It's a sad day, despite the fact it's the five-year anniversary of Istanbul. And it's a sad day despite knowing the inevitability of today's news. But Fabio Aurelio's exit from Liverpool was always going to be a sad day.
If Aurelio wasn't made of glass, he could have been one of Liverpool's best ever left backs. And that's not hyperbole. He could, and arguably still should, have been a regular starter for the Brazilian national team. When fit, Fabio could do it all in defense and attack. He was consistently Liverpool's best crosser of the ball, and arguably the best on free kicks (sorry Stevie) during his time here. He is a perfectly modern fullback, and one hell of a footballer.
But if Aurelio wasn't made of glass, he probably never would have joined Liverpool. He was a free transfer, on moderate wages, because of his injury history. Benitez took a gamble on the player having worked with him before, and the gamble worked whenever nature allowed it. Pity nature didn't allow it more often.
In a perfect world, Aurelio would have been healthy enough for this year and the next, allowing Insua to progress at a more reasonable pace instead of the baptism by fire suffered this season. I truly wish he had taken the pay-as-you-play deal offered by Liverpool, for both selfish and footballing reasons. But that's he's looking for more security, whether on the continent or back in Brazil, is completely understandable.
So, below, is a video of Aurelio's four (fantastic) Liverpool goals, as well as my favorite assist, which I reckon perfectly encapsulates his talents.
Best of luck, Fabio. You'll never walk alone.