Elano with Galatasaray S.K. in 2009
|Full name||Elano Ralph Blumer|
|Date of birth||14 June 1981|
|Place of birth||Iracemápolis, Brazil|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2014||→ Flamengo (loan)||4||(0)|
|2015||→ Chennaiyin (loan)||15||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Known for his accurate passing and precise set pieces, Elano started his career at Santos, and spent six years in Europe in the service of Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City and Galatasaray. He returned to Santos in 2011, and later joined fellow league teams Grêmio and Flamengo, before signing for Chennaiyin of the Indian Super League as their marquee player. In 2015, after finishing the season as league top scorer, Elano rejoined Santos for a third spell.
Elano earned 50 caps for the Brazil national team between 2004 and 2011, scoring nine goals. He represented the nation at their triumphs in the 2007 Copa América and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and also played at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 Copa América.
Elano began his career with Guarani of Campinas in São Paulo state. After a short spell with Limeira's Internacional, he joined Santos in 2001. He made his senior debut for the latter on 21 January 2001, coming on as a substitute for Deivid in a 1–0 Campeonato Paulista home win against former club Guarani. His first goal for the club came on 28 April, the equalizer in a 5–1 away routing of Mogi Mirim.
Elano subsequently established himself a started at Peixe, and played alongside Robinho, Diego and Alex. He soon gained a reputation as a talented goalscoring midfielder, forming part of the Santos side, which won the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2004 by scoring a career-best 22 goals. Three years at Santos produced 34 goals and earned the player a transfer to the Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk on 1 February 2005.
Although he was not a regular in his first season in Ukraine, Elano went on to establish his credentials as a key player and exceptional form saw him become the first player from the Ukrainian Premier League to represent the Brazil national team, when he was called up for the Brazil–Norway game on 16 August 2006.
On 2 August 2007, Manchester City paid £8 million for Elano, who signed a four-year contract. He made his debut on the opening day of the season against West Ham United, providing the cross for the opening goal. He played in his first Manchester derby against Manchester United on 19 August 2007. Elano also revealed how he enjoyed his new life in Manchester, describing the city as beautiful, and how the weather suited him better than that which he experienced in Ukraine. He also admitted surprise at the tempo of football in the Premier League.
He was assigned with the squad number 11, previously allocated to Darius Vassell, who switched to the number 12 shirt.
On 29 September, Elano scored his first goal for City in a 3–1 win over Newcastle United. He added two more goals on eight days later in Manchester City's 3–1 win over Middlesbrough, one from open play about 25 yards out, and the other a curling free-kick from just outside the penalty area. He continued his good form by scoring the only goal in a match against Birmingham City and converting a late penalty in the League Cup victory at Bolton Wanderers. On 2 January 2008, he scored the first goal of 2008 at St James' Park in Manchester City's 2–0 victory over Newcastle. Two weeks later, in the FA Cup third round, Elano scored the winning goal as Manchester City knocked West Ham out of the competition and progressed to the fourth round. On 2 February, Elano got his fifth yellow card of the season when they played against Arsenal, a week earlier, which meant he could not play in the 2–1 victory over rivals Manchester United. Towards the end of March and beginning of April 2008, Elano scored three penalties against Birmingham City (3–1 defeat) and Sunderland (2–1 victory), as well as against Bolton in the second round of the League Cup.
His performances at the end of the 2007–08 season pleased the then manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, who claimed that the "Real Elano is Back". Elano proved himself to be highly versatile, playing in many positions for Manchester City throughout the 2007–08 season, including full-back in the 3–1 home win against Portsmouth. Elano finished the season with a goal in the 8–1 defeat at Middlesbrough on the last day of the Premier League season. His first season saw him score ten goals and as many assists in all competitions.
Elano had a fairly quiet pre-season to 2008–09, returning a bit later due to international duty. He had a good performance in the 1–0 friendly win over Milan on 9 August 2008, creating many chances with his dominant free role in midfield, and continued his good form with a successful penalty in the 4–2 loss at Aston Villa. He followed up with two goals in the 3–0 home win against West Ham, making him joint top scorer with Gabriel Agbonlahor at the end of matchday two of the Premier League. However, with the high-profile return of Shaun Wright-Phillips and the transfer of his fellow Brazilian Robinho to the club in the early part of the 2008–09 season, there was doubt as to whether he would maintain his dominant midfield position at the club. During Robinho's first match for the club, a 3–1 defeat against Chelsea, Elano was on the bench and was not called on to the pitch. He played a left-central midfield role in Mark Hughes' new look side, requiring him to act as a support between left-back Javier Garrido and forward Robinho.
