Fabinho might have become a world-class player at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, but that was not always evident as he made his way through Brazil’s youth football system.
As a young footballer aiming to make the grade, he was overlooked by the clubs he represented, and it was only once he moved to Europe that his real talent began to become clear.
"At the beginning, Fabinho had a good career in the base divisions of Brazilian soccer at Paulinia," said Brazilian football expert Tiago Ferreira on a special Blood Red podcast exploring the footballing development of the 27-year-old, to be released on Wednesday, May 5.
"Paulinia is a small club in Sao Paulo and he was discovered by Fluminense, at that time as a right-back.
"He did not look so promising at that time but he had good technique and physical performance.
"But Fluminense already had two right-backs - Igor Julião, who was the best in his position at the club, and others [Wallace Oliveira and Wellington Silva].
"Fluminense is a club without so much money but is always trying to fight to become champion of the league here.
"They sell a lot of younger players when they can [to raise funds] and Fabinho was one of them."
Fabinho moved to Rio Ave in Portugal, where he did not play a single game under then-boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who also had goalkeeping duo Ederson (now at Manchester City) and Jan Oblak (now of Atletico Madrid) under his ranks.
Listen to the full Fabinho podcast from Blood Red by clicking HERE
He was loaned out to Real Madrid, for whom he made one 14-minute appearance at senior level under Jose Mourinho, who had Dani Carvajal as his right-sided defender, and only once he signed for AS Monaco did he move into midfield.
It was then that his true talent began to become apparent, with Fluminense left to realise they could have sold the player for significantly more.
"At the time he was sold, no supporter or executive of the team was worried and [he was let go] because they did not know Fabinho very well," added Ferreira.
"He already had experience as a defensive midfielder but Fluminense and Rio Ave did not know that and they did not change his position - they saw him as an investment, and not a player.
"For sure [Fluminense regret letting him go so cheaply]. They have changed defensive midfielder four times since Fabinho left so they could have taken the player and they may have got a better value when they came to sell him.
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"Instead, they sold a player who was not playing in the XI and he was seen by the supporters as an irrelevant player at that time - unbelievable if you see that now.
"They were never thinking of playing him, but using him as an investment.
"He moved to Rio Ave for very, very cheap business - something around €250,000."
Having parted with an initial £39m to sign Fabinho from Monaco in the summer of 2018, Klopp can quite rightly consider the Brazilian to be one of his best buys.
With that figure now looking a bargain off the back of Premier League and Champions League success, it only hammers home further what Fluminense carelessly signed away.