Former Bundesliga Player of the Year Grafite hopes to play in MLS next year

Grafite, who won both Player of the Year and Golden Boot award in Germany with an impressive 28 goals in 25 appearances in 2009, told he wants to play in North America.
Attention to any Major League Soccer team: Grafite would like to score goals for you next year.

The Brazilian striker, who won the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg in 2009, has nine months remaining on his contract with his current club Al Ahli Dubai in the UAE and admits he's interested in joining MLS.

"Yes, it is true that I'm interested in playing in America," Grafite told "I don't know now because I have nine months left on my contract at my current club. My dream after is to come and play in America with Major League Soccer."

Although he isn't a high-profile player in North America, Grafite has an impressive track record, especially during his time in the Bundesliga. During Wolfsburg's title-winning season, Grafite partnered with current Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko to form the Bundesliga's most profilic scoring tandem in league history with a combined 54 goals. Grafite's team-leading 28 goals in 25 appearances not only earned him the Golden Boot but the Player of the Year award as well.

After his contract with Wolfsburg ended in 2011, Grafite joined Al Ahli Dubai and continued his impressive scoring rate with 20 goals in 22 games. While he does enjoy living in Dubai, Grafite explained that he misses playing in a highly competitive league. He points to the fact that many of the players in the league are semi-pros who have other priorities aside from soccer and wants to play in a league where every player is committed to their soccer careers.

"The championship [here in Dubai] isn't on a high level like in Germany. I've played in French league, the Brazilian league. Until now, there are some players here where soccer isn't their number one job," Grafite said. "They have to make a living with second jobs. The league in Dubai started only four years ago."

He continued to explain, "If I could find a place where the lifestyle is similar to what we [his family] have here and play at a higher level, it would be very good. I think the Major League is a very nice league. I think my family would be very happy as well."

Neither Grafite or his agent have spoken with any MLS teams yet but he hopes that he can join an MLS team after his contract ends in May. He also hinted that several other top Brazilian players could join MLS in the future. 

"I could come in June or July. I don't know about anything yet though," he said. "I do follow the league via the internet. Obviously, there's Beckham in Los Angeles and now I hear Brazilians want to play in the league also."

When asked if he's refering to Kaka's rumored interest in joining the New York Red Bulls, Grafite revealed that he has heard that MLS clubs are interested in the Real Madrid midfielder from colleagues.

"Yea, I've heard that some MLS clubs are interested in Kaka," he revealed. "I don't know too much about it but I have heard some things [from people]."


He is also surprised that fellow Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho hasn't joined MLS yet.

"What about when Ronaldinho left Flamengo," Grafite asked. "Yea [I'm surprised he's not in MLS yet], it would be very nice for him to be in America."

As mouth watering as both players joining MLS would be, for now fans can at least look forward to possibly seeing Grafite in the league. He might be getting up there in age at 33 years old but his physical presence at 6'2'' would still be useful as a targetman in the league especially for teams like the Philadelphia Union, Toronto and others. Grafite claims that he is open to hearing about opportunities from any team in MLS.

"Yea, I can definitely talk with MLS about this," he said before later adding, "Going to America is my first objective."