Nery Castillo the Mexican player with loads of talent and a history of prima donna-ish behaviour joins the MLS from Shakhtar Donetsk on loan.
He will play for the Fire. He is the second youngest DP to join in MLS history which in other circumstances could be considered a feather in the cap but Castillo brings considerable baggage.
Castillo if current career trajectory holds true will be the biggest bust in Shakhtar history. Unless they recoup the money somehow.
The Ukrainian club shelled out €20m to Olympiacos in 2007 to bring him over. He had just settled a long running feud with Rivaldo over playing minutes and was finally producing for the Greek club. Within the first few matches he had managed to alienate coach Mircea Lucescu by refusing to allow Cristiano Lucarelli, the regular penalty taker to take a penalty against another Ukrainian club side, taking it himself and missing. Lucescu on the incident:
” What Castillo did, from a professional point of view, I’ve never seen anything like it before in my whole life. There will be some measures taken against Castillo”
He was benched for the rest of the season. In the winter transfer, Castillo was loaned out to Man City, in a move that was partly funded by the player himself, in desperation to get some starting minutes. His City tenure was disastrous as he broke his shoulder in his third match and was unable to continue the rest of the season. His loan spell was not renewed at City and the next year he was once again on the move, this time to rivals Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
Shakhtar are hoping that Castillo revives his career and the MLS buys him off. He comes without much match experience and possible match fitness over the last three years.
Castillo’s ball control and pace has never been in doubt but he has a tendency to play for himself and is very temperamental. 2007 was his best year in the international limelight with his goalscoring exploits for Mexico in the Gold Cup and the Copa America. The Mexican fan base are all fired up for this one since Cuauhtemoc Blanco will not be returning. How Castillo fits into a decidedly blue collar team like the Fire with veteran players like Brian McBride and John Thorrington could be crucial to the club’s fortunes.