On paper, Rangers’ capture of veteran defender Bruno Alves in 2017 should have been a major coup. One year later, however, he left the club having failed miserably to meet the expectations generated by his immense reputation.
“This is one of the best feelings that I have in my career and the last time I was a champion at a club was in Fenerbahce,” he told the club website at the time, full of hope, ambition and joy for what lay before him.
“I want to have this feeling again.”
The more cynical among us may have looked at 35-year-old Bruno Alves and questioned just how sincere he was being when he made the statement, after all – he was fast approaching his retirement age – isn’t that when players cash in? But the Portuguese had just come off the back of an impressive stint in the Serie A with Cagliari and was still involved in the Portuguese national team.
While Alves did not suffer a complete shocker in Glasgow, we think many would agree with us when we say that his 13 months at Ibrox did not blow fans away. The problems the club were facing were far deeper than the ponytail clad juggernaut could clear up himself, unless he two-footed Pedro Caixinha into retirement, of course.
Now it may be slightly disrespectful to reduce the talents of a man who was once a subject of an £18million tug of war between Porto and Zenit St Petersburg to a brick wall, but we are going to anyway. Alves was about as good as it got when it came to aerial duels, pinging things off his head like a bouncy ball off a tennis racket. When faced with a bit of pace and agility, however, he came unstuck and resembled a car without any wheels on it.
Did manage this though…
After agreeing to terminate his contract with Rangers at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign, Alves made his move back to the safety of the Serie A to join newly promoted Parma, who returned to the Italian top flight after declaring bankruptcy in 2015.
With four games remaining of the season and relegation still a possibility, Bruno Alves will be hoping to put all his experience to use and guide the side to safety one head at a time.
Rangers fans, what are your standout memories of Bruno Alves? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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