Where are they now? Remember Brazilian football promises that didn’t live up to expectations

Young football players like Keirrison, Kerlon, Lenny, and Lulinha were chosen for the national squad, but their careers did not succeed.
2022-08-15 09:44:49

All football players who are selected for the young levels of prestigious teams dream of making it to the professional level and playing excellent football. It’s even common to get there, but keeping up the excellent work is challenging.

In every nation, the matches between the top teams are played at a significantly higher level than those between under-17 or under-20 teams. If the athlete doesn’t adapt, his career won’t take off, since the games are more “heavy” and the marks are more “mean.”

It is the same in Brazil. Several athletes who seemed to be superstars have failed to take off when the time comes to really see what they are made of.

Young talents that did not take off in the professional

 There are several player types who are unable to sustain the high standards of the fundamental categories in professional play. Up until a certain age, some people play extremely well, and there are others who are regarded like pearls at the bottom but immediately falter when they are promoted.

But why did this happen? Let’s look at few samples and analyse each one individually.



Keirrison (33 years old), who played for Coritiba from 2006 to 2008, made his identity public. He was the player who scored the most goals that season at the Paraná club, in addition to being the top scorer in the 2008 Brasileiro (21 goals) (41).

Palmeiras took notice of this and signed him the next season. At Verdao, he continued to perform at a high level, ranking among the team’s top performers throughout the first half of the season. Following his successful performances with the Sao Paulo team, he was recruited by the Spanish powerhouse Barcelona.

But since then, he hasn’t been able to play his best football. His last two teams were Londrina in 2018 and the American lower-division Palm Beach Stars in 2020.



Lenny is 34 years old and no longer plays football, same like Keirrison. A football player between 2005 and 2007, he played and gained popularity in 2007 and performed well for Fluminense. He was a member of the 2007 Copa do Brasil winning squad.

His time playing for Braga, who hired him immediately after the tricolor carioca’s national victory, did not go well, since he was already battling with ailments at a young age. But he played for Verdao from 2008 to 2010, since Palmeiras saw his ability.

Since then, several opportunities have presented themselves, notably in the football of Figueirense (2011), Japanese (2013), Portuguese (2016), and Thai (2016). (2018 to 2020). But due to the many illnesses he had to contend with during his career, he made the decision to hang up his boots two years ago.



Kerlon earned the nickname “Seal” because his propensity to sprint as his head “jumps.” He was regarded as the greatest star of the Brazilian squad that won the South American Under-17 championship in 2005.

He was made public by Cruzeiro, where he played between 2005 and 2008, and had prospects at prestigious European teams like Internazionale in Italy (2009) and Ajax in the Netherlands (2010). (2010).

He unfortunately retired from football in 2017, at the age of 29, while playing for Slovakia’s Spartak Trnava. This was also due to injuries.



Lulinha topped all goal scorers in the 2007 South American Under-17 Tournament with 12 goals. He was selected as the Brazilian Championship’s revelation in the same year that he was promoted to the professional team of Corinthians.

After a productive two-year tenure at Estoril in Portugal between 2009 and 2010, Lulinha was never the same player again. Few were aware of the reasons for the athlete’s bad performance in a professional context despite his bright future.

At the age of 32, he now defends the Indonesian club Madura United.

Jean Chera

Jean Chera
Jean Chera played for Santos in the youth levels between 2005 and 2011, where he was considered as an outstanding potential. Many managers who worked with the athlete at the time said that the boy’s father was troublesome at the time and often complained about the player’s wages.

Between 2011 and 2013, he played for Flamengo, Athletico-PR, and Cruzeiro, switching clubs several times, even in the younger layers, but it didn’t work out anywhere.

He was never able to make a name for himself in his field. He was revealed by Oeste in 2014, and from that year till 2017, he exclusively played for Sinop-MT. At the age of 27, he is now a professional FIFA eSports player.