Author Topic: Fabio Aurelio  (Read 156972 times)

Offline Crazynumber9

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1600 on: March 15, 2009, 12:57:59 PM »
Fabio has been in awesome form over the last month and the way he has handled 2 of the worlds best wingers in Ronaldo and Robben should shut up some of the naysayers.

Brilliant freekick too, which just proves he should take most of our set pieces and leave Stevie to lurk at the edge of the box.
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Offline thredworm

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1601 on: March 15, 2009, 08:09:04 PM »
Should be more love for the little guy if you ask me.

Last season he was without doubt our best fullback. This season, when he's played, I have yet to see him have a bad game. Not saying that he's inspirational every match, but simply that he's been very very solid.

Yesterday he just seemed to have Ronaldo in his pocket and, from what I've seen in today's papers or from the highlights on various tv channels, not one fucker mentioned it. Not one. I lost count of the amount of times he emerged with the ball when faced with the tranny yesterday, although it was hard to see from where I was sat. He just seemed to win it almost every time.

We need some serious love shown to our little Fabio. He looks like he's 9 years old, but he can't half play a bit. Great crosser, great left foot, fucking brilliant attitude. People talk about keeping Torres, Gerrard and Alonso fit for the rest of the season. As far as I'm concerned keeping Fabio fit is just as important.
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Offline ryanh234

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1602 on: March 15, 2009, 10:15:38 PM »
RE: a song for Aurelio, on one of the other forums, they suggested this, to the tune of Supergrass' "pumping on your stereo" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXL_Xb0zT5g)

"We're all singing
Fabio Aurelio-o

We're all singing
Fabio Aurelio-o"

Offline lukas

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1603 on: March 15, 2009, 10:33:27 PM »
"We're all singing
Fabio Aurelio-o

We're all singing
Fabio Aurelio-o"

Good shout.

Fabio, your boss!!!

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Offline Serenity

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1604 on: March 16, 2009, 01:39:37 PM »
RE: a song for Aurelio, on one of the other forums, they suggested this, to the tune of Supergrass' "pumping on your stereo" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXL_Xb0zT5g)

"We're all singing
Fabio Aurelio-o

We're all singing
Fabio Aurelio-o"


would sound amazing on the kop
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Offline Istanbul Therapy Group

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1605 on: March 16, 2009, 02:28:58 PM »
I dunno about that. People forget just how good Riise was for us at his peak.

At his peak, he was good no question. But then he found sayers and stayed at the club 2 years too long.

Fabio is playing extremely well the last 2 months, so calm on the ball. Man of the Match in the Bernabeu and was excellent on Saturday and that free Kick was brilliant.

Well in Fabio lad!!!
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Offline Redcap

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1606 on: March 16, 2009, 02:36:08 PM »
At his peak, he was good no question. But then he found sayers and stayed at the club 2 years too long.

Fabio is playing extremely well the last 2 months, so calm on the ball. Man of the Match in the Bernabeu and was excellent on Saturday and that free Kick was brilliant.

Well in Fabio lad!!!

Riise was always a pretty different kind of player to Fabio though. His distribution and positioning were always on the poor side, and those are qualities I think Rafa looks for from his fullbacks. Particularly Fabio.

Offline hassinator

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1607 on: March 16, 2009, 02:39:18 PM »
At his peak, he was good no question. But then he found sayers and stayed at the club 2 years too long.

Fabio is playing extremely well the last 2 months, so calm on the ball. Man of the Match in the Bernabeu and was excellent on Saturday and that free Kick was brilliant.

Well in Fabio lad!!!

he stood out in a mediocre squad but just doesn't have the touch required to play in a rafa team hence being gradually phased out.  the only thing he has over fabio is a better injury record.  his effort couldn't be faulted and i wouldn't slag him off but his thunderbolt shots where just a cover up for lack of footballing nous and the ability to pick out a cross or a pass.

Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1608 on: March 16, 2009, 02:44:27 PM »

Top corner?!?!?! I'll let you embelish that a bit seeing as we beat the Manc 4-1!!!


Embellish? On the contrary the 'top-corner' description takes something away from Aurelio's execution. He put so much top spin on the ball that the damn thing dropped like a stone once it had cleared the wall - enough to hit the line before it crossed it. In other words the Man Utd wall could have stolen five yards and Fabio would still have scored.
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Offline wednesday25052005

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1609 on: March 16, 2009, 02:54:39 PM »
Great game Fabio,

A great game in every department, marking, passing the lot and topped off with an exquisite, yes, exquisite free kick in front of the wonderfull empty streford end!

