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Breno: should he stay or should he go?

Breno at São Paulo

Breno at São Paulo

The contract of Bayern Munich’s Brazilian defender Breno Vinicius Rodrigues Borges, commonly known as Breno, expires this summer. When he was signed in January 2008, Breno was hailed by former Bayern legend Giovane Élber as being “already genuinely world class”. Four years and a number of injuries later, he has simply failed to live up to the expectations of him. In this article, we will review five reasons in favour of keeping Breno and five reasons why he should leave.

Five reasons why Breno’s contract should be extended

Reason 1 – his promise

Back when Breno was at São Paulo, he was named as the “Newcomer of the Season 2007” by Brazilian football journalists, and was wanted by other leading European clubs, namely Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina. With several people heaping praise on him, Real Madrid shot themselves in the foot with a move that made them lose out in the scramble for the player’s signature. They demanded that Breno undergo an X-Ray examination to prove his age, to which Breno angrily replied:

If Real really want me, I shouldn’t have to undergo any examinations. They can just try for another defender.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no problem. I am sure of my age.

Breno’s father, Claudio Francisco, knew of AC Milan and Real Madrid’s interest:

They wouldn’t field him as a starter with the squads they have. That means they’d probably be looking to loan him out and that’s just not what we want.

The only concrete proposal that’s come through has been from Bayern.

But, when Breno opted to transfer to Bayern, Rummenigge dropped the first hint that Breno may not have it as plain-sailingly as his father had hoped for, by describing him as “a signing for the future.”

Breno may not have had an easy time at FC Bayern so far, but one thing that remains certain is that the kid, who is still only 22 years old, is still highly promising. Where the pundits are divided on is whether he will be able to reach his potentials or not.

Reason 2 – his stint at Nürnberg

Breno at Nuremberg

In January 2010, it was announced that Breno joined 1. FC Nürnberg on loan until the end of the season. At Nürnberg, Breno played in the first team, and he did well, earning praise from the staff at both Nürnberg and Bayern, and being named in the Bundesliga team of the week. Unfortunately, his stint was short lived when he suffered a cruciate ligament injury that left him out for the rest of the season in only his eight match.

Despite this, he showed that he could perform well when he is given the confidence and be in the first-team plans. At Nuremberg, he was showing the kind of promise that one could see in the boy from São Paulo. Two years have passed since, but who’s to say that Breno will not start performing like that again?

Reason 3 – pace

Breno is fast in video games

Breno is fast in video games

For a number of years, the Bayern Munich backline has suffered from a problem in that the central defenders are too slow. We’ve seen Demichelis, van Buyten and Badstuber regularly having trouble keeping up with nippy strikers. Boateng was signed last summer, but he’s been used mostly at right back. Breno, while not being the fastest central defender, is considerably faster than Holger Badstuber and Daniel van Buyten, and his pace would be highly beneficial.

For all fans of EA Sports’ FIFA series or the Pro Evolution Soccer series, you know exactly what I mean. It’s not easy to win matches with slow central defenders.

Reason 4 – salary

Breno already has a lot of moneyGiven his problems with injuries, the fact that he cannot leave the country at the moment and the disappointing performances so far, one can assume that Breno’s salary expectations cannot be too high. Therefore, should his contract be extended, there shouldn’t be too much to lose.

Reason 5 – short of options

With van Buyten’s contract also expiring at the end of the season and Boateng mainly used as a right back, should Breno’s contract not be extended, FC Bayern would be left with only one true central defender and would need to bring in not one but two central defenders in summer.

It is no secret that the position for which good teamwork is critical is indeed central defence, and bringing in two central defenders in one transfer period will not allow them to gel in quickly together, which will almost definitely spell trouble when trying to play the offside trap.

Five reasons why Breno’s contract should NOT be extended

Reason 1 – worst stats

Last season, Breno played 735 minutes in the Bundesliga, 232 minutes in the Champions League and 180 minutes in the German Cup. Below is a table depicting the goals conceded when Breno was playing and when Breno was NOT playing.

Breno playing Breno NOT playing
Bundesliga mins played 735 mins 2325 mins
Bundesliga conceded 13 goals 27 goals
1 Bundesliga goal conceded per 57 mins 86 mins
Champions League mins played 232 mins 488 mins
Champions League conceded 3 goals 6 goals
1 Champions League goal conceded per 77 mins 81 mins
DFB-Pokal mins played 180 mins 270 mins
DFB-Pokal conceded 4 goals 1 goal
1 DFB-Pokal goal conceded per 45 mins 270 mins
Total mins played 1147 mins 3083 mins
Total conceded 20 goals 34 goals
Total 1 goal conceded per 57 mins 91 mins
Breno was muscled off the ball by Eto'o leading up to the winner

Breno was muscled off the ball by Eto'o leading up to the winner

Clearly, the team was better off without Breno in all three competitions that Bayern Munich participated in, for whichever reason that may be. The statistics do not lie.

