Manchester United fans will remember Anderson with mixed emotions.
The Brazilian mostly flattered to deceive at Old Trafford but still produced some good moments - including, perhaps most notably, his penalty in the shoot-out against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final - and left the club with a host of major honours to his name.
Anderson spent a total of eight years(!) at United and finally left the club in 2015 with four Premier League winners’ medals, a Champions League title, a FIFA Club World Cup title and a League Cup medal.
Sir Alex Ferguson never carried passengers during his tenure at United, but the legendary Scot clearly had a soft spot for Anderson.
The South American was, by all accounts, a popular member of the squad and brought positive vibes to the dressing room.
However, it’s easy to forget that Anderson was one of the world’s most highly-rated young midfielders when United signed him from FC Porto back in 2007.
Nani also joined Man Utd at the same time, but Anderson was the player who appeared to have all the tools required to become a Premier League superstar.
Rafael: Anderson had world-class talent but loved McDonald's
Former United right-back Rafael believes his compatriot could have become the world’s best player if it wasn’t for his love of food - specifically McDonald’s.
In an extract from his joint autobiography with twin brother Fabio - The Sunshine Kids - published by The Mirror, Rafael wrote: “We could be on the team coach and pass the services on the motorway and Anderson would jump up impulsively and yell 'McDonald's, McDonald's.'
“The guy was crazy, but I love him. Give him a football and he would just play with freedom and sometimes, if he got a good run of games, he could play as well as any player in the league.
“Not only that, but when he was playing well, we were playing brilliant football. He picked up a lot of big injuries and then his problems with eating the way he did started to affect him.
“It was no coincidence that his best form came when he had a lot of games because that was when he couldn't eat so much. I will say something about Anderson – if he had been a professional football player, he could have been the best in the world.
“I'm saying this with all seriousness. I don't know if he ever took anything seriously. He just loved life in such an easy and casual way.
“In some ways that was a quality. It was what made him so popular and one of the most popular players at the club.
“But he would just eat whatever was put in front of him.”
What happened to Anderson after he left Man Utd?
Although he enjoyed a decent career at the top level, it’s a huge shame that Anderson was unable to fulfil his huge potential.
He returned to his native Brazil in 2015, signing for Internacional, who had never been relegated before in their entire history until the midfielder’s arrival.
One year later, they were relegated from the Brazilian top flight.
Anderson then joined Coritiba on loan. They were also relegated from Brazil’s top tier.
After a disastrous return to Brazil, Anderson went on to sign for Turkish second division side Adana Demirspor in July 2018, where he made just 15 appearances before announcing his retirement one year later at the age of 31.
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