'He has written his name into Saint-Etienne folklore' – Goal.com's World Player of the Week Brandao

So simple yet so significant. Brandao, the 205th recipient of Goal.com‘s World Player of the Week award, was no more than five yards out when he slotted home less than 20 minutes into Saturday’s meeting with Rennes, but most of the Saint-Etienne fans in attendance had never seen a more beautiful strike.

The Brazilian’s tap-in at the Stade de France not only secured les Verts the first Coupe de la Ligue trophy, it also ended their 32-year wait for silverware. It was just as meaningful a goal for a player who has also known hard times during a peripatetic career.

Goal.com’s French football expert Robin Bairner explains: “Brandao admitted after the Coupe de la Ligue final that things had once got so grim for him that he had considered quitting professional football altogether, but the former Marseille man has been reborn at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, where he has emerged as an unlikely talisman for Saint-Etienne.

“He has now written his name into the folklore of one of France’s most successful clubs with the only goal of the game on Saturday evening, breaking an agonising drought for les Verts and securing their place in Europe next season.

“The competition has been kind to him in the past. Not only has he won it three times, scoring the winning goal in the final twice, he has never before tasted defeat in 13 previous outings, in which he has tallied nine goals. Nevertheless, Saturday’s tap-in against Rennes from a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cross was easily the most important as it sent a whole city in raptures.”

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