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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 07:20 GMT 08:20 UK
Kleberson: Made for the Premiership
By Tim Vickery

Kleberson of Brazil
Kleberson had a superb World Cup
It is difficult to think of a Brazilian midfielder more suited to the Premiership than Kleberson.

In his native land most midfielders specialise in either defensive or attacking duties - like, for example, Gilberto Silva and Juninho.

But Kleberson is a genuine all-rounder. He is firm in the tackle, he can run all day, he can pass long or short with either foot and frequently gets on the scoresheet.

The 24-year-old had a superb World Cup. In the final he was the best player on the field after Ronaldo.

Once the tournament was over, his club, Atletico Paranaense, thought it would be easy to cash in on their most valuable property.

At any other time they would surely have been right. But with the collapse in the European transfer market, suddenly there were no buyers around who were prepared to pay Atletico's price.

As a result it has not been an easy year for Kleberson.

Uncertain of his future, and with the feeling that he had little left to achieve in Brazilian football, it was perhaps inevitable that his form tailed off.

On several occasions he was singled out for boos from the Atletico supporters.

To make matters worse, his international place is also in jeopardy.

In the aftermath of the Confederations Cup, Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has talked of his preference for fielding two midfield anchormen, a formation which would probably leave Kleberson out in the cold.

The move to Manchester United, then, comes as a godsend for a very talented player who is seeking to regain the momentum that last year made him a World Cup winner.


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