Kerlon came into prominence on the back of his eye-catching performances at the U17 South American and World championships of 2005, with his unique way of dribbling past players by flicking the ball onto his head and running towards the opposition goal leading to numerous fouls on him and Diego Rocha Coelho earning a five-match ban for hitting him with an elbow..
YouTube helped propagate his popularity as the video-sharing website was still in its early years and millions from around the world trooped online to watch Kerson perform the 'drible la foquinha' (seal dribble).
Kerlon's transfer to Europe came in 2008, after signing for Genoa on loan from Inter as an affiliate by using Genoa's non-EU quota. Injuries became unkind to Kerlon, particularly a recurrent knee injury and he spent the next nine years playing for seven clubs in diverse countries like Japan, Malta, and the USA.
Kerlon's last club was Spartak Trnava in Slovakia and after his contract got terminated in 2017, Kerlon announced his retirement from football at the very young age of 30. A rather sad end about what injuries did to a story whose beginning had so much promise.Published 21 Jul 2018, 13:29 IST