For many, Alexandre Pato’s is a story of what might have been.

In 2008/09, he scored 18 goals in 42 matches in all competitions, winning the Golden Boy and Serie A Young Footballer of the Year awards. By the end of the following season, he’d netted another 16 goals in 33 appearances, lifted the Serie A title with AC Milan, and was scoring with regularity for Brazil.

But that is undoubtedly where Pato’s career peaked. From there, a number of injuries and inconsistent form sent him on a pit-stop tour of global soccer, turning out for the likes of Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Chelsea, Villarreal, and Tianjin Quanjian.

Nowadays, of course, Pato is in Florida with Orlando City. Injury struck once again in his first year, limiting him to just four MLS regular-season appearances. But in 2022, Pato has already played 14 times across all competitions, scoring three goals and assisting another three.

And after everything that’s happened, that’s what Pato is thankful for; being fit and able to step out onto the field, week after week.

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