MLS

Alexandre Pato declined offers from Europe to play for Orlando City SC

In August 2020 the 31-year-old striker ended his contract with São Paulo and became a free agent. He had several offers from European clubs but decided to turn them down.

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Alexandre Pato declined offers from Europe to play for Orlando City SC

Alexandre Pato is one of the biggest signings in Major League Soccer ahead of the 2021 season. The Brazilian striker signed a one year deal with Orlando City FC and arrived as a free agent after finishing his contract with São Paulo on 21 August 2020.

Pato turned down European clubs

Pato emerged as one of Brazil’s most talented players after he broke Pele’s record as the youngest goalscorer at a FIFA event. At the time he was 17 and had been playing for the youth team since 2000. In 2007 he signed with AC Milan where he reached a peak in his career and scored 63 goals in 150 appearances, but after that he roamed around several clubs.

Earlier this year he decided to continue his career in the MLS and on Friday he addressed the media for the first time after receiving his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. The striker said that he had other offers on the table, but he wanted to play in Major League Soccer.

"I received many opportunities to go to Europe again, to Asia and the Emirates. I said to my family, 'No, I want to be more happy.' I don't know, maybe other places have very good football and nice people, but I said, 'No, I want a new challenge' but I need to find someplace nice for a family," Pato said.

“I expected for the new step, for the new club to get my happiness back for myself. I want to just be happy. I am 31-years-old and I am still so young. My mentality is empowered. I understand what I need to do to enjoy my work. I need to work hard. You get some things important in your life, you need to work hard. So that’s my challenge when I accept to come to Orlando,” he added.