'They were never thinking of playing him': how Fabinho was sold by his first pro club just for €250k

'They were never thinking of playing him': how Fabinho was sold by his first pro club just for €250k
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  • As a teenager, Fabinho played as a right-back.
  • At Fluminense, however, he was below several players in the pecking order and did not feature once.
  • Rather than develop the player, the club decided to cash in on him when they could.

"At the beginning, Fabinho had a good career in the base divisions of Brazilian soccer at Paulinia," Tiago Ferreira, a Brazilian football expert, told the Liverpool Echo.

"Paulinia is a small club in Sao Paulo and he was discovered by Fluminense, at that time as a right-back. He did not look so promising at that time but he had good technique and physical performance.

"But Fluminense already had two right-backs - Igor Julião, who was the best in his position at the club, and others [Wallace Oliveira and Wellington Silva].

"Fluminense is a club without so much money but is always trying to fight to become champion of the league here. They sell a lot of younger players when they can [to raise funds] and Fabinho was one of them."

As a result, in the summer of 2012, the then-18-year-old who had not played once for Fluminense was sold to Portuguese outfit Rio Ave. As per Transfermarkt, he cost €500,000, but Ferreira claims that Fluminense actually got just half of that price.

"For sure [Fluminense regret letting him go so cheaply]," Ferreira added. "They have changed defensive midfielder four times since Fabinho left so they could have taken the player and they may have got a better value when they came to sell him.

"Instead, they sold a player who was not playing in the XI and he was seen by the supporters as an irrelevant player at that time - unbelievable if you see that now. They were never thinking of playing him, but using him as an investment."

As you know, Fabinho was shifted to midfield at Monaco and sold to Liverpool for €45m in 2018. While they were kicking themselves at Fluminense, Fabinho helped the Reds win the Champions League and the Premier League in his first two seasons at Anfield.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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