Adios Camilo

Just a few months ago, former Vancouver Whitecaps star Camilo Sanvezzo declared how happy and settled he and wife Jessica had become in the city of Vancouver — there was even talk of him making a Canadian national team appearance. You can scratch that.

Camilo Sanvezzo has joined Liga MX Querétaro for a record multi-million dollar fee in what seemed like a never-ending, agonizing process. Here’s the breakdown of Camilo’s not-so-popular exit to the south.

Without a doubt, Camilo earned the right to be named an MLS All Star following his performance in what was otherwise another mediocre and inconsistent Whitecaps campaign. At season’s end he famously netted a hat trick to claim the MLS Golden Boot award with 22 goals and steal the show during Y.P. Lee’s retirement match.

Camilo was also etched into Whitecap folklore after scoring an astounding scissor kick volley against rival Portland Timbers at a boisterous BC Place — a goal so spectacular it won the AT&T Goal of the Year.

In 2013, Camilo earned $247,500, but upon former head coach Martin Rennie’s firing, the Brazilian saw a chance to renegotiate his contract. When new manager Carl Robinson was appointed, he vowed to meet with Camilo to discuss his contract; Camilo vowed he was a committed player.

Fast-forward to three days later and Camilo is seen on Twitter in a medical examination room wearing a Querétaro jersey — smiling, and giving the “thumbs up” gesture.

More and more pictures of Camilio taking part in training sessions surfaced and tickets to a player presentation event at the stadium to announce his arrival were being sold. With Camilo still under contract to the Whitecaps, Robinson and company flew down to Mexico to try to recover their best player, but things turned sour quickly.

Ultimately, Vancouver was forced to undergo negotiations with an apologetic Querétaro president, Adolfo Rios, who was under different impressions of the players transfer status (Camilo’s agent had told his client he was under Free Agent status and could negotiate with other clubs).

Instead of a major dispute, the clubs were able to reach a multi-million dollar settlement. But with Toronto FC’s recent acquisitions of Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley from top European leagues, the question on every Whitecaps fans’ mind is “Who are we picking up now?”

With the multi-million dollar windfall from Camilo’s departure, the possibilities have certainly opened up. Yet, the Whitecaps faithful can’t help but wonder what this ordeal will do to the clubs on-field success and how quickly it can be recovered.