The most expensive defender in RPL history nearly lost his job. I asked Ronaldo for Alves
In August 2010, Zenit made a big deal – a Portuguese defender came to Russia worth € 22 million. Bruno Alves moved to the St. Petersburg team from Porto, becoming the most expensive defense player in RPL history (and still remains so) … 11 years later, the 39-year-old Portuguese changed three clubs over the summer and almost lost his job. We will tell you what happened to the Portuguese after leaving Zenit and last summer.
How Bruno Alves became the hero of Karpin’s cult phrase
Alves scored the first goal for Zenit by one of his former teams, AEK, in a Europa League match. The Portuguese immediately won a place in the starting lineup and in three years in St. Petersburg won two championships, became the owner of the Russian Super Cup and the silver medalist of the 2012/2013 season. A few months after moving to Zenit, Bruno’s surname was mentioned in a cult phrase. Making excuses to the Spartak fans for the aggregate defeat of Porto, head coach Valery Karpin cited the defeat of the St. Petersburg club as an example: Twente sent them a three-ruble note, with Bruno Alves! And with Danny! “
The best years of the most expensive defender in the history of the RPL fell on the period of performances for Porto, Zenit and Fenerbahce, with whom he won the championship and the Turkish Super Cup. At the beginning of June 2016, Alves left Fenerbahce and moved to Cagliari and won the title of European champion that summer.
Alves’ adventures after Zenit: five clubs in five years
The peak point of Bruno’s career was Euro 2016, in which he, however, played only one match – the semi-final with Wales. From 2016 to summer 2021, Alves played 37 games for Cagliari, 25 for Rangers and 86 for Parma, but did not win any trophies. The way with the Italian club ended for Alves with a departure from Serie A, so the defender decided to find a new team, especially since the Parmesans themselves did not plan to renew the contract with the player.
Bruno dreamed of finishing at home with Boavista, which had been calling the defender to her since the fall of 2020. Nevertheless, something did not grow together in the negotiation process, and Alves’ choice fell on another Portuguese club – Famalican. However, just three weeks after signing the contract, Bruno left Famalikan due to disagreements with the management. Alves until the end of the summer unsuccessfully tried to get somewhere, but only in September he set off on a new journey – he signed a contract with the Greek team Apollo Smyrnis. The Portuguese has entered into an agreement calculated until June 30, 2022.
Unsurprisingly, the nearly 40-year-old Alves was not in demand in the transfer market. The problems with finding a team were so serious that even Cristiano Ronaldo tried to help a friend find a job. A few hours before moving to Manchester United, in a private conversation with one of the football people, the forward asked to arrange Alves in the Portuguese Nacional.
The defender’s best years are long over, but he might pull off the Greek championship. Interestingly, during Alves’ career, only two teams paid for his transfer – Zenit and Fenerbahce (€ 5.5 million). It is unlikely that the Portuguese played in St. Petersburg with the money that the Russian club gave for him.