Going from one of Portugal's brightest young talents destined to follow in the footsteps of Iberian legends Luis Figo and Rui Costa to been European castaway exiled to Dubai.
Many words have been used to describe Ricardo Quaresma over the past decade, the unpredictable winger has been labeled an underachiever by many who cite his volatile, petulant, selfish and questionable work ethic as leading contributors to the unfulfilled potential of one of the most promising and exciting players to come out of Sporting Lisbon's famed academy in recent times.
The 30-year-old undoubtedly displayed the best football of his career for FC Porto from 2004-2008, after a perhaps premature transfer to Catalonian giants Barcelona in 2003 at the tender age of nineteen. A tumultuous relationship with then-manager Frank Rijkaard led to the winger's public criticism of both the manager and the club in an interview with Catalunya Radio.
"I have not gotten the opportunities nor do I have the confidence of the manager," Quaresma told the radio station.
"At Sporting Lisbon I was always given a free role and I was brought to Barca under the pretences that I would be allowed to play the same way.
"At Barca, I always play glued to the wing and can never get out of this role. Furthermore, playing 15 or 20 minutes a game will not help me adjust to this role," he said.
After his success in his homeland for Porto he attracted the interest of Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho, who confessed his admiration for Quaresma's talent and parted with a fee believed to be in the region of €18.6 million plus Pele. However, after a horrifying start to life in the Serie A he was loaned out to Mourinho's former club Chelsea for the remainder of the season.
The next season he returned to his parent club and was plagued with inconsistency and finding it difficult to cement a place in the first team plans, he was sparingly used in the treble-winning Inter Milan side.
Frustration on both part of the club and the player settled in as attempts to sell him were proving futile until Besiktas secured the signature of the disgruntled winger who was left out of Portugal's World Cup squad much to his dismay.
Unfortunately some impressive displays on the pitch were overshadowed by controversy that continued to follow the troubled trickster. The animosity continued until tempers boiled over and he had an altercation with Carlos Carvalhal who was manager of the club at the time, Quaresma reacted angrily to been substituted and reportedly launched water bottles at the coach at the half-time interval before going on a vicious tirade chastising Carvalhal.
Nine months later he was released by the Turkish club and went on to surprisingly sign with Dubai club Al Ahli, but this proved to be the shortest stay of his career at a club as he was released five months later.
His poor attitude and temperamental issues have scared numerous teams from pursuing him and his toxic relationships with past managers have damaged his reputation in the eyes of many. Still a free agent Quaresma signed with FC Porto for a second time on the January 1 2014 and maybe the return to familiar surroundings will help revitalise the career of the once heavily touted forward.
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