Anderson won the Tuttosport Golden Boy award this week, which recognises the best player in Europe under the age of 21-years-old. Previously won by Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas, Anderson has claimed the award and has made his predictions for next year’s winner.
When asked who he thinks could win the award next season, he was quick to mention his United team mate. “Rafael da Silva, my partner and compatriot in Manchester,” Anderson said. “He is a phenomenon. Or even his brother, Fabio, who isn’t playing at the moment because of injury.”
Anderson joined United as a clear attacking player, but now his role shows more defensive elements, showing competency in the physical aspect of the game. Our Brazilian explained how and why this happened, looking back to the eight month period he spent on the sidelines with a broken leg.
“I was still recovering, but now I feel 100%, like I did before the operation,” said Anderson. “So I decided to back my position about twenty meters and no longer be offensive but focus on recovery. I immediately liked to Sir Alex and I have changed roles, especially since a great match I played in that position against Wigan. I forgotten the street football of Porto Alegre, when I was nicknamed ‘The little Pele’, now I am another player. United plays 4-2-4 where the attackers are Berbatov, Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez or Nani or Giggs. Me and Carrick or Scholes must serve as a filter behind and stay on our guard. I like playing in this role.”
It seems like the option of professional football or drug dealer is more common than we might have previously imagined, with Anderson reflecting on his upbringing.
“My father died when I was 10 years,” Anderson added. “In 11 years, I was out to earn a living. The area where we lived was notorious. I saw my friends get shot and die at 13 years old. I could have become an offender, a drug-dealer. Luckily, I had my passion for football and Gremio hired me!”