Thoroughly deserved after the man of the match performance in the first leg away to R Madrid.

Well in Fabio

Offline Hank Scorpio

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1610 on: March 16, 2009, 02:57:22 PM »
Yep. Sailed into the top corner leaving the keeper helpless and also happened to seal a thumping win at Old Trafford.

Excellence of execution and epic magnitude. Check.

I've never seen Fabio concede a stupid penalty like Evra did today.




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Offline Alonso_The_Assassin

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1611 on: March 16, 2009, 03:10:13 PM »
Fucking love that song.

Let's getting it pumping on Sunday.

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1612 on: March 16, 2009, 03:18:14 PM »
Been brilliant the last month. Proper footballer as well, not all huff and puff like it was with Riise.

Just hope he can stay fit, because he's been outstanding for us.
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Offline Chat Rifles

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1613 on: March 16, 2009, 03:21:14 PM »
Class player. We've been lacking a left footer to take free kicks

Offline thredworm

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1614 on: March 16, 2009, 03:24:43 PM »
He put so much top spin on the ball that the damn thing dropped like a stone once it had cleared the wall - enough to hit the line before it crossed it.

What the hell are you on about?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL72lC1Tq88
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Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1615 on: March 16, 2009, 03:45:45 PM »
What the hell are you on about?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL72lC1Tq88

You think that's the 'top corner'? Yer mad.
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Offline Daranoza

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1616 on: March 16, 2009, 04:06:55 PM »
Wherever it ended up, it was a boss free kick that Gerrard would have most likely skied or hit the wall with. Credit without pedantics.
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Offline Rome-77

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1617 on: March 16, 2009, 04:08:59 PM »
Oh oh oh he's magic-- yer know

Fabio Aureliooo,


the sissoko's magic one tune




Offline zamagiure

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1618 on: March 16, 2009, 04:15:20 PM »
Great to have two good left backs. I wonderd if he would ever score with his free kicks.
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Offline hassinator

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1619 on: March 16, 2009, 05:11:40 PM »
Oh oh oh he's magic-- yer know

Fabio Aureliooo,


the sissoko's magic one tune





that's what's been in my head - killer tune  ;D

Offline thredworm

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1620 on: March 16, 2009, 05:23:47 PM »
You think that's the 'top corner'? Yer mad.

Uhh, no. I'm referring to you saying it hit the line before it went over it.
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Offline newterp

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1621 on: March 16, 2009, 05:43:42 PM »
wonder how good he'd have been without the injury problems.....If everyone recalls he was having his best spell 2 seasons ago when he had the freak injury to rupture his achilles against PSV.  Ever since then it's been in and out of the lineup due to injuries.

The key is - Rafa trusts him implicitly - and when healthy Fabio seems to deliver in a sterady and calm manner.  And damn if he can't whip in a free kick.

This is why I say that he should be Insua's mentor.  Certainly Insua is the future/present, but Aurelio is the present/present.  And who know's getting Insua every 3rd or 4th game might keep Aurelio more healthy.

Offline Adeemo

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1622 on: March 16, 2009, 05:47:55 PM »
I wonder if Dunga has seen any of Fab's recent performances? I hope not, the last thing he needs is more games!
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Offline liverpoolsox

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1623 on: March 16, 2009, 06:00:19 PM »
really good player without doubt our best left back would like to see him in a more attackin wole
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Offline wesley

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1624 on: March 16, 2009, 06:11:17 PM »
I wonder if Dunga has seen any of Fab's recent performances? I hope not, the last thing he needs is more games!

was thinking the same thing over the last couple of days -- no more games for fabio please!

Offline bigbear

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1625 on: March 16, 2009, 06:40:48 PM »
He has been excellent the last few weeks. Very very composed and his confidence is growing.

Hope he can stay fit for a sustained period.

Offline Alf Garnett!

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1626 on: March 16, 2009, 08:06:22 PM »
**BREAKING NEWS**

Fabio Aurelio to audition as a magician on 'Britains Got Talent' as when he scored Liverpool's 3rd 46,000 Man Utd fans disappeared!!

