Having played for Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon and Brazil before arriving on Teeside in 2005, Middlesbrough had every reason to believe that Fábio Rochemback would be an astute signing.
Far from being another Juninho however, Rochemback’s spell with the club was mixed at best – this free-kick against Manchester City notwithstanding.
Since he left the club on a free transfer in 2008, there is every chance he may well have dropped off your radar, as after a brief return to Lisbon, Rochemback had spells with Grêmio in Brazil and Dalian Yifang in China that all but signaled the end of his footballing career.
Only 35 and now out of professional football for 4 years, Rochemback has had a lot of spare time on his hands, and, judging by today’s news from Brazil, has not been spending it that productively.
When news of his arrest emerged today, few would have suspected the cause; cockfighting.
Caught up in a raid that also saw 89 roosters and a cash amount worth about €28,000 confiscated by the police, Rochemback does have form for his involvement in the blood sport.
According to the Independent, Rochemback had had his farm raided in 2011; the police discovering several fighting cocks in the process.
Rochemback is not the first professional sportsperson to indulge some of life’s more disturbing habits in retirement though.
Former Inter Milan, Brazil and Pro Evo sensation Adriano ultimately ended up associating with the murderous Comando Vermelho (Red Command) gang in a Brazilian favela.
NFL star Michael Vick similarly found himself in trouble for his involvement in a dogfighting ring while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
Although we probably never thought we’d hear of Fábio Rochemback again, there is now bound to be some interest as we discover what will happen to this once-promising talent next.