The journey of any professional footballer is seldom made without any set-backs – whether that’s down to injuries, rejection or off-field controversy.
Kenedy is a player who understands at least two of those subjects well, having been forced to climb the ladder for a second time after initially bursting on to the scene with Chelsea.
Still registered at Stamford Bridge, the winger turned full-back welcomed Manchester United to Spain tonight as he and plucky Granada targeted a prized Europa League scalp.
It’s a first-leg clash which is sure to attract the interest of his parent club – and Chelsea fans, too.
Six years on from his arrival in the UK, it’s been a tough road to redemption for the fleet-footed Brazilian, who came through the youth ranks at Fluminense in his native country before a high-profile move to the Premier League.
Loan spells at Watford, Newcastle United (twice), Getafe and now Granada have since followed.
But it’s not only struggles on the pitch that have seen Kenedy, now 25, forced to endure something of a learning curve ahead of his biggest test to date – against Premier League big-hitters United.
Indeed, back in the summer of 2017, the Brazilian was sent home from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia early amid fury on the back of two inadvertently controversial social media posts.
Posting a picture and video on Snapchat, the image featured a sleeping security guard, uploaded alongside the caption; ‘Acorda China. Vacilao’.
Meanwhile, intending to reach out to fans in China by rapping about the country on a video, Kenedy posted with the accompanying words; ‘Porra, China’.
Queue the media storm.
His innocence in uploading the post came as the club’s Chinese translator refused to offer Kenedy a helping hand.
Unbeknown to the player, the first translation of that caption read; ‘F*** China’. However, it’s since been suggested that a more accurate translation would be; ‘Bloody hell, China’.
Reaching out with the best possible intentions, the social media posts backfired and Chelsea were forced to act.
Kenedy was subsequently sent home and issued a high-profile apology – and he reflects on the incident as a steep learning curve in his development, both on and off the field.
During an interview with The Athletic, he said: “There was nothing malicious in it. I had no idea that people would translate it as; ‘F*** China’. I had no reason to expect that. I only realised the following morning, when I woke up to all these people sending me messages.
“I tried to explain that I had no bad intentions. It wasn’t a nasty post. I was smiling in the video. If I was badmouthing other people, why would I be smiling? I was really upset, because it was a misunderstanding.”
In each football.london bulletin, we’ll bring you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces on your favourite club, as well as the key talking points for fans.
You won’t miss a thing – you’ll get all the news you need right to your inbox. We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
You can sign up for Arsenal updates here.
You can sign up for Chelsea updates here.
You can sign up for Tottenham updates here.
You can sign up for West Ham updates here.
Kenedy added: “I expected a lot more help from a lot of people.
“I didn’t have anyone. I was all alone. I felt really sad. I needed help and no-one stood up for me. I was all by myself and just had to deal with it on my own.
“My time in Europe has been a real learning curve for me. There have been good times, but I’ve gone through some tough moments as well. Things haven’t always gone how I expected.
“There are ups and downs in life, and I have experienced both. But now I’m very happy. I’m in a good place, mentally and I feel like I’ve rediscovered the old Kenedy – the one from back at Fluminense.”