Offline JP-65

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1627 on: March 16, 2009, 08:11:34 PM »
Last season CL semi started to go pear shaped when he got injured at Anfield, replaced by Riise, accentuated further when we lost Skrtel at Stamford Bridge.

Seems to be forgotten how much bad luck we had in those matches.

Offline buchigo!

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1628 on: March 17, 2009, 09:02:56 AM »
Oh oh oh he's magic-- yer know

Fabio Aureliooo,

the sissoko's magic one tune


for some reason i've been walking around singing donovan's mellow yellow with fabio aurelio. all day. :D
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Offline Ultimate Bromance

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1629 on: March 17, 2009, 09:30:04 AM »
**BREAKING NEWS**

Fabio Aurelio to audition as a magician on 'Britains Got Talent' as when he scored Liverpool's 3rd 46,000 Man Utd fans disappeared!!

:lmao

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Offline Yiannis

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1630 on: March 17, 2009, 09:47:56 AM »
He is really class left back.He has everything in his game.Maybe some of us thought he couldn't defend so well as he can attack but on Saturday proved us wrong by completely eliminating the lady boy.He has a terrific cross also in him and he is also a threat in set pieces.His only weakness is that he is injury prone but thank God he has remained fit a lot this season and long that may continue.
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Offline RedMichelFerri

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1631 on: March 17, 2009, 10:04:23 AM »
He is really class left back.He has everything in his game.Maybe some of us thought he couldn't defend so well as he can attack but on Saturday proved us wrong by completely eliminating the lady boy.He has a terrific cross also in him and he is also a threat in set pieces.His only weakness is that he is injury prone but thank God he has remained fit a lot this season and long that may continue.

I think the emergence of Insua and Dossena signing played bit part in him staying injury free compared to last season. Rafa has enough confidence in others to rest Aurelio when needed.
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Offline barnseysleftpeg

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1632 on: March 17, 2009, 10:42:04 AM »
The thing I find funny about Aurelio is the perception that the majority have which is he isn't in the same ball park as say Evra and Clichy or Ashley Cole in terms of talent.  But I think it's clear that the only thing they have over him is pace.  As far as footballing talent goes they are all way behind him.

Aurelio is a footballer as opposed to an athlete who plays football.  Hence why he can play centre midfield, not look out of place and pass almost as well as Alonso.  Maybe it's a Brazilian thing because I remember in world cup 94 in the US the great Leonardo played at LB keeping Roberto Carlos out of the squad he then goes on to become a world class playmaker for Milan years later.  It's something you can imagine Dani Alves doing but not the other three supposedly best LB in the world.

Now my point is not that Evra, Clichy and Cole are crap and it's not that Brazilian players are better etc.  My point is just that I think having excellent technical ability, vision, awareness and passing ability is sometimes over looked in this country because of a lack of pace, lack of looking busy and lack of strength (could be talking about Lucas here). These are important attributes don't get me wrong, especially in this country they are all coachable or can be worked on in a gym, having an unerring first touch and being able to ping one accurately over forty yards is real talent.

Someone said on another thread referring to how he wouldn't touch Micah Richards with a barge pole and the reason he stated was that Liverpool should be looking at footballers first and athletic prowess second and I really agree with that.  Some people thought Riise was great because he had a fantastic shot and a great goalscoring record but in all actuality he was one of the most limited footballers ever and once the goals stop flying in it became more apparent.

Aurelio is massively underrated and I for one am glad he's finally getting plaudits becuase he's every bit as good as those other players.  Maybe he can't run as fast but I haven't seen any of them bend it like he can ;)

Offline The Jackal

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1633 on: March 17, 2009, 10:49:31 AM »
The thing I find funny about Aurelio is the perception that the majority have which is he isn't in the same ball park as say Evra and Clichy or Ashley Cole in terms of talent.  But I think it's clear that the only thing they have over him is pace.  As far as footballing talent goes they are all way behind him.

Aurelio is a footballer as opposed to an athlete who plays football.  Hence why he can play centre midfield, not look out of place and pass almost as well as Alonso.  Maybe it's a Brazilian thing because I remember in world cup 94 in the US the great Leonardo played at LB keeping Roberto Carlos out of the squad he then goes on to become a world class playmaker for Milan years later.  It's something you can imagine Dani Alves doing but not the other three supposedly best LB in the world.

