Alexandre Pato- The Legend of the “Duck”!
Alexandre Rodrigues Da Silva (Striker-born 2 September 1989), commonly known as Alexandre Pato, is a Brazilian striker currently playing for Italian Serie A club AC Milan and the Brazilian national team. The nickname "Pato" is in honour of his place of birth but has led to commentators calling him "The Duck," which is the literal translation of "Pato" from Portuguese.
Alexandre started playing indoor football in his hometown at the age of three. Soon, his ability became known all around the south Brazilian state of Paraná for being skillful and talented goal scorer and, after being praised by many of his managers. Despite dreaming of signing for Gremio who he had supported since a boy, he was persuaded to sign for Internacional at age 11 by his parents.
His reputation soon grew to such an extent in the following years, that he was scouted by the greatest clubs in the world with Italian giants AC Milan finally winning the race to bring him to Europe.
AC Milan officially confirmed the signing of Pato on 2 August 2007. Due to Italian football regulations regarding non-EU minors, Pato was unable to play official matches for Milan until 3 January 2008, when the Italian transfer window and registration reopened.
However, Milan was allowed to include the player in friendlies and training beginning 3 September 2007, one day after his 18th birthday. Pato made his non-competitive debut in a 2–2 draw against Dynamo Kiev on 7 September 2007 and scored a header. On 4 January 2008, Pato's transfer to Milan became official.
Pato scored his first Milan goal on his Serie A debut against Napoli in a 5–2 home victory on 13 January 2008.
He scored his first brace for Milan, in a 2–0 victory over Genoa at the San Siro on 27 January 2008. He finished the 2007–08 season with 9 goals in 20 appearances (18 in the league).
In late 2008, Pato scored two goals in Milan's 5–1 win over Udinese just before the Christmas break, and managed to shine again with a brace against A.S. Roma the following matchday at the Stadio Olimpico on 11 January 2009, proving that he is a vital part of Milan's offense. He continued his impressive form for Milan, hitting six goals in four games, including a game winning strike against Fiorentina on 18 January. On 15 February, he scored his 11th goal of the season in a 2–1 defeat against home rivals Internazionale. On 26 February, Pato scored his 12th goal of the season against Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup, a game Milan drew 2–2; but with this, were knocked out the competition on the away goals rule. Pato continued his good form with two goals against Siena on 15 March.
After gaining prominence at club level, Pato was called up for the youth teams of Brazil. He helped Brazil win the 2007 South American Youth Championship, which qualified the country for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and has been selected by Dunga for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
He scored his first goal for the senior Brazilian team on his debut against Sweden at the Emirates Stadium in England on 26 March 2008, beating Pelé's record of scoring a goal within seconds of his full international debut.