Alex Pato at AC Milan: Video shows Brazilian is one of football's biggest ever 'what if' stories

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In the age of Football Manager, the term 'wonder kid' has become part and parcel of the everyday footballing jargon.

Let's be honest, we all love the buzz of electricity that comes with a young star, who has the world at their feet, making their start in the Premier League or elsewhere and absolutely smashing it.

There is just so much potential and, should things go according to plan, a storied career littered with glory awaits.

However, there are some that simply fail to live up to their early promise and one of the greatest modern-day examples of that might just be Brazilian, Alexandre Pato.

The silky forward took the world by storm in the early days of his career and was the name on the lips of every fan in the world touting him as the next big deal.

You can hardly blame them, either. There were times when Pato was simply unplayable and none more so than when he pulled on the famous AC Milan shirt.

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In the black and red stripes, Pato reached nirvana, playing a brand of football that redefined what we knew the 'beautiful game' to be.

Who can forget the night he played a through ball for himself against Barcelona, before streaking away and slotting home with frightful ease? 

He scored goals for fun, made some of the best defenders on the planet look like schoolboys and had set the foundation for one of the most prolific careers ever.

A compilation of those heady days recently emerged online and it makes for stunning viewing.

Sadly, after a string of injuries and false dawns, Pato's career as one of the greatest to ever kick a ball about never quite materialised.

He was soon back in Brazil after falling out of favour at Milan before spells in England, Spain and China failed to yield any genuinely fruitful returns.

Most recently, he has plied his trade with Orlando City SC in the MLS but is soon to be without a club once again.

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At 32, Pato really is one of the greatest what if stories that football has ever known.

The meteoric talent was clear for all to see, but all the promise and anticipation fell a bit flat in the end.

Still, at least we have his ridiculous Milan days to look back on and enjoy. He might not have become the world-beater everyone thought he would be, but he at least gave us that gift.

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