On Thursday, August 7th, Milan fans got their wish. A wish that would perhaps open the door to new opportunities. The 30 year-old Brazilian attacker Robinho was officially loaned to Santos for the entirety of the 2014/15 season. He put pen to paper on the contract and Milan fans were instantly relieved as they know that his transfer away from the club could very well mean that new players are coming in. The past few years were pretty brutal for Milan and for Robinho in particular. Let’s reflect on Robinho’s tenure with Milan.
Robinho made the permanent transfer to Milan from Manchester City on August 31st, 2010 for an estimated fee of €18mil. Robinho spent the remainder of that season with Santos on loan as he wanted to get quality minutes in preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Along with Robinho, Milan also acquired superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona. Milan were going for it all with these two additions and man, did they deliver for new manager Massimiliano Allegri.
In Robinho’s first season with Milan in 2010-11, the Brazilian was a key contributor. Robinho netted his first goal for Milan on October 16th, 2010 in a 3-1 win over Chievo Verona. Perhaps his biggest highlight for Milan came in May 2011 when he scored a brace v Cagliari to seal the Scudetto title for Milan. Robinho finished his debut season with 14 goals for the Rossoneri. A good bounce back season for the Brazilian.
In his second season, Robinho scored a total of 6 goals while assisting 9 which isn’t terrible considering Ibrahimovic, Pato and Cassano were the other top forwards for the club. Milan would fall short of winning consecutive league titles that season as Juventus edged the Rossoneri by 4 pts to win the league title. The downfall for Robinho at Milan began in 2012-13 when he saw limited playing time and suffered several injuries that had him sidelined for most of the season. He did score the match winner v Juventus on November 25th, 2012 but the rumors began to swirl about a potential return home to Brazil. Both Milan and Santos agreed on a fee but because Robinho was unwilling to reduce his wage demands, the deal fell apart and he remained with Milan. However, Milan and Robinho did agree to a restructured contract that would cut the player’s wages a bit and keep the player in Milano until 2016.
In what would be his final season with Milan, Robinho failed to replicate his 2010-11 form. He suffered more injuries and seemingly got lost in the mix as an option for Allegri and then Seedorf. His final bright moment for Milan came in the Champions League Group Stages against Barcelona when he scored a goal set up by fellow Brazilian Kaká. Messi would equalize and the match ended 1-1.
Statistics don’t fully show how well a player has performed. Robinho had some bright moments for Milan, showing his exceptional footwork and skill with the ball while also being a major contributor for Milan’s 18th Scudetto winning squad. However, if you watched most of the matches, you began to get angry at the blown goal chances to put games away or jump back into them. Robinho missed several “sitters” in front of the net and Milan fans began to question just how long he will remain with the club. He was being paid handsomely at Milan and he was among he highest paid players on the squad. Despite his great effort and good attitude when playing time decreased, it was time for Robinho to end his Milan career.
The last few seasons were rough for Robinho and his wage rate put a damper on any potential moves Milan needed to make. But let’s not forget just how good he was in his first two seasons for Milan. He helped bring title number 18 to Milan and he also helped secure the Supercoppa Italiana in 2011. Some Milan fans won’t appreciate everything you did for the club but I refuse to forget the joy you brought to Milan. Thanks for everything Robinho and good luck at Santos and during the remainder of your career.