The year was 2012, the month – February and the day – 22nd. Voices muted in a kind of uneasiness, the supporters of Porto gathered in a dingy corner of the South Stand at the Etihad stadium.
On the pitch, the two teams assembled to offer 90 minutes of sacrifices to the approximately 47,000 watching the 22 + 1 (Balotelli).
One stood out. His name – Givanildo Vieira de Souza; also known as the Hulk. He, in all his form, looked dangerous from the start. With a sophisticated left foot, the Brazilian possesses substantial body strength and pace, which makes him ominous to any defense that he faces.
One could see the quality that he had displayed for the only goal scored by Silvestre Valera in the two legs match-up, consistently in the second leg. There were quite a few moments of scare, as he received the ball on the left side, took on whoever defended him head on, and crossed in a few low riding, what we term as “Saroukh”, into the box. If these were only converted, the storyline would be different.
The City defense was treated to practicing a few defensive one-on-one lessons through Hulk. Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards did a very good job on keeping him on bay, although at times it looked like one of them would be red carded.
And on another note, we were treated to a sneak preview of what Pizarro (the new signing) was capable of. Pizarro comes, sets up a goal and few minutes later scores one. Not bad, not bad at all.
Getting back to the point, thus it was on Wednesday night I watched the beast in a different light: a mortal of premeditated to serve, and this summer is where his true worth would be determined. Do not be surprised if the top clubs come in setting in traps to secure the services of this beast.
The beast called the Hulk.