso de Campos Jr, tells us more about the prodigious Brazilian talent...

Name Keirrison de Souza Carneiro
Age 22
Position Forward
Nationality Brazilian
Club Fiorentina (on loan from Barcelona)
Games 4 Goals 1

In May 2009, the hurricane Keirrison was taking Brazilian football by storm.

Palmeiras’ young forward was overshadowing Corinthians star Ronaldo in their Sao Paulo State Championship scoring duel and attracting the attention of national team coach Dunga, who hinted that if ‘K9’ kept up his progress, it would only be a matter of time before he made his Selecao debut.

The Phenomenon himself complimented the striker. “He’s a great player; he knows the ways to score. He’ll be in Europe in no time,” he said.But such talk was Keirrison’s ruin. Dreaming of a move to Barcelona, the player simply stopped performing – his goals dried up, and he was blamed for Palmeiras’ elimination from both the Copa Libatadores and the Sao Paulo State Championship.

Shortly after Keirrison failed to show up at Palmeiras, his agents announced he had been sold to Barcelona for €15 million.

The dream was short-lived, though: after arriving at Camp Nou he was immediately sent on a season-long loan to Benfica.

The young Brazilian found it so hard to break into the first team at Estadio da Luz, that he played just 199 minutes of competitive football in six months in Portugal, before Benfica agreed to allow the player to return to Barcelona four months early so he could be loaned out to a club more likely to offer him first team action.

Fiorentina were that club, agreeing an 18-month deal with Barca in the dying days of the January transfer window.

Although he has so far been restricted to substitute appearance for La Viola, he has already scored his first goal for Cesare Prandelli’s side, netting an injury time equaliser away to Lazio.

While this club-hopping may cost him a place at the World Cup, he had the talent to bounce back.

A deadly scorer with silky passing, he has been compared to the great Romario – indeed Keirrison himself says he mirrored his game on that of the ‘temperamental’ genius. He did, after all, score 24 goals in 35 matches for Palmeiras.

When his loan spell at Fiorentina ends, he faces major competition to break into the Barcelona first team, should he return. But even if he fails to make the grade in Catalonia, there won’t be a shortage of big clubs trying to acquire his services.

Talentspotter ratings:
Heading 7
Crossing 7
Tackling 6
Creativity 8
Passing 9
Work-rate 7
Shooting 9
Pace 8
Dribbling 9
Overall rating 9

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