Now my point is not that Evra, Clichy and Cole are crap and it's not that Brazilian players are better etc.  My point is just that I think having excellent technical ability, vision, awareness and passing ability is sometimes over looked in this country because of a lack of pace, lack of looking busy and lack of strength (could be talking about Lucas here). These are important attributes don't get me wrong, especially in this country they are all coachable or can be worked on in a gym, having an unerring first touch and being able to ping one accurately over forty yards is real talent.

Someone said on another thread referring to how he wouldn't touch Micah Richards with a barge pole and the reason he stated was that Liverpool should be looking at footballers first and athletic prowess second and I really agree with that.  Some people thought Riise was great because he had a fantastic shot and a great goalscoring record but in all actuality he was one of the most limited footballers ever and once the goals stop flying in it became more apparent.

Aurelio is massively underrated and I for one am glad he's finally getting plaudits becuase he's every bit as good as those other players.  Maybe he can't run as fast but I haven't seen any of them bend it like he can ;)

Excellent post.

The ideal of course is to have both - technical ability allied to pace and athleticism (it's what makes the likes of Gerrard and Torres so devastating..). However, given a straight choice between the two I'd take footballing ability over athleticism every day. You only have to look at what Spain did in the Euros with a group of talented technical players (though they did of course also have a certain Mr Torres up fornt for them).
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Offline Neil D

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1634 on: March 17, 2009, 11:28:46 AM »
The Hitman. :)

He's certainly a sharp shooter  ;)
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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1635 on: March 17, 2009, 02:11:00 PM »
Now my point is not that Evra, Clichy and Cole are crap and it's not that Brazilian players are better etc.  My point is just that I think having excellent technical ability, vision, awareness and passing ability is sometimes over looked in this country because of a lack of pace, lack of looking busy and lack of strength (could be talking about Lucas here). These are important attributes don't get me wrong, especially in this country they are all coachable or can be worked on in a gym, having an unerring first touch and being able to ping one accurately over forty yards is real talent.

Great post. Before the Fulham - Man Utd game in the FA Cup this season, Andy Townsend was saying something like 'How brave are Fulham. Their fullbacks should always be running down the wing and attacking Man Utd'. There seems to be this need to say that all fullbacks should be like Clichy/Evra/Cole despite how good technically or defensively there. Fabio is massively underrated in this country because of the points you mentioned.
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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1636 on: March 21, 2009, 09:54:32 PM »
Liverpool is land of the free agents
Rafa Benitez's contract extension could lead to players such as Fabio Aurelio committing their future to the club
Rising star: Fabio Aurelio has played for Brazil at youth and Olympic level. Now he hopes his Liverpool form can get him into the senior team
Jonathan Northcroft

Fabio Aurelio was smiling – and not just because after the grey slog of a Mersey winter, last week’s weather felt a bit more Brazilian. Thursday was a particularly good day at training. The sun shone and the session began with Rafael Benitez making a speech. After months of will-he-won’t-he, Benitez had agreed to an extension of his contract. He gathered his squad “and said thank you to everyone because at the end of the day he knows what players do on the pitch makes the difference between whether a coach will stay or leave. It’s good for him, good for the club, good for us,” Aurelio said.

“He’s shown he’s getting better [in England] every season and this is a good moment to give him the opportunity to even get bigger. He lives for football and that’s what makes the difference between him and other coaches.”

Aurelio knows Liverpool’s manager better than most, having spent three seasons with him at Valencia and then having been at Anfield since 2006. Both are keen to extend their association. Like Dirk Kuyt, Alvaro Arbeloa and Daniel Agger, Aurelio is a free agent next summer. With his own future settled, Benitez wants to tie up new deals for all four as quickly as possible. “If the club and the boss are happy with my work, for sure I’ll be happy to continue, so it should not be complicated,” Aurelio said.

“I had one talk with the boss at the beginning of the season but he was telling us he would like us to wait until he decided his situation before talking to the players who were finishing contracts. Now he’s staying, it should be easier. But, honestly, I haven’t been thinking about it. I’m very happy in the moment I am in now.”
Related Links

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    * Benitez looks to see off Chelsea again

No wonder. The Brazilian is enjoying the sort of prolonged good health and form for which he has yearned since 2003. Then, having helped Valencia to the first of Benitez’s two Spanish league titles in 2001-02 and scored a remarkable 10 goals while playing largely at left-back, the following season, a knee injury put him out of football for 18 months.

