Mention the name Hildeberto Pereira to a Nottingham Forest fan and you would probably get a bizarre reaction. First a smile, then a shudder and probably topped off with a laugh.
The Portuguese star seemed to have no fixed abode on a football pitch. Was he an attacking full-back, a winger, a bullish midfielder? Nobody, least of all head coach Philippe Montanier, seemed to know at the City Ground. Perhaps that is why he always seemed so keen to get off it.
Pereira will always be best known at Nottingham Forest for his almost impressive ability to get sent off.
He amazed Forest fans when he inspired a comeback v Aston Villa. He was then shown a second yellow card for jumping into the crowd to celebrate. That was his first red, he was sent off twice more – against Blackburn and QPR.
In the end, it was no surprise when Forest decided against signing him permanently.
He ended up in Poland at Legia Warsaw, but after struggling for first-team football he joined League One side Northampton Town on loan last season. In February, when he picked up two yellow cards in stoppage time of a Cobblers loss to Gillingham, Forest fans found it highly amusing.
“I hope Nottingham Forest can progress more from last season and get to the Premier League because they are a big club and I have a lot of love for Nottingham Forest.
“It has been amazing because I wasn’t expecting too many fans to love me. Even if I change clubs I’m still going to have the love for Nottingham Forest fans.”
His spell at Sixfields was disappointing. When Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink got the sack, Pereira was told to return to Poland.
He returned to Portugal in the summer joining Vitoria Setubal. Finally, it looks as though a penny has dropped. Pereira is in exceptional form. Playing from the left-wing he has scored four goals in seven games, including an exceptional hat-trick against Moreirense in his last appearance. He has since been out injured with a knee problem but is back in training and will hope to continue his fine form going into 2019.
He has even managed to avoid been sent off for his new club, just the three yellow cards in seven games.
Forest fans saw plenty of raw talent in the player and he was at least a character during a drab campaign in 2016-17. Hopefully, he can continue kerbing his temper and become a star in Portuguese football.