Footballers giving quotes to their home press and then claiming they were misquoted is a growing trend. Sometimes they are correct but it's not usually the press in their own country doing the misquoting. For example, last week Marouane Fellaini spoke to Sport Wereld in Belgium and The Sun and Sky somehow changed his quotes into a Chelsea come-and-get-me-plea, completely changing the words he had actually said.
Therefore when Sky Sports today said they had quotes from Anderson saying that he'd tried to leave Manchester United, it sounded suspicious The person who had written the article for them was Paulo Freitas who is an excellent source for all things from the Brazilian media so that instantly gave it some credibility.
Globo Esporte were the Brazil source named and the quotes are certainly on Globo Esporte, tucked away at the bottom of an interview they did with Rafael after the Real Madrid match. Sky Sports haven't changed them and the translation hasn't been bent in order to make them a bit sexier. Paulo was entirely correct to say Globo quoted Anderson as saying "What can I say? I have three more years of contract, I have tried to leave many times and never succeeded to do so."
He'd first been asked about the Brazil squad, Brazilians call this the Seleção which means the 'Selection'.
"Selection? Selection is always good, but now we have to think back on that game (Real Madrid) and the Premiership."
Reading between the lines it sounds like Rafael was asked about the national squad first and he said that, because he's getting in the Manchester United team on a regular basis, he hoped that would springboard him into the squad. Then Globo move on to Anderson and say he hasn't been getting in the team and they build a picture of frustration, claiming he has little hope of being called up by Scolari.
Globo Esporte have no reason to make the quote up, they haven't even highlighted it or given it its own article. It's just at the bottom of an article focused on Rafael, and that perhaps explains how much Anderson's star has fallen in Brazil. Next year the country hosts the World Cup and being in that squad is a huge deal, if Anderson can see his chances fading, whilst his young team mate sees his increasing, then it's going to get to him.
He posted the following on his Instagram account early on Friday evening:
Anderson appears to be denying it or regretting it. Globo Esporte aren't someone who we've seen make up quotes or change quotes before. They are a reliable source of information in South America and specifically Brazil, part of the huge Globo group.
If they were going to make up Anderson quotes then it would be pointless for them to then hide those quotes at the bottom of an article on Rafael. There is no gain for them in doing that, the midfielder just isn't the big news over there that he perhaps once was.
Anderson denied rumours linking him to Benfica last October and told Desporto in Portugal that he'd never join the club because he had too much respect for Porto, but he did say he'd like to play in the country, and for Porto, again.
In August 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson was quoted by The Daily Mail as confirming that Anderson had asked to leave the club "When he does understand that (a squad system), he will be a fantastic player here but last season he was talking about leaving because he was not playing in every game.
"I didn't talk to him about leaving. I just let him get it out of his system. Maybe the injury has quelled the storm in his body because he came back here with the same enthusiasm and has been telling me he is ready to play."
This is one of those situations where people will have to use their own judgement, but we simply can't see the motive for Globo to make the quotes up from thin air. Their reporter who wrote the article was in Madrid and took the quotes directly. It seems more like frustration on Anderson's behalf after only getting on with five minutes left against Real Madrid. Given that Ferguson himself has confirmed a past desire for Anderson to leave, it's not exactly shocking stuff either.
If he can get fit and stay fit, and then not get regular games, an exit would be a realistic solution for him if he thinks he still has a chance of getting in the Brazil World Cup squad.
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