He’s had a whirlwind of a career, spanning from Brazil to Japan to Portugal and now China yet, somewhat inevitably, Hulk is now perhaps most widely known for his off-field exploits.
After divorcing his wife Iran last summer, the 34-year-old is now dating her niece and, unsurprisingly, it has caused quite the storm.
‘I wake up and go to sleep without understanding why everything happened to me,’ Iran told Record via MARCA recently.
Hulk has recently made headlines due to the fallout of him leaving his wife for her niece
Hulk split from Iran Angelo (left) last year and started dating Camila just a few months later
The Shanghai SIPG forward, seen with Camila, has spoken of his marriage troubles with Iran
Hulk and Iran had three children together- Ian, Tiago and Alice – whilst they were married
‘The pain is very great, sometimes I think it will tear my heart out. She was a daughter to me.’
Hulk and Iran were married for 12 years and had three children together – Alice, Ian and Tiago – and on the face of it, the Shanghai SIPG striker had it all.
He was married with a family and on a £350,000-a-week wage in China but his marriage was not all that it seemed and Hulk has admitted to being unfaithful – albeit not with Camila, who he is with now.
‘I never had a relationship with Camila when I was married,’ Hulk said on Instagram via Quem. ‘I am a man. I was not happy in my marriage. I had countless reasons. I spent my entire marriage betraying Iran. She lived a single life. Just wanted to have the status of wife of the Hulk.
‘Camila came to China. I don’t think I’m an ugly person and I’m young. Camila is young and extremely beautiful. We ended up getting involved. We were single.
‘We came back from China and told the family when you came back, and you went to media. I have a clear conscience and peace. If you want to continue cursing me and treating me like a monster, the choice is yours. But criticise on top of the truth.’
Hulk’s time in China on the pitch has been a success – he has scored 46 goals in 87 games for Shanghai SIPG, continuing the relentless scoring form he became known for with Porto and Zenit St Petersburg.
He moved to China in 2016, with Shanghai paying a £45m fee for the Brazilian. He shared pictures of his journey to Asia via a private jet that was emblazoned with pictures of him from the course of his career, as well as his signature painted onto the plane.
Hulk joined Shanghai SIPG back in 2016 on a contract worth a whopping £350,000-a-week
He was once seen to travel on his own private jet, with pictures of him emblazoned on the walls
A year after his big-money move, Hulk was cleared of allegations that he had punched a rival coach.
He was accused of punching Guizhou Zhicheng’s assistant coach Yu Ming at half-time during his side’s 3-0 win. Zhicheng were quick to call the authorities to take action.
The CFA investigated the matter and deemed that it was ‘not as serious as people think’.
‘As far as we know, a quarrel did occur during half-time between the two parties, but there is no evidence Hulk committed a disciplinary offence,’ said Li Lipeng, deputy director of the Executive Board of Chinese Football Association (CFA) Professional League. ‘It is understandable that both parties are eager to win, and it’s quite normal to have disputes. However, to the best of our knowledge, the incident is not as serious as people think.
‘Shanghai SIPG had delivered all the evidence relevant to the case to Guizhou Zhicheng, who will decide if they will take further action. Basically, an agreement has been reached between the two parties.’
Zhicheng’s then caretaker coach, Li Bing, demanded Hulk take responsibility for his behaviour.
He posted on Weibo: ‘I am just an ordinary football coach and I told the whole story in a matter-of-fact way, singling out Hulk for his bad behaviour as a professional player. He is a world-class star and I admire his footballing skills. However, to err is human and I suppose he is afraid to admit when he makes a mistake.
‘The truth is Hulk provoked [my assistant] Li Sheng, started the argument and then punched [another assistant] Yu Ming. What matters is not the seriousness of his punch, but the nature of his behaviour.’
While in lockdown in China, Hulk spent time getting extra fit and muscular in the gym
Hulk has revealed that he is going to depart Shanghai this December when his contract ends
Hulk has said he has offers to join Champions League clubs in Europe as well as a Brazil return
Hulk is set to leave China when his contract ends in December and has said he could join a Champions League club.
‘We already had a meeting and I said I don’t want to extend,’ he told Globoesporte.
‘Now it’s raining proposals from several countries. It’s true that among them are many of Europe’s big clubs, competing in the Champions League, and also Brazil.’
He looks in the shape of his life, having trained hard to get into a more muscular shape while China was in lockdown.
And with the football world counting the financial impact of Covid-19, it is understandable why there would be no shortage of suitors for the 34-year-old. There are more dramatic twists in the story of his career to unfold after China.