Knocks continued to afflict him but at last looks the player Benitez promised when he signed. “He can cross the ball superbly and he is maybe a better passer of the ball than Xabi Alonso,” said the manager three summers ago. “People will say, ‘Oh really?’ But you will see the quality of his left foot. At set-pieces he is fantastic.”

Edwin van der Sar discovered this last Saturday. Aurelio was one of the main protagonists in Liverpool’s destruction of Manchester United, quelling Cristiano Ronaldo with his canny and nimble defending before scoring with a free kick placed so expertly that Van der Sar did not even dive to try to stop it. Aurelio describes himself as “quite quiet, I don’t talk a lot on the pitch”, but celebrated his strike without inhibition. “Oh yeah,” he blushed. “I was excited. We knew that goal [making it 3-1] killed the game off in our favour. The moment you strike a free kick you know whether you’ve hit it well or not and when you see the keeper doesn’t even move and it’s going in the net, you feel even better.”

He is not the first Brazilian with dead-ball skills [“I think you have to have more or less a good touch” he said by way of explaining this national trait] but his were honed in a quirky milieu. His mentor was Rogerio Ceni, goalkeeper for Aurelio’s first club, Sao Paolo, who not only takes free kicks but has scored almost 50 of them in his career.

“He’s the world record holder for goals as a keeper [with 83] and he kicks really well,” said Aurelio. “As a kid I took free kicks but I didn’t practise. Then, when I was 17 and joined the first team of Sao Paolo, I saw that every day Ceni was practising free kicks and I joined him. I kept it going at Valencia and now here. If you practise 30 free kicks three times a week, the percentage you score in games will be higher.”

Of players who have scored more than once directly from free kicks in this season’s Premier League, Aurelio’s conversion rate is the highest. “I’d like to score more goals for Liverpool and I hope now I’ll have more opportunities to take free kicks. Maybe next time [Steven] Gerrard will be more likely to give me a chance,” he said, laughing, his indignation lighthearted.

Aurelio dreams of claiming what once belonged to another free kick specialist, Roberto Carlos: Brazil’s left-back slot. Aurelio played 42 times for his country at youth and Olympic levels but suffered his serious knee injury days after a first call-up to the full Brazil squad. He was close to being selected again in 2006-07 but damaged his achilles. Now he is receiving hints that he is again being considered for the Selecao.

“They say left-back is not a position which is closed and there’s a Confederations Cup at the end of the season so it would be a good time to get involved. It’s a big frustration I got injured before and I’d like to have at least one chance. I think I could take my opportunity.” The quiet man has quiet belief.

“I’m not as strong as he was physically but, technically, I could be better,” said Aurelio when comparing himself to Carlos. His conviction extends to his team. Valencia’s 2001-02 title was secured after the team came from a long way back to overtake Real Madrid and Aurelio feels Liverpool are capable of doing a similar job against United, who slipped up again with a 2-0 defeat at Fulham yesterday.

“It’s more difficult because United have not been conceding a lot of points like Madrid did that season but if we win all our games we’ll have a chance of them making some mistakes and of winning the league,” he said. “We have had many games when we were losing and got a result, but because we had a good week last week, we’re not the best team in the world. If we lose against Villa, everyone forgets about beating United.”

A sad anniversary has just passed. In 2000 Aurelio’s father, Mario, was killed in a car crash. “It happened on March 8. I miss him for sure. I had just got married, in January 2000, and he died two days before his birthday. That summer I went to the Olympics and then moved to Spain. So everything you do you start to think, ‘If my dad had been there to see that . . . ’,” he said.

Aurelio’s father worked in a plastics factory in Sao Carlos, the small industrial city in Sao Paolo state where Fabio grew up, and abandoned a promising football career to provide for Aurelio, his mother, Neide, and his sister – who is married to the Real Betis midfielder Edu.

“My family had food. Most people where I’m from don’t have food. But we weren’t in a good situation. Football brings me a much better condition for me and my family,” Aurelio said. “When I signed my first contract with Sao Paolo at 17 I got my first car and at the same time I gave a car to my father. He’d never had a car. I helped buy my parents a house. But these were just small things. Never can we pay back what our parents do for us.”

His family are his world. Settled in the village suburb of Woolton in south Liverpool, his great pleasures are his wife Elaine’s cooking, and taking his son, Fabio, and daughter, Victoria, to the cinema. “The last films we saw were Hotel for Dogs and Bolt. That was in 3D and the kids loved it,” he said.

