The Brazilian forward was the Neymar of his time.
He made his name at Santos, where he caught the eye with his extraordinary ability, before sealing a big-money move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2005.
Many football fans expected Robinho would cement his reputation as the world’s best footballer at the Bernabeu.
But while we saw flashes of brilliance from the incredibly skilful yet diminutive and light-weight South American, he did leave fans (and, indeed, the wider football community) feeling slightly underwhelmed.
Robinho still won two La Liga titles with Los Blancos before completing one of the most shocking transfers of Premier League era in September 2008 when he moved to newly-rich Manchester City in a deal worth £32.5 million.
A British transfer record at the time, Robinho was paid a £160,000-a-week by City, who beat Chelsea to seal the Brazil international’s signature.
Again, despite the odd moment of magic, Robinho largely flattered to deceive at the Etihad Stadium.
In 53 matches, he scored 16 goals and failed to win a trophy before moving to AC Milan in 2010.
After a reasonable four-year spell with Milan, Robinho’s career has spiralled.
He returned to Santos on loan before moving to China for a short spell with Guangzhou Evergrande. He then moved back to Brazil to play for Atletico Mineiro before heading to Turkey to play for both Sivasspor and Istanbul Basaksehir.
Now 36 years old, Robinho is in the winter of his career but has just rejoined Santos for a third time following his release by Istanbul Basaksehir, signing a deal which initially runs until February 2021, with the option for an extension until December 2022.
According to The Sun, Robinho will earn a ‘symbolic salary’ of just 1,5000 Brazilian reals - which is the equivalent of just £207 a month and just above minimum wage in the country.
This works out at around £50 a week.
From £160,000 a week to £50 a week in the space of 12 years. Madness.
However, local reports say Robinho’s basic wage will be topped up with bonuses, provided he makes enough first-team appearances.
It’s understood that he could earn around £41,000 a week after 10 games and the same fee again after 15.
But he must prove that he can still cut it in the Brazilian top flight, despite his advancing years, in order to land his hands on the kind of money he’s used to earning.
“This was always my home,” Robinho said after re-signing for Santos, who have nicknamed the forward ‘the eternal King of the Step-over’.
“My aim is to help on and off the pitch and help Santos FC return to the summit they should never have left.
“It’s a marvellous feeling being back at the club where I made my name.
“I grew up here. I always dreamed of being a footballer and Santos FC made this possible.”
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