At the end of the 2000s, several young players or “wonder-kid” appeared and were expected to become big players. But they were unable to meet the expectations. Besides Bojan Krkic, Marko Marin, and Federico Macheda, another name that fails to shine next is Giovani Dos Santos.
This Mexican player is a product of the Barcelona academy, Giovani studied at La Masia since 2002. In the 2007/08 season, he played in the Barcelona team with big names like Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, and Lionel Messi. Well, at that time Giovani was considered to be shining with the big names earlier.
The player who was physically similar to Ronaldinho has an extraordinary talent. He has speed, skill, and creativity. Moreover, Giovani can also play several offensive positions. Yet, he usually assigned as a winger or attacking midfielder, and even played as a second striker.
Giovani has been described as a “smart” and “sharp” player who was able to score goals and create opportunities for his team-mates.
When dressed in the Catalan team, Giovani scored a hat-trick against Murcia in La Liga on 17 May 2008. The hat-trick in 33 minutes ensured victory for Barcelona and changed how the eyes of the world see him as.
But unfortunately, during his debut season in the main squad of Barcelona, he failed to shine because the confidence of his coach, Frank Rijkaard, during the 2007/08 season was only paid with four goals in 37 appearances in all competitions. A poor achievement for a club as big as Barcelona.
In fact, in that season, Giovani was mentored directly by his idol and senior, Ronaldinho. However, when Pep Guardiola came, the two were eliminated.
Giovani was released to Tottenham Hotspurs. Spurs initially thought they were getting a windfall as a talented wonder-kid who was predicted to be the ‘New Ronaldinho’ joined them. But less than half the season, Spurs fans realized that they could not expect much from this Mexican player.
After one season and only scoring 1 goal from 12 appearances for Spurs, Giovani spent time on loan at Ipswich Town, a lower caste club. In a row, he was then loaned out to Galatasaray and Racing Santander. When his contract expired in 2012, he decided to return to Spain to strengthen Real Mallorca.
The player who had strengthened the Mexican national team for 104 times has once recovered his career with Villarreal. Together with The Yellow Submarine, Giovani showed the best performance of his life, scoring 18 goals in 74 matches. He even had a season to work with his sister who is also a fellow alumnus of La Masia, Jonathan dos Santos.
Yet surprisingly, Giovani chose to move to the United States in 2015. He accepted the Los Angeles Galaxy offer, joining famous names that strengthened the club, such as Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard.
But in his fourth season with the club David Beckham had defended, LA Galaxy fans began to think that Giovani was actually not special. Giovani only collected 22 goals for three and a half years with LA Galaxy.
With the joining of Jonathan dos Santos, Ashley Cole, and finally Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Giovani’s name was slowly sinking. His contribution was considered not in accordance with his flashy experience in Europe.
Based on a survey conducted by ESPN in early 2018, Giovani was chosen as the most overrated player in Major League Soccer (MLS). According to the observers, the American media overrated this player based on his experience playing in Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur instead of his appearance in MLS.
The critical observers also consider that Giovani was maintained by the Galaxy for a long time only to attract the Mexican community which was indeed quite big in Los Angeles. However, at the level of the game, he was considered far below the MLS stars like David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco.
Throughout his career, the player who is now 30 years old did not even win a trophy with the club he defended. But he covered his failure through his achievements with the Mexican national team. He was recorded as successfully delivered El Tri to win three Concacaf gold trophies.
Since being a player who was expected to be the next Ronaldinho in Barcelona, Giovani is now playing in the Mexican league with American Club in his productive age. His career is coming down as he could not meet people’s expectations.