Breno 21 Defender Bayern Munich
If there is one player on this list that will want to forget the last twelve months, it is Bayern Munich defender Breno Borges.
Hopes were extremely high for the Brazilian youngster when he first moved to Munich for a staggering €14m in 2008. Identified by former Bayern star Giovanni Elber as one of the brightest talents in South America, the German giants moved swiftly to secure the services of a player who had already rejected the chance to sign for Real Madrid after they had requested a bone analysis to prove his age.
Adjusting to life in Germany proved difficult for Breno and opportunities to break into the Bayern first team proved elusive. One such opportunity, playing in a friendly against Indian side Mohun Bagan, ended in controversy when the then 18 year old Borges was sent off for fighting.
A loan move to Nuremberg at the start of 2010 offered the chance of progress and regular football, but a cruciate knee ligament injury seven games into Breno’s spell with the club ended his season.
A return to first team football with Bayern arrived in November 2010 but appearances were confined to operating as back up for Holger Badstuber. A series of niggling injuries and disciplinary problems marred the rest of 2010-11 for Breno.
Any optimism that 2011-12 would offer a brighter period for Breno were completely shattered on September 24 when the Brazilian was arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at his home. Conspicuous by its absence at this point was any comment or public message of support from Bayern who later confirmed they had urged Breno to seek psychiatric help for frustrations relating to his injury problems.
There is a widespread belief in Germany that Breno’s ongoing physical issues are serious enough to be considered career threatening. In addition, his arrest also points at far more severe psychological problems and the suggestion that Bayern are keen to wash their hands of the player does not bode well for his future.
Bayern's Sporting Director Christian Nerlinger has confirmed recently that Breno is "on the right track" with a rehab programme and reports in the German media have also hinted at a contract extension for the defender. At present that sounds particularly fanciful.
At 22, Breno is a father to three children from two separate relationships and while his career has nosedived, it is his mental state that is causing alarm. Considering all that has happened over the last year, it’s easy to understand why Real were cautious.
"He can't defend" - John Dobson (Journalist)
E Where Breno goes from here is anyone’s guess.