Aílton Gonçalves da Silva
Aílton at practice with Duisburg in 2007.
|Full name||Aílton Gonçalves da Silva|
|Date of birth||19 July 1973|
|Place of birth||Mogeiro, Brazil|
|1994–1995||→ Mogi Mirim (loan)||28||(8)|
|2006||→ Hamburger SV (loan)||13||(3)|
|2006–2007||Red Star Belgrade||13||(4)|
|2007||→ Grasshopper (loan)||13||(8)|
|2008–2009||→ SCR Altach (loan)||12||(7)|
|2010||KFC Uerdingen 05||13||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Aílton's career began in Brazil, and he played in his homeland with Mogi Mirim EC, Santa Cruz FC and Guarani FC. He then moved to UANL Tigres in Mexico, which made way to a 1998–99 move to SV Werder Bremen in Germany.
He had some difficulties in his first season, managing only two league goals, but developed into a strong service provider. Werder Bremen won the DFB-Pokal in 1999. However, Aílton did not take part in the final, which was won on penalties against Bayern Munich. In 1999–00 he scored twelve goals, 13 in 2000–01, 16 in 2001–02 and 2002–03, the following season bringing with it 28 goals. He won the Bundesliga and the German Cup with Werder Bremen. Due to his achievements at Bremen, he was selected in 2004 as the first foreigner to win the German Footballer of the Year award. The 2004–05 season saw a lucrative move to FC Schalke 04.
In July 2005, Rıza Çalımbay brought him to Beşiktaş for €3.5 million, but he failed to show his full potential. Beşiktaş management brought him to the team with high hopes but his lack of scoring touch turned the fans against him and they wanted him replaced with another quality striker as soon as possible. Having failed to find himself a club in January 2006, Aílton had undertaken an escape attempt toward Brazil, but was stopped at the airport by Beşiktaş' interim manager Mehmet Eksi. However, because he had not found a new club during the winter, he returned to Istanbul and faced his old team Werder Bremen in the Efes Cup, scoring a hat trick for Beşiktaş.
He returned to Germany on loan to Hamburger SV in January 2006, but broke his jaw in only his second appearance for the club – an away game against Hannover 96 – and missed most of the remaining season. He scored three times upon his return. As a result, Hamburg did not decide to buy Aílton for a previously agreed sum of €1.75 million.
Aílton had to return to Beşiktaş where he was still out of favour. As a result he was transferred to Serbian side Red Star Belgrade where he signed on 31 August 2006. In the winter break of the 2006–07 season Aílton was loaned out to Grasshopper Club Zürich. He managed to score eight goals during his spell in Switzerland. Grasshopper announced not to renew Aílton's contract and he was signed by newly promoted Bundesliga side MSV Duisburg in July 2007 on a one year contract. Unfortunately, he didn't meet the expectations at his new club. He even showed unprofessional conduct by arriving late from the winter break. The contract was cancelled at end of February 2008, he turned to the Ukraine and Austria before than signed with Campinense Clube on 12 March 2009. In the summer of 2009, he signed a contract with Chinese side Chongqing Lifan. On 2 December 2009 KFC Uerdingen 05 signed the Brazilian forward until 30 June 2011 but he left on 22 July 2010 for FC Oberneuland. The contract with Oberneuland was terminated in mutual agreement on 4 February 2011.
He joined sixth division side BFV Hassia Bingen for the 2012–13 season where he scored two goals on debut after being substituted in the 68th minute and helped the club attract a league record 1,300 spectators for the game.
A journeyman, Aílton has previously played for Beşiktaş in Istanbul, UANL Tigres in Mexico, and for the German clubs SV Werder Bremen, FC Schalke 04, Hamburger SV, MSV Duisburg as well as serving small stints with Red Star Belgrade and Grasshoppers Zürich. After Claudio Pizarro (174), Giovane Élber (133), and Stéphane Chapuisat (106), he is only the fourth foreign player to have scored more than 100 goals in the German Bundesliga.
- Bundesliga champion: 2003–04
- DFB-Pokal winner: 1998–99, 2003–04
- German League Cup runner-up: 1999
- Bundesliga top scorer: 2003–04
- German Footballer of the Year: 2004
- Serbian Superliga champion: 2007
- "Ailton novi igrač Crvene Zvezde". sportin.ba (in Bosnian). 31 August 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
- Matthias Arnhold (28 May 2014). "AÍLTON Gonçalves da Silva - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Trennung am Wochenende vollzogen". msv-duisburg.de (in German). 25 February 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
- "Oberneuland-Coup: Ailton zurück in Bremen". kicker.de (in German). 22 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- "Ailton löst seinen Vertrag auf". kicker.de (in German). 7 February 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Ailton schießt Hassia bei seinem Comeback zum Sieg" (in German). Fussball.de. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.