Manchester United fan favourite Anderson has retired from football [Goal] at the age of 31, but how did a youngster who was tipped to become one of the world’s best allow his career to fizzle out in obscurity?

The Brazilian has called time on a career that lasted 15 years, which included some bizarre transfer moves, with the highlight being his eight-year trophy filled spell at Old Trafford. He won four Premier League titles, four more than Steven Gerrard, not that the Liverpudlian needed reminding, but Anderson couldn’t resist [ESPN Brazil].

He joined in 2007, from Porto as a 19-year-old to become the club’s second Brazilian player after Kleberson, he joined alongside Nani, and there was a real buzz amongst United fans that they had poached the best two talents from Primeira Liga.

Anderson’s finest hour in a United shirt was that famous night in Moscow in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson showed the faith he had in the Brazilian, after he brought him on in extra time to take a penalty. Anderson repaid the faith with a clinical spot kick, and went on to lift the Champions League trophy.

United fans loved his energy and samba style dance moves, it was enough for the Brazilian to get a song named after him, much to Cesc Fabregas’ dismay.

He was also awarded the prestigious Golden Boy award given to the most promising youngster in world football, in 2008.

But where did it all go wrong for the talented midfielder…?

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

A desire to keep fit

Anderson played 181 times for United in all competitions, scoring five goals, but for a man who was labelled one of Brazil’s great hopes, he only represented his country eight times.

Injuries started to hold United’s former number 8 back, and every time he came back into the side, he looked worryingly off the pace. He only played more than 20 league games in one season once at Old Trafford, and that was his first year.

After the retirement of Sir Alex, it was clear that neither David Moyes or Louis van Gaal saw Anderson as part of their plans.

Having been so frequently injured, Anderson failed to undertake the required amount of fitness training to quickly get back to peak condition, he was struggling to shift weight.

What happened next?

Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images

It was clear that Anderson’s career at Old Trafford was over when he became a regular fixture in the reserve side.

In the 2013/14 season, he had a loan spell at Fiorentina in the second part of the season where he made 8 appearances, and in 2015 he went back to his native country to join Internacional, which ended in disaster as the club got relegated for the first time in their 107-year history.

The following season saw Anderson loaned to top-flight Coritiba, although a continued lack of impact on the pitch resulted in another relegation

His last venture was with Turkish second-division side Adana Demirspor, where he only managed 45 minutes of football this season, he was no longer making the match day squads, before making the decision to retire.

The Brazilian will remain with the club in an off-field role and has taken a significant pay-cut.

Adana are planning to hold a testimonial match for Anderson on October 12th against Besiktas.

The midfielder certainly never reached the heights he was tipped to reach as a wonderkid but he retires as a cult hero at Old Trafford.

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