Eduardo da Silva
Do You Remember This Special Eduardo Goal Against Burnley In 2009?
Eduardo Da Silva is one of football’s great tragedies. The Brazilian born Croatian was one of the most natural and coolest finishers Arsenal had seen since Thierry Henry. He didn’t miss.
The terrible leg break that all but ruined Eduardo’s career at the top-level was heart-breaking, not just for Arsenal fans, but football fans in general.
Eduardo never returned to his best, he didn’t look the same player. Yet, ‘Dudu’, as he was known, showed flashes of his brilliance after recovering from the break. One such example was against Burnley in the spring of 2009. Arsenal play Burnley this weekend, but they probably won’t top this majestic effort by Eduardo…
Eduardo da Silva
Eduardo Alves da Silva (born 25 February 1983), commonly known as Eduardo, sometimes nicknamed Dudu, is a Brazilian-born Croatian footballer who plays for Flamengo. Capable of playing any forward position, he started as a striker, but is deployed mostly as a winger or second striker during the last few years.
He began his career with his hometown club in Brazil, Bangu Atlético Clube. He later joined Dinamo Zagreb’s youth team. He spent a period on loan at Inter Zaprešić, scoring 10 goals in 15 matches. His prolific scoring at Dinamo Zagreb, where he scored 74 times in 111 appearances, attracted the interest of Arsenal who signed him for a fee of £7.5 million in 2007. A serious leg injury hampered his time with Arsenal and, after 3 seasons with the club, he moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010.
Eduardo took up Croatian citizenship in 2002 and made his international debut for the Croatian senior team as a second-half substitute in a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland on 16 November 2004 at the age of 21. He was selected by the national team’s coach Slaven Bilić for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament and again by Niko Kovač for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. With 29 goals scored for Croatia, Eduardo is the team’s second most prolific striker on record, behind Davor Šuker with 45 goals.
On 3 July 2007, Arsenal confirmed that terms had been agreed with Dinamo Zagreb for the transfer of Eduardo for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £7.5 million, subject to receiving a work permit. The initial work permit application was turned down by the Home Office, but the appeal hearing on 2 August reversed the decision.
Eduardo made his Premier League debut on 19 August 2007 in Arsenal’s 1–1 draw at Blackburn Rovers. Ten days later, he netted his first competitive goal for the Gunners in their Champions League qualifier against Sparta Prague, which Arsenal won 3–0. Eduardo scored his first group-stage goal in the Champions League on 19 September 2007 against Sevilla. While still fighting to find his place as a regular in the Premier League for Arsenal, Eduardo continued to display his goalscoring abilities in the Carling Cup, scoring two braces in two consecutive matches for the club, against Sheffield United andBlackburn Rovers, and helping them to reach the semi-finals of the competition. Eduardo found more playing time in all competitions due to Robin van Persie’s lengthy injury and found himself partnering Emmanuel Adebayor more often.
Eduardo finally managed establish his place in Arsenal’s starting line-up in the Premier League over Christmas and New Year period, scoring his first two Premier League goals in a 4–1 win at Everton on 29 December 2007, first levelling the score and then putting Arsenal 2–1 up in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. On New Year’s Day 2008, he opened the scoring after only 72 seconds of the match against West Ham United; Arsenal went on to win 2–0. On the first weekend of the new year, he had a successful FA Cup debut as Arsenal faced Championship side Burnley on the road, first scoring the opening goal early on, and then setting up a second for Nicklas Bendtner midway through the second half. In the following three matches in January, he set up three more goals, providing two assists and winning a penalty. He went on to help Arsenal to return to the top of the Premier League in early February, scoring a skilful over-the-shoulder flick in a 3–1 away victory over Manchester City and assisting Philippe Senderos for an early goal in a 2–0 win over Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates.
On 23 February 2008, Eduardo suffered a broken left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle in a match against Birmingham City, following a tackle by Martin Taylor, for which Taylor was sent off. Eduardo was immediately taken to Selly Oak Hospital, where he underwent surgery. Gilberto Silva was the only person in the vicinity who spoke both Portuguese and English and was able to translate communication between Eduardo and the medical team. Eduardo’s injury was so graphic that Sky Sports, which was broadcasting the game live, decided not to show replays of the incident. Arsène Wenger initially called for a lifetime ban for Taylor, but retracted his comments later. Although blame was aimed at Taylor for making the tackle, teammates and mentors stated that it was not possible that he would do such an act deliberately. Taylor claimed to have visited Eduardo in hospital and that an apology was accepted; Eduardo, however, could not remember Taylor’s visit or even the tackle. Some cite the incident as a cause of Arsenal failing to maintain their lead in the Premier League title race that season.
Return to action
A week later, Eduardo was accused of simulation by the Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith to win a penalty in the 3–1 Champions League win overCeltic; Smith also demanded a ban for the striker. On 28 August, Eduardo was charged by UEFA with “deceiving the referee” over the penalty incident and subsequently punished with a two-match European ban, However, the ruling was overturned on appeal with Arsenal producing video evidence showing the claim of simulation was inconclusive and testimony supporting the appeal also coming from Manuel Enrique Mejuto González, who had awarded the penalty. Eduardo later scored the winning goal in Arsenal’s 3–2 win over Standard Liège on 16 September 2009. In November 2009, Eduardo signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal. He then scored his second Premier League goal of the season against Hull City on 19 December and scored again eleven days later in the 4–1 win over Portsmouth. Eduardo headed the winner in a 2–1 win over West Ham United to put Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 3 January 2010. However, Arsenal were subsequently knocked out by Stoke City 3–1 at the Britannia Stadium.
Spectacular return to the Emirates