By Rodney Ballantine
The evolution of Sevilla has already started, with the club looking to start again, after a period of years that has reaped great rewards for the team on the pitch in the shape of cups, top four placed finishes in the league and their subsequent appearances in Europe’s top competition the Champions League (for the first time in their history). Things though, like in life and football, cannot and don’t go on forever, with football always being about cycles. It’s difficult for a team to reach a good level, but it is even harder for them to stay there, and then do it consistently for years to come after that. This inevitably leads to many of the players that were key in a period of success for a club, to have to move on, to pastures anew and for the club to replace these, with ones that will take over, and hopefully be better than those who they replaced.
One player key to Sevilla´s recent successful past, has been Luis Fabiano, the Brazilian played instrumental parts in the re-establishment of Sevilla as a major force in Spain and in Europe. Fabiano up until he joined Sevilla, had enjoyed very limited success in Europe with spells in the French league with Rennes and in the Portuguese with Porto. Both were only to be for a period of one season each, as he found goals very hard to come by, so much so that he only scored three goals, with these coming for Porto, and managing none with Rennes. The spell with Rennes was sandwiched between the other club where he enjoyed success, that being Sao Paulo of Brazil and whom he has recently rejoined again after six and a half seasons playing in Europe. Porto decided to sell on the player to Sevilla where his first season would be much more significantly successful than his previous campaigns in European leagues.
In his first season, Fabiano finished second to David Guiza (then of Getafe) in the top goal scorer ranks with a total of 24 goals and more importantly scoring in the final of the UEFA cup in the 4 – 0 hammering of English side, Middlesborough and was also pivotal in his sides successful defense of the same cup the season after as well as their great league performance, which meant they qualified for Europe’s main competition the Champions league.
He would go on to score a total of 72 goals in 147 appearances for Sevilla, which was nearly a goal every other game, an achievement not so easy to accomplish in a league as tough as the Spanish, placing him as one of the most successful foreign imports to play there in the history of the league.
Fabiano continued to impress in the following seasons at Sevilla, and as is always the case with players performing at high levels consistently well, was linked regularly with moves abroad to big clubs playing in the other main competitions in Europe. The most serious bidders were that of Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League and also AC Milan of Serie A, where it was reported the striker pleaded with the club to let him go, but as history states, this request was rejected by Sevilla and thus Fabiano continued plying his trade in Spain, and even signed a new contract until 2013 and stating his willingness to stay “This is my home, I’ve been here six seasons and I will try to continue scoring goals and continue making history for Sevilla”. In the end though Sevilla and Fabiano give into their thoughts and Fabiano returned to Brazil and the club received a nice sum of money in the form of 7.6 million Euros, a good bit of business for a player who is now thirty years of age, and who had served them for many years.
So what now for Fabiano? First of all he will be looking to make a big impression in the Brazilian league, which will be difficult, giving the amount of big names that have recently returned to their homeland to play again. Also on the horizon is the World Cup which will be held in Brazil in 2014, something which maybe coincides with the arrival of those returning from Europe, and with Brazilian coach Menezes liking a target man up front, this could be a good opportunity to press his claim for a tournament in which every Brazilian player will want to play in, and with Brazil short in this area, and the only obvious other, being that of Adriano, who also will return to Brazil, most probably with Corinthians, being in what seems a nightmare moment of his career, then the scene seems to be set for Fabiano to shine. He will be greatly missed by Sevilla, that’s for sure.