Grêmio midfielder Elano reveals: I played for four months in pain
Grêmio midfielder Elano has revealed that he played through the pain barrier for four months last season to try and help Grêmio towards the Brasileirão title.
Elano, 31, joined the Porto Alegre team from Santos in July this year as part of a swap deal that saw Grêmio striker Ezequiel Miralles head in the other direction.
“It was the hardest year of my career,” the former Manchester City star told Globo Esporte.
“I played for four months in pain. But I did not give up. So I worked to help.”
The arrival of Elano saw an upturn in form for Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s team and his eight goals in 31 games helped Grêmio finished third in the league and qualify for next season’s Copa Libertadores.
The midfielder hopes to be fully fit for next season and is already preparing for what will be a challenging 2013 campaign.
“Next year is 85 games, at least. I made a spreadsheet and schedule for muscle building. I do not want to be the protagonist, but the support.
“The Libertadores is difficult with travel, hotel and playing. Therefore, the preparation needs to be very good. The group has the joy of knowing that the end is much higher.”
And Elano reveals he has settled in Porto Alegre but is missing just one thing.
“I'm happy, but not completely. We missed the title. We made some mistakes that we will not commit in 2013. The critics were very strong there in São Paulo. It made me upset.”