Soccer star Hernane: 'no' to Shanghai
Updated: 2014-03-24 05:58
By JACK FREIFELDER in New York (China Daily Latin America)
A combination of finances and a desire to stay with his home team
Brazilian soccer forward Hernane Vidal de Souza, known colloquially as Hernane, has rejected a move to join Chinese Super League team Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, according to a report from Lance!, a Brazilian daily sports newspaper.
Hernane's agent Paul Pitombeira confirmed the news in a Feb 27 interview with Lance!
"The will of Hernane was always to remain at Flamengo," Pitombeira said. "He very much wants to help Flamengo win this Libertadores [Cup]."
The 27-year-old striker, who plays for Clube de Regatas do Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro, had been mentioned recently in connection with the possibility of a transfer to Shanghai Shenhua.
However, nothing happened before the Chinese Football Association's transfer window closed on Feb 28.
The 118-year-old Brazilian club — which currently plays at the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho in Rio, also known as the Maracaña — has had a good deal of success in recent years, including winning the Campeonato Brasileirao in 2009.
Brazil's largest football stadium, the Maracaña is set to host a number of games in the upcoming 2014 World Cup, including the final on July 13.
Negotiations on Hernane between Flamengo and Shanghai Shenhua broke down due to both the financials of the deal and Hernane's interest in remaining with his current team in Rio.
Hernane scored a goal on Feb 26 in Flamengo's most recent Copa Libertadores match, which reinforced the forward's commitment to his Brazilian team.
A move to China financially "is a very good contract for me", Hernane said following a 3-1 victory. "But from the standpoint of football, at the moment it's very good to stay in Brazil."
Pitombeira announced that the Flamengo striker would receive a 20 percent salary increase.
Economic rights to Hernane are divided into three segments: Flamengo holds 50 percent, businessman and agent Pitombeira owns 35 percent, and the remaining 15 percent belongs to sports management firm Energy Sports.
Before the deadline passed, some of Hernane's teammates offered their takes on the possibility of the departure of the team's leading scorer.
"No program is ever ready for a sudden departure," Flamengo midfielder André Santos told ESPN Brazil. "But if it happens, what can players do? If it's good for him, I think he must abide by it in a quiet way so he can pursue his career — but life goes on."
Had Hernane transferred to Shanghai, he would have become the second Brazilian player to transfer to China in the past month.
Paulo Andre — a Brazilian soccer player and leader of the Brazilian rights movement Bom Senso FC — announced his transfer from Brazil's Corinthians Paulista to China's Shanghai Shenhua in February.
The 30-year-old defender, who had been with Corinthians since 2009, is well-known for his play on the field but his leadership of the Bom Senso FC movement, which seeks to improve professional soccer players' living conditions, is arguably his most important off-field endeavor.
Flamengo defender Leonardo Moura said his teammates would be happy for Hernane regardless of what happens, but he said "every player dreams of playing outside the country".