Chelsea flop dropped down to German fourth tier after spectacularly bad stint

Carlos Luciano da Silva, best known as Mineiro, progressed through the youth academy at Rio Branco and enjoyed spells with Guarani, Ponte Preta, Sao Caetano and Sao Paulo before heading to Europe.

The defensive midfielder then made just 36 appearances for Hertha Berlin before joining Chelsea as a back-up for the injured Michael Essien under fellow countryman Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2008, two years after being named in the Brazilian Serie A team of the season.

It turned out to be a simply disastrous move. He would make only two appearances for the Blues in all competitions, including a loan start against Burnley in the League Cup.

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Mineiro was strangely revealed to the press at Cobham after making his debut for the club as a substitute in their 5–0 win over Sunderland, in which he replaced Nicolas Anelka who had already scored a hat-trick.

Scolari said at the time: "[Mineiro is] good positionally, a very good marker.

"He is a man that works for the other players and he is also a good man outside of the pitch."

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Adding: "He is a player that I need because I lost Michael Essien for six months. I have one midfielder like him, Mikel [Jon Obi]."

He would go on to join Schalke the following summer and only make seven appearances in the Bundesliga before choosing to drop down three divisions.

Mineiro went on to make 30 league appearances for TuS Koblenz scoring a single goal before retiring for good in 2012.

Between 2001 and 2008, he earned a respectable 24 caps for Brazil and started in every match as they took home Copa America glory in 2007.

Before his Premier League switch, he had scored the only goal of the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship final against Liverpool in Japan.

Since calling time on his career, Mineiro has been involved in coaching and is currently guiding juniors in Melbourne, Australia alongside former Manchester United winger Jesper Olsen.


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