“Valencia’s similar to Brazil . . . the weather, the food . . . and everyone I told about moving to Liverpool said, ‘You’re crazy’. I didn’t expect to feel so comfortable here.

“The problem is my kids know more about English. They say, ‘Daddy, read for me’. I start and they correct. ‘Don’t pronounce it like that ’.”

Aurelio’s English, for the record, is actually very good. And his left foot, just as Benitez promised long ago, is starting to prove most articulate too.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article5950175.ece
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
― Steven Weinberg

Offline Beninger

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1637 on: March 21, 2009, 10:15:25 PM »
Class player, with composure, strength (for size), a sweet left foot, and underestimated to the demise of many a winger.

Like Sami, I wish he was 25. 
'Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.' -GC

Offline SadRed

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1638 on: March 21, 2009, 11:59:44 PM »
Liverpool is land of the free agents
Rafa Benitez's contract extension could lead to players such as Fabio Aurelio committing their future to the club
Rising star: Fabio Aurelio has played for Brazil at youth and Olympic level. Now he hopes his Liverpool form can get him into the senior team

“My family had food. Most people where I’m from don’t have food. But we weren’t in a good situation. Football brings me a much better condition for me and my family,” Aurelio said. “When I signed my first contract with Sao Paolo at 17 I got my first car and at the same time I gave a car to my father. He’d never had a car. I helped buy my parents a house. But these were just small things. Never can we pay back what our parents do for us.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article5950175.ece

Wow. what a great guy.

Offline 5BigCups

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Re: Fabio Aurelio
« Reply #1639 on: March 22, 2009, 12:27:05 AM »
Liverpool is land of the free agents
Rafa Benitez's contract extension could lead to players such as Fabio Aurelio committing their future to the club
Rising star: Fabio Aurelio has played for Brazil at youth and Olympic level. Now he hopes his Liverpool form can get him into the senior team
Jonathan Northcroft

Fabio Aurelio was smiling – and not just because after the grey slog of a Mersey winter, last week’s weather felt a bit more Brazilian. Thursday was a particularly good day at training. The sun shone and the session began with Rafael Benitez making a speech. After months of will-he-won’t-he, Benitez had agreed to an extension of his contract. He gathered his squad “and said thank you to everyone because at the end of the day he knows what players do on the pitch makes the difference between whether a coach will stay or leave. It’s good for him, good for the club, good for us,” Aurelio said.

“He’s shown he’s getting better [in England] every season and this is a good moment to give him the opportunity to even get bigger. He lives for football and that’s what makes the difference between him and other coaches.”

Aurelio knows Liverpool’s manager better than most, having spent three seasons with him at Valencia and then having been at Anfield since 2006. Both are keen to extend their association. Like Dirk Kuyt, Alvaro Arbeloa and Daniel Agger, Aurelio is a free agent next summer. With his own future settled, Benitez wants to tie up new deals for all four as quickly as possible. “If the club and the boss are happy with my work, for sure I’ll be happy to continue, so it should not be complicated,” Aurelio said.

“I had one talk with the boss at the beginning of the season but he was telling us he would like us to wait until he decided his situation before talking to the players who were finishing contracts. Now he’s staying, it should be easier. But, honestly, I haven’t been thinking about it. I’m very happy in the moment I am in now.”
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No wonder. The Brazilian is enjoying the sort of prolonged good health and form for which he has yearned since 2003. Then, having helped Valencia to the first of Benitez’s two Spanish league titles in 2001-02 and scored a remarkable 10 goals while playing largely at left-back, the following season, a knee injury put him out of football for 18 months.

Knocks continued to afflict him but at last looks the player Benitez promised when he signed. “He can cross the ball superbly and he is maybe a better passer of the ball than Xabi Alonso,” said the manager three summers ago. “People will say, ‘Oh really?’ But you will see the quality of his left foot. At set-pieces he is fantastic.”

Edwin van der Sar discovered this last Saturday. Aurelio was one of the main protagonists in Liverpool’s destruction of Manchester United, quelling Cristiano Ronaldo with his canny and nimble defending before scoring with a free kick placed so expertly that Van der Sar did not even dive to try to stop it. Aurelio describes himself as “quite quiet, I don’t talk a lot on the pitch”, but celebrated his strike without inhibition. “Oh yeah,” he blushed. “I was excited. We knew that goal [making it 3-1] killed the game off in our favour. The moment you strike a free kick you know whether you’ve hit it well or not and when you see the keeper doesn’t even move and it’s going in the net, you feel even better.”

