Vágner Love with CSKA Moscow in 2009
|Full name||Vágner Silva de Souza|
|Date of birth||11 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|2009||→ Palmeiras (loan)||12||(5)|
|2010||→ Flamengo (loan)||5||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:35, 13 October 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:44, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Vágner Silva de Souza (born 11 June 1984), known as Vágner Love, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Corinthians. He is a forward who has been described by World Soccer Magazine as possessing "mobility, flair, awareness and powerful shooting".
In the summer of 2004, Vágner Love was bought by Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow. For over a year after his arrival, rumours kept appearing that he did not want to stay in Moscow, and a transfer to Corinthians in particular was hinted at numerous times. These rumours, however, eventually subsided, and he mentioned a number of times that he was fully committed to his contract and is looking forward to completing its full tenure.
Vágner Love scored the final goal that sealed CSKA's 3–1 victory in the 2005 UEFA Cup Final over Sporting CP at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. In addition to winning the UEFA Cup, he has gone on to win the Russian Premier League title and Russian Cup in both 2005 and 2008, as well as the Russian Super Cup in 2006.
On 28 August 2009, following a run of poor form for CSKA, Vágner Love was signed by his former club Palmeiras on a one-year loan deal until 31 July 2010. CSKA press spokesman Sergei Aksenov claimed that Vágner Love left Russia due to "urgent family problems demand(ing) his presence at home in Brazil".
Vágner Love had a respectable return of 5 goals in 12 games for Palmeiras, but his loan spell was ended prematurely: After publicly stating his concern over his safety at Palmeiras due to off-field altercations with fans, as well as his desire to play for his childhood team Flamengo, the deal was ended early on 14 January 2010.
On 15 January 2010, the day after his loan was terminated with Palmeiras, Vágner Love officially signed a loan deal with reigning Brazilian champions Flamengo, through till July 2010. He made his Flamengo debut against Bangu in the Campeonato Carioca on 23 January 2010, scoring two goals.
Vágner Love performed very well playing for Flamengo, scoring 23 goals in 26 matches. His successful strike partnership with Adriano was dubbed by fans as "Império do Amor", or "The Love Empire", in reference to Adriano's nickname "The Emperor" and Vágner Love's artistic surname. The presence of midfielder Dejan Petković in Flamengo's squad made supporters start the year with high expectations—it was widely believed that the Serbian's passing and free-kick abilities, coupled with Adriano's and Vagner's prolific scoring, would produce a top team.
However, with Adriano struggling to keep an athlete's body mass index, and Petković's legs growing old (he was already 37 then), the team failed to advance past the quarter-finals in the 2010 Copa Libertadores. Shortly after, Adriano revealed he wanted to try playing in Italy again, and Flamengo could not convince CSKA to extend Vágner Love's loan, thus dismantling the once-promising "Love Empire".
After a change of presidency, on 12 January 2013, Flamengo did not pay his pendencies of rights with CSKA, and Vágner Love had to leave the club, returning to Russia after a one-year absence. On January 16, he was "re-presented" in Moscow and signed a three-year contract extension. He continued his goal scoring record with CSKA on his return to the club, and propelled the club to the Premier League title in 2013 after a goalless draw with Kuban Krasnodar on 18 May, the club's first league title since 2006.
On 8 February 2015, Vágner Love rescinded his contract with Shandong Luneng and signed with Corinthians in Brazil. He went on to become the top scorer of the club during the national championship as Corinthians went on to win the Série A that year.
On 13 January 2016, Ligue 1 club Monaco announced the signing of Vágner Love on an 18-month deal for a €1 million transfer fee. On 20 March, he opened the scoring in an eventual 2–0 win against Paris Saint-Germain, the Parisian club's first home defeat since May 2014.
On 30 August 2016, Turkish Süper Lig club Alanyaspor reached an agreement with Monaco for the transfer of Love. On 31 August 2016, he was officially presented after passed the medical. Having failed to score in his first seven appearances for the club, Love scored 23 goals in 20 matches that followed to earn the Golden Boot award.
On 25 January 2019, Love returned to Corinthians on a deal until the end of 2020 after rescinding his contract with Beşiktaş.
|Shandong Luneng Taishan||2013||10||6||0||0||0||0||–||10||6|
Vágner Love earned his first call up for the Brazil national football team for the 2004 Copa América, in a squad without the main stars to give them rest after the end of the 2003-04 season. He made his debut as a substitute in the 4-1 win against Costa Rica, which was his single appearance as Brazil went on to win the competition.
In 2007, he was called up for the 2007 Copa América, in which he scored in a 6-1 win against Chile. He played his last match for the national team in that year, against Uruguay, totalling 20 matches and 4 goals for Brazil.