Things that are nearly funny but actually not, when you think about it: ex-Man United wastrel Anderson being substituted and needing an oxygen mask only 36 minutes into a Copa Libertadores match.
At face value, the incident seems to sum up Anderson’s time at Old Trafford, where he was frequently unfit, made only 70 EPL starts in eight years and rarely looked like justifying the exorbitant $30 million transfer fee United paid Porto.
The 26-year-old Brazil international returned to his native land earlier this month to join Internacional, coming off the bench in his debut and missing a penalty.
But the footage of Anderson trudging off the field, wheezing like a geezer, flopping on to the bench and asking for air, needs context. The game against The Strongest was in Bolivian capital La Paz, which stands 3.5 kilometers above sea level. A couple of years ago, FIFA was so concerned with the potential effects of playing at high altitude that it briefly banned international matches from taking place above 2.75 kilometers.
So on this occasion, unfit though he may still be, Anderson deserves a pass.