Afonso Alves Martins Júnior (born 30 January 1981), known professionally as Afonso Alves, is a Brazilian former professional footballer, who played as a striker for Atlético Mineiro, Örgryte, Malmö FF, Heerenveen, Middlesbrough, Al-Sadd, on loan and then permanently at Al-Rayyan and concluding his career at Al-Gharafa.
|Full name||Afonso Alves Martins Júnior|
|Date of birth||30 January 1981|
|Place of birth||Belo Horizonte, Brazil|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|2010||→ Al-Rayyan (loan)||7||(8)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He was capped eight times for the Brazilian national team in 2007, managing to score a single goal for his representative country during this spell.
Alves was born on 30 January 1981, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil's third biggest city. He was brought up by his mother, Dona Eliade, and has a brother, Alexsander, and sister, Alexandra. His father died when he was nine years old.
Alves started his career with Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro. In 2002, he left Atlético Mineiro for the Swedish club Örgryte from Gothenburg. In 2004, he moved to Malmö FF, where he won the Swedish League that year. He stayed for the 2005 season, scoring 14 in 24 games, becoming the club's top-scorer for the second year running when Malmö finished fifth. Alves was at Malmö for the start of the 2006 season, and scored three goals in seven matches.
In his first season, he finished as top goalscorer of the Eredivisie with 34 goals (in 31 games), which is a club record. Alves is the third Brazilian to become topscorer in the Dutch first division, joining former PSV strikers Romário and Ronaldo, and the second Brazilian who scored over 30 goals in the same competition, with Ronaldo netting 30 in the 1994–95 season. Other than finishing first in the scorers table, he was runner-up in the race for the European Golden Boot, a single point behind Roma forward Francesco Totti.
On 7 October 2007, in only his second appearance of the season, Alves scored seven goals in his side's 9–0 victory over Eredivisie rivals Heracles Almelo, setting a new Eredivisie record for most goals scored in a single match. Heerenveen's manager (Gertjan Verbeek) had already made three substitutions yet chose to take Alves off the pitch in the 89th minute to pay tribute to his fantastic performance.
Despite his impressive track record, his departure was surrounded by some controversy after he did not show up at several training sessions, while still under contract at SC Heerenveen and some remarks he made, insinuating that teammates in the Brazilian national team laughed at him for playing for such a small club.
In the January transfer window of the 2007–08 season he moved to Premier League side Middlesbrough on 31 January 2008. Alves' transfer fee was said to have been €20 million, on a four and a half year contract.
He made his debut on 9 February, against Fulham as a second-half substitute for Lee Dong-Gook. His first Middlesbrough start came on 27 February in an FA Cup home tie against Sheffield United, when he was substituted in the 73 minute. Middlesbrough eventually won the game 1–0.
His first two goals for Middlesbrough came at the Riverside Stadium on 6 April against Manchester United in a 2–2 draw. He finished his first season in England with a hat-trick in an 8–1 home victory against Manchester City.
Alves' first goal of the 2008–09 season came on 30 August, where he scored a 25-yard free-kick which flew into the top corner of the Stoke City net. He then scored goals against Blackburn Rovers and a penalty against Manchester City, two against Barrow and one against local rivals Sunderland with a goal from 18 yards out. However, Alves could not find the form which led to his record move, and with a haul of just four league goals the season turned out to be a disappointing one for both him and Middlesbrough, who were relegated to the Championship.
On 4 September 2009 Alves moved to Al-Sadd on a three-year deal for £7 million. He scored 2 goals in 12 league matches, and scored one goal in the Qatari Stars Cup after three games. Alves then accepted a loan bid from another Qatari League club, Al-Rayyan SC.
On 31 January 2010, Alves was loaned to the Qatari seven-time league champion Al-Rayyan SC, coached by the Brazilian coach Paulo Autuori. Alves scored 18 goals on his loan spell, 9 of them in seven matches of the AFC Cup, and seven goals in seven league matches. He officially moved to Al-Rayyan in May 2010.
Alves shortly emerged as a fan favorite, however he suffered a ligament injury in his left knee in December which kept him out of action for eight months. While recovering, he stated "Offers may’ve come to me during the transfer period, but I never bothered to listen to them and left them all to my agent. While recuperating from surgery, I remained in touch with coach Paulo (Autuori) and the club management, and kept them updated on my progress." He rejoined Al-Rayyan as their top striker and started the 2011–12 season in Al-Rayyan's starting eleven.
Al Gharafa and retirementEdit
Having been a free agent for over two seasons, Alves announced his retirement from professional football on his Instagram page on 5 October 2015. Alves had been training with the youth team of his former club Heerenveen the days before his decision to retire.
On 17 May 2007, Alves received his first call-up for the Brazilian national team for friendlies against England and Turkey. On 1 June, in the game against England, Alves was brought on to replace Kaká after 71 minutes of play and very nearly scored after a Wes Brown slip. He was also part of the Brazilian squad which won the 2007 Copa América in Venezuela. Alves scored his first international goal on 12 September 2007 against Mexico in a 3–1 win.
Alves left Brazil as a 21-year-old in 2002 to move to Sweden. He has a son, Felipe Henrique, who is a footballer at Atletico Mineiro's Tupinambas Academy, and lives with Alves' former girlfriend in Brazil.
- As of 19 December 2012
|Club||Season||Qatari League||Qatari Stars Cup||Emir of Qatar Cup||Asia||Total|
|Al Rayyan (loan)||2009–10||7||9||0||0||3||2||7||9||17||18|
|Club||Season||Premier League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
- Young, Colin (17 October 2008). "Why Alves will not be bringing over his boy from Brazil". Daily Mail. UK. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- "The Ballad of Afonso Alves". The False Nine. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
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- McNulty, Phil (27 February 2008). "Middlesbrough 1–0 Sheff Utd (aet)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- Ornstein, David (6 April 2008). "Middlesbrough 2–2 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- Bevan, Chris (11 May 2008). "Middlesbrough 8–1 Man City". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- DokterRamses (25 September 2008). "Amazing Free Kick by Afonso Alves". YouTube. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- England (5 September 2009). "Afonso Alves Joins Al-Sadd From Middlesbrough". Goal.com. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- "Al-Ahli Sports Club :: Al Sadd loan Brazilian Alves to Al-Rayyan in the main transfer of winter". Al-ahliclub.com. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- "Al Rayyan clinch Emir Cup". FIFA. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
- "Fit-again Afonso ready to lead Rayyan's challenge". QFA.com.qa. 17 August 2011. Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- "Al Gharafa sign up Afonso for one season". Qatar Stars League. 11 September 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "Afonso Alves stopt definitief met voetballen". Voetbal.com. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "Afonso Alves traint mee met SC Heerenveen". Omrop Fryslân. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "The 'lazy' Brazilian who says he'll catch England napping". Daily Mirror. UK. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
- "Afonso Alves". ESPN. Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
- Scholten, Berend (4 September 2007). "Afonso Alves takes Dutch accolade". UEFA. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Afonso wins the 2010 AFC Cup golden boot". qfa.com.qa. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
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