Former Rangers defender Bruno Alves has been hailed as a ‘phenomenon’ by Igor Simutenkov, for his performance levels in Serie A with Parma, as quoted by TuttoMercatoWeb.com.
The vastly experienced Portuguese was recruited by Pedro Caixinha and spent the 2017/18 campaign at Ibrox.
He made 20 league appearances but didn’t manage to produce his best form as the Gers proved unable to challenge Celtic in domestic competitions.
Alves left in the summer transfer window and joined Parma to captain the club on their return to the Italian top-flight.
Now deep into his second season with the Yellow and Blues, he’s racked up 54 league appearances, with Parma sitting pretty in ninth spot after a fourteenth-placed finish last time around.
Simutenkov, who was serving as assistant manager at Zenit Saint Petersburg during Alves’ time in Russia, has been impressed by the centre-back’s longevity and performance levels, as well as the efforts of other former Zenit stars currently plying their trade in Italy.
“I have seen many games and I have paid particular attention to those players who have gone from Zenit: Ansaldi, Bruno Alves, Hernani, Criscito,” as quoted by TuttoMercatoWeb [translated]. “I must say that they are all good guys and great professionals.”
“Bruno is a phenomenon and he is always smiling, as is Mimmo. Hernani is a Brazilian boy who came to us young, then was loaned to Saint-Etienne and then returned. Maybe, in the end, I am more tied to Criscito, he was the captain, a good person, a gentleman. ”
Alves wasn’t a major flop during his short stay at Rangers, but it’s clear that Bears didn’t see the best of him that season.
The 6ft 2″ defender has enjoyed a stellar club career, playing in multiple top leagues across Europe and winning 14 major honours.
It looked as though he was perhaps nearing the end of his playing days by the time he reached Glasgow, but as Simutenkov says, his efforts at Parma have been phenomenal.
Despite now being 38, he’s played the full 90 minutes in 20 of his side’s 25 league matches this season and rather than the St Johnstone’s and St Mirren’s of Scotland, he’s coming up against mighty Italian clubs like Juventus and Inter Milan and holding his own.