Reason 2 – injuries

Breno’s time at Bayern has been rocked by a number of long-term injuries. He was first ruptured his cruciate ligaments while on loan to Nuremberg, then he had some ankle problems,  and finally he had a knee injury from which he was supposed to take four weeks but his comeback kept on getting delayed and delayed.

Lately, he has spent more time in Bayern doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt’s office than he has spent on the pitch. Having a number of injury-prone players on the roster already, we really should be trying to cut them down and not add more.

Breno ruptured his cruciate ligaments while on loan with Nuremberg

Breno ruptured his cruciate ligaments while on loan with Nuremberg

Reason 3 – psychological

Breno set his house on fire

Breno set his house on fire

Breno has had his fair share of ‘crazy’ actions. The first was during Oliver Kahn’s farewell match in which he was sent off for this monstrous retaliation.

Then he infamously burned down his own house during a moment of depression.

And recently he had a tattoo done mere hours after leaving the training pitch on sick leave.

Reason 4 – unhappiness

Breno recently let his displeasure public on Twitter

Breno has publicly claimed to be unhappy a number of times:

  • In May 2009, Breno stated that he and his advisor were in discussions with the club, so he could be loaned off to another team the following season and get some more playing time.
  • In October 2009, Breno announced that he wanted to leave, saying he only stayed because of Demichelis’ injury, but he did not play and they preferred Badstuber over him. Furthermore, he said that in the winter he would talk to the Bayern board and if nothing would change he would leave immediately.
  • In January 2010, he finally was allowed to go on loan to Nuremberg.
  • In February 2011, Breno said that he had no desire to play for Bayern anymore, and that he had no chances to play and that he does not like that. Then he added that he would like to play but he does not see any chance.
  • Again in February 2011, Breno said that he will wait for his chance till the end of the season, and if he didn’t get it he would leave in summer
  • In March 2011, Breno was quoted to have written on Twitter: “I apologize to all who support me. I had a bad game. I think it is time to return to the best team in the world. This is the FC Sao Paulo.” This however could not be confirmed afterwards, so it may have been fabricated.
  • In April 2011, according to DIS AGENCY, Breno offered himself to Santos and said that he would join them if they wanted him.
  • In May 2011, he showed Bayern fans some hope when he said: “I think I’ll stay here. I believe that I earn myself a regular place, when I fight.”
  • In January 2012, he said “Yes, of course I can imagine staying at Bayern. But Christian Nerlinger told me I should wait for the training camp and the friendlies, and then we can talk about a new contract or a transfer. But I would like to stay with Bayern. If I stay in Germany, then I will only stay at best, at Bayern. Because I am grateful to Bayern and what they have done for me.”
  • But he wasn’t all so grateful, because a few days later he infamously wrote on Twitter that the club was “messing with him” because they played him in a friendly with FC Bayern II rather than FC Bayern’s last friendly against Erfurt. He was consequently given a warning by club officials.

Reason 5 – law

Breno was put under arrest

Breno was put under arrest

Breno burned down his home and FC Bayern paid half a million euros to get him out of prison. With the prison sentence still pending, Breno was only allowed to leave the country to go to the training camp, and only after a lot of haggling with the authorities. Until his sentence is given out, he will be unable to play outside of Germany (i.e. in away matches in the Champions League). Furthermore, there is still the risk that Breno still ends up in prison for the crime he committed.


After reading the reasons for keeping Breno and the reasons for getting rid of Breno, you have hopefully made up your mind. We would like to hear your opinion, so please leave us comments telling us whether you think Breno’s contract should be extended or not.

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Category: Transfers
  • tflags says:

    I would think another reason to extend is his sale potential. He just needs arguably a year to resolve his personal/law issues and if he performs as he has promised, there is a big change to erase his current legal image and even become a potential sale, thus recovering our investment. You can’t do that with a free walking out player…

    • MUTU says:

      Fair point which I missed. Though of course, Bayern shouldn’t lie about his chances, otherwise players will be cautious when signing contract extensions in future.

  • tflags says:

    Let’s leave the managing to Heynkes. I am surprised at his management of Breno. He is extremely experienced on how to deal with players I noticed recently.

  • armbrust says:

    Rot Apple

  • supra969 says:

    keep him