He is not the first Brazilian with dead-ball skills [“I think you have to have more or less a good touch” he said by way of explaining this national trait] but his were honed in a quirky milieu. His mentor was Rogerio Ceni, goalkeeper for Aurelio’s first club, Sao Paolo, who not only takes free kicks but has scored almost 50 of them in his career.

“He’s the world record holder for goals as a keeper [with 83] and he kicks really well,” said Aurelio. “As a kid I took free kicks but I didn’t practise. Then, when I was 17 and joined the first team of Sao Paolo, I saw that every day Ceni was practising free kicks and I joined him. I kept it going at Valencia and now here. If you practise 30 free kicks three times a week, the percentage you score in games will be higher.”

Of players who have scored more than once directly from free kicks in this season’s Premier League, Aurelio’s conversion rate is the highest. “I’d like to score more goals for Liverpool and I hope now I’ll have more opportunities to take free kicks. Maybe next time [Steven] Gerrard will be more likely to give me a chance,” he said, laughing, his indignation lighthearted.

Aurelio dreams of claiming what once belonged to another free kick specialist, Roberto Carlos: Brazil’s left-back slot. Aurelio played 42 times for his country at youth and Olympic levels but suffered his serious knee injury days after a first call-up to the full Brazil squad. He was close to being selected again in 2006-07 but damaged his achilles. Now he is receiving hints that he is again being considered for the Selecao.

“They say left-back is not a position which is closed and there’s a Confederations Cup at the end of the season so it would be a good time to get involved. It’s a big frustration I got injured before and I’d like to have at least one chance. I think I could take my opportunity.” The quiet man has quiet belief.

“I’m not as strong as he was physically but, technically, I could be better,” said Aurelio when comparing himself to Carlos. His conviction extends to his team. Valencia’s 2001-02 title was secured after the team came from a long way back to overtake Real Madrid and Aurelio feels Liverpool are capable of doing a similar job against United, who slipped up again with a 2-0 defeat at Fulham yesterday.

“It’s more difficult because United have not been conceding a lot of points like Madrid did that season but if we win all our games we’ll have a chance of them making some mistakes and of winning the league,” he said. “We have had many games when we were losing and got a result, but because we had a good week last week, we’re not the best team in the world. If we lose against Villa, everyone forgets about beating United.”

A sad anniversary has just passed. In 2000 Aurelio’s father, Mario, was killed in a car crash. “It happened on March 8. I miss him for sure. I had just got married, in January 2000, and he died two days before his birthday. That summer I went to the Olympics and then moved to Spain. So everything you do you start to think, ‘If my dad had been there to see that . . . ’,” he said.

Aurelio’s father worked in a plastics factory in Sao Carlos, the small industrial city in Sao Paolo state where Fabio grew up, and abandoned a promising football career to provide for Aurelio, his mother, Neide, and his sister – who is married to the Real Betis midfielder Edu.

“My family had food. Most people where I’m from don’t have food. But we weren’t in a good situation. Football brings me a much better condition for me and my family,” Aurelio said. “When I signed my first contract with Sao Paolo at 17 I got my first car and at the same time I gave a car to my father. He’d never had a car. I helped buy my parents a house. But these were just small things. Never can we pay back what our parents do for us.”

His family are his world. Settled in the village suburb of Woolton in south Liverpool, his great pleasures are his wife Elaine’s cooking, and taking his son, Fabio, and daughter, Victoria, to the cinema. “The last films we saw were Hotel for Dogs and Bolt. That was in 3D and the kids loved it,” he said.

“Valencia’s similar to Brazil . . . the weather, the food . . . and everyone I told about moving to Liverpool said, ‘You’re crazy’. I didn’t expect to feel so comfortable here.

“The problem is my kids know more about English. They say, ‘Daddy, read for me’. I start and they correct. ‘Don’t pronounce it like that ’.”

Aurelio’s English, for the record, is actually very good. And his left foot, just as Benitez promised long ago, is starting to prove most articulate too.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article5950175.ece


Great piece that, didnt realise he had it so hard when he was growing up. I've even more respect for the man after reading that.