Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Benfica Chasing Manchester City's Robinho?
Question Is: Why?

Portuguese sports daily A Bola is reporting that Benfica is chasing Robinho, who is on the fast track out of Manchester City. Read it here in Portuguese.

Robinho's signing by City might be one of the worst financial decisions made by a football club in history; certainly one of the most expensive with the least return on investment. Robinho left Real Madrid in 2008 for City and in less than 18 months cannot even crack the Starting 11.

So the question is, why would Benfica, or even Santos of the Brazilian league, want Robinho's under-performing butt on their sides. Benfica is tied atop the Portuguese league with upstarts Braga and scoring goals by the bushel. How's this: Benfica has scored 44 goals in league play, and another 18 in the Europe League and 6 in the Portuguese Cup. 68 goals in 26 games. Nine times they've scored four goals or more. By the way, have we mentioned Benfica has given up only nine goals this season in the league?

So why mess with this? Why mess with the continuity of a team that isn't afraid to get in a shootout with anyone in Europe right now? Robinho says the last straw at City was new manager Roberto Mancini's offer to have him play every other match. He pouted, said no and is trying to stomp his way out of town.

He told The Guardian:

"The coach was very sincere with me and said that I would play every other match. I told him that would not be interesting to me, it's a World Cup year." He was also disparaging about European coaches. "They choose a formation and want you to play in it, it doesn't matter if you are short or tall."

The question is whether City will indeed let him go since they'll surely be on the hook for some of his salary. Why let him go and get nothing in return? Oh that's right, they're getting nothing now.

EPL Talk has a great analysis of the situation and raises the point again about South Americans' inability to thrive in the Premier League. Though I guess Carlos Tevez would toss some cold water on that theory.

Nonetheless, Robinho is a crazy talent and if Benfica lands him, he becomes the X-Factor in their title quest. He certainly could push Benfica over the top, or he could send them crashing down. Worth watching.

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