Josè Fernando Viana de Santana, a.k.a. Fernandão, is one of the top-scorers of the Turkish Super Lig. The Bursaspor striker, who scored also last Friday against Balikesirspor, is racing against big names like Demba Ba, Oscar Cardozo and Burak Yilmaz. But first of all, where does Fernandão come from? To understand deeply his story we should take a step back and enjoy a trip to Brazil, the land of samba, Futebol bailado and other stunning shades. Or shadows, as the ones we will find about today, with a very key question: who is Eduardo Uram?
NOT SO MUCH ‘FUTEBOL BAILADO’ - Welcome to Brazil. This story, however, isn’t like the ones you’re used to hear from such an outstanding country. Admit it, you’re accustomed to great stories of football and Brazil: the carioca or paulista country, full of colours, contrasts and shades we might just imagine. Fernandão is surely part of that background, as he’s grown there. By the way in his explosion as a football striker there’s no romanticism, no sound of the samba drums and the street futebol loving atmosphere tales we’re used to know. In his development as an athlete, he’s influenced as many other Brazilian home-grown talents by many hidden characters, mysterious figures looking for bargain: we’re talking about TPO and investment funds, commissions, agents and many secret hands that we’re all about to unveil.
PARCEIRO DE MI VIDA - Fernandão‘s story begins right in the hands of Eduardo Uram, a kind of intermediary, mediator, football agent. Define it as you prefer, but the right word to speak about his role might be parceiro, as it works in Brazil: he’s not just a player’s manager, he often controls (directly) shareholdings of some clubs. These practices were described very well by Italian sociologist and journalist Pippo Russo (his enlightening article was unfortunately removed and is impossible to find online right now). Russo made us aware of how Eduardo Uram‘s empire works. The Brazilian parceiro is in constant contact with all the football organizations, especially the growing ones: China is a perfect example (you might remember many “transfer roads” between the two countries recently…). All of these moves have an epicentre: Tombense, the Brazilian club that “hosts” many Uram-owned players.
ROOTS - You might understand now why, at the end, Fernandão‘s story is not so romantic: his football roots are here, in Uram‘s controlled club. Well, in fact Uram is also Fernandão‘s agent. Coincidence? Well, think about it. But another fact should be analyzed as well: Fernandão will almost never play for Tombense FC. His career, which started in 2008 under Eduardo Uram‘s oversight, is weird: the striker is loaned out from Tombense at least once per year. You might know how this is a key factor in transfer market: the more you move a player, the more commissions you gain.
IN THE NAME OF URAM - So the agent sends Fernandão on loan to different Brazilian clubs for years. The number of jerseys worn by the now Bursaspor striker is astonishing: Flamengo, Volta Redonda, Macaé, Paysandu, Democrata, Guaranì. Then finally, in 2012, at Palmeiras (always on loan…), the ’87-born striker will find a nice season. Tombense FC receives a 600.000 dollars transfer fee from Atletico Paranaense, which will loan him out to Bahia for a successful spell. Back to Curitiba, Fernandão will be sent out again on another loan. This time a far cry from the Brazilian atmospheres, on a 1 year and a half-long loan with an option of buy-out. It’s Bursaspor‘s turn, and here everything will change.
TURKISH DELIGHTS - Fernandão arrives in Bursa, beautiful and extraordinarily underrated town located not so far from Istanbul in Turkey. Here the Brazilian striker steps tiptoeing, almost as an unknown player. On January 2014 many people were wondering about him: most of all, because of his 6-million buy-out clause, a very high transfer fee which looks partially unreasonable also right now. However, Eduardo Uram has an unfailling flair for business and he knew that Bursa was the perfect place for Fernandão to shine brightly. In 12 months the striker’s value increased blatantly, with many goals and high-quality performances. According to the Transfermarkt database, the carioca striker was valued around 400.000 Euro before the Bursa move, and now he’s worth 4,2 million. Everything under the Green Crocodiles magic jersey.
THE CROCS’ BITE - The Timsahlar (Crocodiles) people are conquered by Fernandão: he scored more than 10 goals just in a half-season, with just 5 months of time. Now the Brazilian man confirmed his skills, by an on-going campaign of 15 goals (still running…). Fernandão is prolific and still the Turkish Super Lig top-scorer, as well as Senol Gunes‘ certainty on the pitch. So the 6-million buy-out clause doesn’t look like an absolute madness but Bursaspor, a club under the UEFA observation for Financial Fair Play violations (the club is still banned for next year’s european competition, if they will manage to qualify), would like to sit on a negotiation table to talk about it calmly.
TRANSFER MARKET’S SIRENS - In these condition Eduardo Uram is like a shark in a sea full of fishes. The Tombense parceiro is on fire, with his telephone always on, in his rich hands. The Turkish press has no doubts: Galatasaray were already contacted last January, to try a summer transfer in case of that missed payment from Bursaspor. Uram is ready to gain a new big commission for his intermediary work. Fernandão looks the perfect striker for the Turkish Super Lig, and a perfect bargain for his agent too.
Were you looking for the Italian version of the article? You’ll find it here.
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