A few years ago, Diego was hailed as the next big thing in Brazil. Forget Robinho, the original Santos starlet was playmaker Diego. He first burst onto the scene as a 17 year old and duly lead Emerson Leao’s young Santos side to their first championship in 18 years and all the wasy to the Libertadores final. The classic Brazilian number 10, Diego had it all. He dribbled, he had an excellent passing range and an eye for goal. In 2003, Tottenham’s bid to bring him to the premiership failed. Instead Diego extended his contract with Santos. The following summer after strong performances during Brazil’s Copa America triumph, he finally moved to Europe and to Porto, the then newly crowned European champions as a replacement for Barcelona bound Deco. During his first season, under Victor Fernandez, he managed 30 games for the Portuguese giants, but when Fernandez was fired and eventually replaced by Co Adriaanse, Diego was deemed surplus to requirements. He played only 19 times last season and missed out on Brazil’s World Cup squad.
It was time for a fresh start and this summer Diego moved to Werder Bremen. Now you would not think that Germany and Brazilian footballers would go well together. Spain, yes. Italy yes but Germany? Well many of Brazil’s finest have thrived here and Diego seems no different. There has been a magical transformation of his form. He has been the star in each of Werder’s first two games, scoring and setting up goals.So great has been his impact that Kicker has even compared him to the other Diego. Still only 21, the €6 million that Werder paid for him is looking like the bargain of the summer. Dunga are you watching?