He scored a goal from 25 yards out against Omonia on 2 October 2008 to help Manchester City qualify into the group stages of the UEFA Cup. After mixed performances off the bench, he continued his 100% penalty record with a goal from the spot with one in the UEFA Cup quarter-final match with Hamburger SV on 16 April 2009, another three days later in the 4–2 win over West Bromwich Albion, and then again in a 3–1 victory over Blackburn Rovers on 2 May.
Elano joined Galatasaray on 30 July 2009, signing a four-year contract with the Turkish club. He was greeted at the airport by over 1,300 fans. Elano took the number 9 shirt, previously belonging to Hakan Şükür. He made his debut on 20 August 2009 in a UEFA Europa League play-off game against Estonian side Levadia Tallinn, coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute. He scored his first goal for the club on his home Süper Lig debut against Kayserispor on 23 August 2009, scoring a fantastic left-foot goal from 28 yards.
Elano rejoined former club Santos on 30 November 2010 for a €2.9 million transfer deal. Galatasaray will also receive 50% of the transfer profit (the revenue minus €2.9 million) should Santos sell him to another club on or before 31 December 2012 for higher than €2.9 million. On 19 January 2011, Santos announced that the club sold 20% economic rights for future transfer revenue to an investment group, Terceira Estrela Investimentos S/A (TEISA) for R$ 1.56 million, or 20% cost that Santos paid (R$7.8 million). It is because Santos bought Elano for €2.9 million (R$6.6 million) plus R$1.2 million tax. On his return to Brazilian football, he was top scorer of the 2011 Campeonato Paulista alongside the Corinthians striker Liédson, with 11 goals.
The midfielder returned to Grêmio following his departure from Flamengo, but his return did not last, as his contract was terminated by mutual consent on 22 August 2014.
On 20 September 2014, Elano signed for Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League (ISL)'s debut season. He signed for a three-month contract for US$1 million through the club's technical partner and CEO of Kshatriya Sports Prashant Agarwal. He qualified as the marquee player of the franchise and scored from a free kick on his debut at FC Goa, in a 2–1 victory on 15 October 2014, making him the first marquee player to score in the ISL. With two goals — a penalty and a free kick — and two assists in Chennaiyin's 5–1 win over Mumbai City on 28 October, he topped the ISL scoring chart with five goals in four games. He finished the season as the league's top scorer with eight goals, but also spent time back in Brazil for recuperation following an injury suffered against Pune City.
On 6 January 2015, it was reported that Elano was now a free agent and that he would be pursuing a move back to Brazil.
On 13 January 2015, Elano agreed to a short-term deal with Santos, returning to the club for a third spell. He debuted in his third spell on 1 February, coming on as a second-half substitute for Thiago Ribeiro in a 3–0 home win against Ituano. In May, he renewed his contract for a further season.
On 17 June 2015, however, Elano agreed to a loan back to former club Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League, again as their marquee player. During his second season with the team, Elano helped Chennaiyin win the ISL championship, defeating Goa 3–2 on 20 December 2015. However, following the final, Elano was involved in controversy in which he was arrested by the Goan police for allegedly assaulting Goa co-owner Dattaraj Salgaocar. Elano was released after spending the night with the Goan police before returning to Brazil the next day. Following the incident, Elano plead his innocence while video of the altercation between him and Salgaocar showed Elano trying to calm the situation down instead of trying to start a conflict. In the end, Elano was not charged by the AIFF, the Indian Super League organizers, or the Goan police. In August 2016, it was revealed that when selling his stake in FC Goa, one of the conditions of Salgaocar was that Elano would not be able to return to the Indian Super League for at least two seasons.
Returning to Peixe in January 2016, Elano appeared rarely for the club. On 24 November of that year, he announced his upcoming retirement from professional football after the expiration of his contract in December, becoming Dorival Júnior's assistant manager for the 2017 campaign.
