On Saturday against Aston Villa, Alexandre Pato maintained his rather remarkable record of scoring on his debut for every single club he's played for as a professional. He scored as a 17-year-old in his Internacional debut, he scored as an 18-year-old in his Milan debut. Upon his return to Brazil, he scored in his first match for Corinthians and his first match for Sao Paulo. And now, he's scored in his Chelsea debut as well! Impressive.
"Every day, my mentality has been strong. [Even though I wasn't playing] every time I went home, I say, "ok, I need to train more." Today, I was ready. When coach said to go in, I was ready. When I scored, my teammates were like "wooo!" I'm so happy today, because today is perfect."
-Alexandre Pato; source: Chelsea TV
Mightily adorable Pato then publicly thanked Cesc for allowing him to take the penalty that he won. It was clearly not just a happy but also an important moment for Pato, a step in the right direction after coming back to Europe three years after leaving Milan, getting this opportunity with Chelsea and hoping to leverage that into a second chance at the top level of the game.
Manager Guus Hiddink was happy as well.
"He was counting down the days, and knocking on the door. He was in preseason and I could have brought him on after 14 days or three weeks but it would have been irresponsible. He was not strong enough to battle in the league. This is a strong league and he would have been killed at that time. We took the time and he also had to deal with the competition -- Traore, etc -- but he finally stepped up."
-Guus Hiddink; source: ESPN
Playing well enough and scoring against lowly Villa isn't a guarantee of a happily ever after. Pato's future may not lie with Chelsea, but best of luck to him wherever he may land.