Villarreal have signed former Brazil international Pato from Corinthians for €3 million. The 26-year-old striker has signed a four-year deal with El Submarí Groguet.
The transfer fee reportedly is for only 60% of Pato’s economic rights with the remaining 40% will stay with the player. His arrival means that Villarreal boss Marcelino Garcia Toral has solved one of the problems he had ahead of the new season in bolstering the team’s attack.
It is remarkable that Pato is still only 26 as he seems to have been around for ever. The striker burst onto the scene at Internacional in 2006, when at just 16 he scored 12 goals in 27 appearances and helped them win the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.
In August 2007, he signed for AC Milan and in 2009 he won both the Golden Boy and Serie A Young Footballer of the Year awards. During the 2010-11 season, he helped Milan win the Serie A, where he was the club’s joint top scorer with 14 goals in 25 games.
Injuries and a loss of form in 2011-12 led the striker to return to Brazil in an attempt to rediscover his scoring touch. In In January 2013, Milan sold him to Corinthians for €15 million, where he won the Campeonato Paulista with the club.
In 2014, Pato joined São Paulo on a two-year loan deal, where he went on to play 95 games, scoring 38 goals for the club. In January 2016, Pato transferred to English Premier League club Chelsea on a loan deal, where once again injuries stopped his progress and he made only two appearances for the London club.
A full international for Brazil since 2008, Pato was part of their squads which won the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and competed at the 2011 Copa América. He also won two consecutive Olympic medals for the country, a bronze in 2008 and silver four years later.