Adiós, Luis Fabiano

Luis Fabiano was officially sold last night to his former club, São Paolo, for 7.6 million euros (or 13 million if you believe Marca).  The only number that matters in this tribute, however, is 106.  That’s 5th all-time for a goalscorer at Sevilla.

I’ve been griping about him just as much as anyone lately, with his insistence on going to the ground too easily, the frequent losses of possession while auditioning his skills calamitously into four defenders, and of course the constant “to leave or not to leave” monologue.  But now is time to remember.

Do you remember where you were when he opened the scoring in Eindhoven?  I do:

I was in the basement of my dorm room, watching in the salón on a small TV.  Several of us crammed together there to view the final between Sevilla and Middlesbrough.  It was May of 2006, and I was studying abroad in Sevilla.  I am not certain, but it seems to me that several Betis fans were in attendance, probably curious to see if Sevilla would eclipse them for good as the city’s most successful team.  I remember thinking, as the cross left Alves’s boot, that he was much too far out to be crossing the ball and that it must be a shot.  I was behind a few people who jumped up in the air, but it wasn’t necessary to have seen the goal go into the net.  No one needed to tell me that we’d just gone up 1-0 in our club’s most historic match to date.

The rest of the story is familiar: goals by Enzo Maresca and Freddi Kanouté finished what Luis Fabiano started.  I still remember that goal as being so audacious.  How?  How with such speed from such an odd angle?  It was as if they had found a new pattern of geometry and physics.  The joyous face from that moment has faded in time, and I think we’d all agree it’s time for him to move on.  I hope that I’ll always remember LuFa in his joy and triumph at Sevilla.  He belongs up with the greats in the club’s narrative.  So long, O’Fabuloso.

Some highlights:

UEFA Cup 2006

Top 10 2007-08 (#5 is my favorite)

Goals 2009-10 (the two vs. villarreal are master class)