Any publicity is good publicity for former Tottenham flop Gilberto da Silva Melo, who is quite fine with being remembered as Spurs’ worst winter signing of all time.
The Brazilian left-back joined the Londoners with high hopes in 2008 but would only make six appearances before returning to his country to play for Cruzeiro.
Despite not having much to assess during his time at White Hart Lane, Spurs fans remember the former player well and voted him as the aforementioned in a talkSPORT poll last year.
“In a way, it’s nice to be remembered, and I also kind of half-agree with what they said,” the ex-defender told ESPN.
“But footballers have to get used to this sort of thing. I’ve talked about it on Instagram because I wanted to show how hard it can be.
“I’d had four happy years in Germany, but Brazilians are competitive. Hertha were good but didn’t have the resources to compete for a title. This bothered me a lot because many of my Brazil teammates were playing in big tournaments like the Champions League and I never had the opportunity with Hertha. Tottenham came in, and I saw it as a chance to have a proper crack at some silverware.
“I remember my debut against PSV in the UEFA Cup. I tried to dribble past Jefferson Farfan. He nicked the ball from me and scored. Even though I was a Brazil international, I found it tough to recover, and I felt it was my fault we were losing 1-0. I picked up a calf injury and was subbed at half-time. We went out of the competition after the second leg, and I felt personally responsible.
“From that moment, it was all downhill. I tried my best at training and hoped that things would turn around. I liked London and the life there, but my confidence was shot. Then, Juande Ramos got the boot. Harry Redknapp came in, and he put me in the B-team at 32 years of age. That was embarrassing, playing with the U20s in empty stadiums. It was a tough time.”
Gilberto played in two World Cups for Brazil, also winning the Copa America and Confederations Cup with the South American nation. His time with Spurs, though, simply didn’t work out and he has apologised for the way things unfolded.
“I want to say sorry with all my heart to the Tottenham fans,” he said. “I’m gutted that it didn’t work. I would have loved to have stayed, but I got branded very quickly. There were some great people at the club, but it was a bad time for me personally.”