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While Sir Alex Ferguson failed to prevent Ronaldinho joining Barcelona from Paris St Germain, he may just have bought the heir apparent to Brazil’s number one superstar. There are certainly plenty of similarities between the two South Americans. Both were born in the city of Porto Alegre and both first made an impression with the Gremio club.

Ronaldinho eventually left for France and Anderson followed him to Europe to join Portuguese greats, FC Porto. And while Ronaldinho twice went on to become FIFA World Player of the Year, his 19-year-old compatriot was voted Player of the Tournament at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2005. After a semi-final man-of-the- match display against Holland, he lasted only 15 minutes of the Under 17 final before being carried off on a stretcher. Mexico, who clearly knew Brazil’s dangerman, won the game 3-0.

Just for good measure Anderson and Ronaldinho are both left side attacking midfielders-cum-strikers. It may be early to make these comparisons but Anderson is poised to follow Ronaldinho into the Brazilian national side. He has was called up for the Copa America game in Venezuela though didn’t feature for the former World Cup winners against England at Wembley.

Anderson signed for Porto in December 2005 after helping Gremio back into the top tier of Brazilian football. His goal beat Nautico 1-0 to gain promotion, a match that saw FOUR Gremio players sent-off. In September 2006 he made his Champions League debut against CSKA Moscow and also played against Arsenal. Anderson leaves Porto on a high after helping Jose Mourinho’s former club to a Portuguese Superliga and Cup double.