Alex Teixeira: Nine things you need to know about Liverpool's £37m transfer target
Published 21/01/2016 | 18:22
With the Brazilian on the verge of completing a move to Anfield, here's everything you need to know about the Shakhtar Donestsk star.
1. He's from the slums
Like most Brazilian prodigies Teixeira opted for a life of football over the ubiquitous presence of drugs and crime in the slums of his hometown.
Living in the densely populated favelas outside Rio de Janeiro, Teixeira was forced to travel over five kilometres each day in order to reach school.
Teixeira fought his way out of the slums in 1999 when he signed his first contract with Rio de Janeiro club, Vasco de Gama.
2. He's been on the radar of Europe's top clubs since he was 16
Texeira was identified as a special talent from a very early age at the Rio de Janeiro club. By the time he was 14 Teixeira had represented every age group at youth level, including a number of appearances for the Under-18s.
When the Brazilian reached the age of 18, reports had reached England that a wonderkid with quick feet, and a maturity beyond his years was drawing a growing crowd of admirers from across Europe's top leagues.
Despite reported interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, Teixeira remained loyal to his hometown club before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010.
3. He's uncapped by Brazil
Despite being voted the second-best player at the Under-20 Fifa World Cup in 2010, Teixeira remains uncapped by the senior national side.
The fact that Teixeira has so far failed to gain a full cap for the Samba boys means there could well be complications in obtaining a work permit.
The law demands that the player looking to obtain a work permit played at least 75% of his country's competitive matches in the past two years.
4. He communicates in emojiis
Footballers are fond of an emojii or ten, but Teixeira's liberal use of the smiley symbols borders on excessive.
This tweet presumably translates as: "Why did the chicken cross the road? Lol."
5. His dodgy hamstrings make him perfect for Liverpool
According to Russian journalist, Artur Petrosyan, the Shakhtar midfielder pulled his hamstring in training hours after the news of his move to Liverpool broke.
Assuming Teixeira is able to pass the medical for his move to Anfield the Brazilian will feel right at home in a dressing room full to bursting with dodgy hamstrings.
6. He's versatile
In his time at first club Vasco De Gama Teixeira played in every position bar goalkeeper.
Since graduating to senior football the diminutive play-maker remains comfortable in any attacking position, leading the line up front or, or just behind the main striker on any side of the attacking three.
When Fernandinho left Shakthar for Manchester City in 2013 he was asked to play a deeper role in the team to fill the gap left by the defensive midfielder.
7. He leads by example
Nicknamed 'Alex', the attacking midfielder has been a one-man tour de force since the 2015-16 season started in Ukraine. Having scored 22 goals last season, the 26-year-old has already matched that tally this season with 22 goals in 23 appearances.
Teixeira currently averages a goal every 61 minutes in the Ukranian league, the best minutes to goal ratio in any of Europe's top five leagues.
Liverpool have managed just 25 goals under Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League so far this year. With Daniel Sturridge still some way off a full return from injury, Klopp may be tempted to employ Teixeira as the lead striker.
8. He has Premier League friends
Making a move to a new country can be a daunting one for any young footballer, however Teixeira will be able to call on the advise of a number of fellow countryman.
Earlier this month it was reported Chelsea's Brazilian contingent, including Willian and Oscar, were attempting to persuade the attacking midfielder to join them at Stamford Bridge.
9. He's not shy or retiring
Alex Teixeira's lady partner looks set to be an ever present fixture on the search history of Liverpool fans if Teixeira does complete his move to Merseyside.
The 26-year-old married Cristina Thais in the summer of 2014 in a star-studded ceremony in front of a 'who's who' of Ukranian football's fittest and finest.