Elano's last professional match occurred on 11 December 2016, as he came on for Lucas Lima in a 1–0 home win against América Mineiro. He ended his career with 322 matches and 68 goals only for Santos.
Elano was capped for Brazil in the 2004 CONMEBOL Men Pre-Olympic Tournament in January 2004. His full international debut came in October 2004, and he has since earned 50 caps, and scoring nine goals. He scored his first two international goals in the 2006 friendly 3–0 win against Argentina on 3 September at the Emirates Stadium, London.
On 19 November 2008, Elano scored in the 6–2 victory over Portugal in a friendly. Elano scored his sixth international goal against Italy with an all set up by his former Santos and Manchester City teammate Robinho, who went on to score Brazil's second goal. Elano then set up the match-winning goal for Lúcio, completing a stunning second-half comeback in the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup against the United States, helping the Seleção win a third trophy in the competition.
On 14 November 2009, Elano made an assist in a friendly against England. Nilmar ran between two defenders to head a long pass from Elano past goalkeeper Ben Foster and score the winning goal in a 1–0 victory.
On 15 June 2010, Elano scored Brazil's second goal against North Korea in their first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the 72nd minute. He also scored a goal against the Ivory Coast in the 62nd minute of Brazil's second game but was substituted minutes later with an injury after a very heavy challenge. He did not play for the rest of the tournament due to that injury.
In the quarter-final match against Paraguay, he was the first to take a shot at the penalty shootout that took place after the goalless match. Elano, along with Brazil's three subsequent penalty-takers – Thiago Silva, André Santos and Fred – failed to convert, resulting in Brazil's elimination from the tournament.
Elano is married to Alexandra, and they have two daughters. He separated from his wife in a short period in 2011 and had an affair with Brazilian actress Nívea Stelmann. He came back to his wife later that year and now is a practising Roman Catholic.
After the 2015 Indian Super League final, Elano was arrested for allegedly physically assaulting the co-owner of FC Goa. This case has now been referred to the ISL disciplinary committee. The ISL has taken a "serious view of the unsporting behavior by the Goa franchise and alleged unsporting behavior of certain players of the teams on and off the field." Meanwhile, Chennaiyian fans poured their support for Elano and condemned the unsporting behavior of FC Goa owners.
Immediately after retiring Elano remained at his last club Santos, being one of the club's permanent assistant managers. On 4 June 2017, after manager Dorival Júnior's dismissal, he was appointed interim manager.
Elano's reign lasted two matches before the appointment of Levir Culpi. On 28 October 2017, after Levir's sacking, he was again named interim until the end of the year, and took the club to a final third position overall. On 31 December, however, he was himself sacked by the club.
|Shakhtar Donetsk||2004–05||Premier League||13||4||2||0||4[d]||1||—||—||19||5|
|Manchester City||2007–08||Premier League||34||8||2||1||0||0||—||2[g]||1||38||10|
|Flamengo (loan)||2014||Série A||4||0||—||4[i]||1||7||2||—||15||3|
|Brazil national team|
|1.||3 September 2006||Emirates Stadium, London, England||Argentina||1 – 0||3–0||Friendly|
|2.||3 September 2006||Emirates Stadium, London, England||Argentina||2 – 0||3–0||Friendly|
|3.||9 September 2007||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||United States||4 – 2||4–2||Friendly|
|4.||17 October 2007||Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Ecuador||5 – 0||5–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|5.||19 November 2008||Bezerrão, Distrito Federal, Brazil||Portugal||5 – 2||6–2||Friendly|
|6.||10 February 2009||Emirates Stadium, London, England||Italy||1 – 0||2–0||Friendly|
|7.||2 June 2010||National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe||Zimbabwe||3 – 0||3–0||Friendly|
|8.||15 June 2010||Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa||North Korea||2 – 0||2–1||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|9.||20 June 2010||Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa||Ivory Coast||3 – 0||3–1||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|Santos (interim)||4 June 2017||8 June 2017||1||1||0||0||1||0||+1||100.00|
|Santos (interim)||28 October 2017||31 December 2017||7||3||1||3||9||10||−1||42.86|
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