Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rio de Janeiro Greatest All-time 23 member team

Romario and Ronaldo
Please also see my All-Time Team Index.

50 Brazilian Greatest Players (26th-50th)
FlamengoBotafogoVasco Da GamaFluminense.
Brazil 1982 with Careca, Reinaldo etc  
São Paulo State Greatest All-time 23 member team

Before 1971, Brazil did not have a national league.  The state leagues, notably the Campeonato Paulista (Sao Paulo) and Campeonato Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) were the main football competitions in Brazil.  Most of the big clubs are located in the two states.  The two major states could produce all-time team that would be among the greatest in the world. I have create 23-member all-time teams for both states.  In addition, I create all-team Best XI selections for North & Northeast region, and then another Best XI for South and Southwest(excluding players born in Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo).  I was unable to create one for the Central-West.  I could only find two players of note from there.  Both Kaka and Lucio were born in the Federal District.  My All-time Brazil team is located here.

This is my selection of Best XI for players born in the State of  Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is home of FlamengoBotafogoVasco Da Gama and Fluminense.   The Maracana is also located in the city of Rio de Janeiro.  All players are born in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

GK: Julio Ceasar (Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro)
Julio Ceasar was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010.  He won the Champions' League with Inter Milan in 2010.  He won 87 international caps for the Seleção between 2004 and 2014. He was selected for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, in addition to two Copa América tournaments. Unfortunately, he was remembered for a few poor performance for Brazil at the WC Finals.
Julio Ceasar
GK: Carlos Jose Castilho (Rio de Janeiro)
Carlos Jose Castilho went to 4 World Cup Finals: 1950, 1954, 1958 and 1962, but only played in 1954.  He had a reputation for being lucky, earning the nickname "Leiteira".  He played over 695 games for Fluminense. He was daltonic and he believed he was favored because he saw yellow balls as if they were red, though he had trouble at night with white balls. He also decided to partially amputate a finger so that he did not need to rest for an injury.

GK: Diego Alves  (Rio de Janeiro)
At the time of writing, Diego Alves earned 10 caps for Brazil.  He was a backup keeper at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  He started his career with Clube Atlético Mineiro. He moved to UD Almería in Spain on 24 July 2007, as the Andalusians had just achieved a first ever promotion to La Liga. From 2011 to 2017, he played for Valencia.

RB: Carlos Alberto (Rio de Janeiro)
Carlos Alberto was one of the greatest fullback ever played the game. He was the captain of the 1970 team in Mexico.  His goal in the Final was considered one of the greatest goals in the history of the tournament. He missed the World Cup in 1974 through an injury.  He played with Pele both at Santos and NY Cosmos. He had 53 caps for Brazil.

RB: Leandro (Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro)
Leandro was one of the best rightbacks in the 1980's. He earned 31 capsHe was a part of the great 1982 World Cup team in Spain.  He spent his entire career playing for Flamengo. Along with Zico and Junior, he helped them to win the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1981. The team was considered one of the greatest Brazilian club side ever assembled.

CB: Domingos da Guia  (Rio de Janeiro)
Domingos da Guia was a star defender during the 1940's. He was among the first skilled defender to play the game. He played for several clubs, but notably with Flamengo and Corinthians, and aboard with Boca Juniors in Argentina. For Brazil, he had 30 caps. He was a star at the 1938 World Cup Finals in France. He made the all-star team at that World Cup Finals.  His son is Ademir da Guia, who also played for Brazil.
Domingos Da Guia

CB: Thiago Silva (Rio de Janeiro)
Thiago Silva became the most expensive defender in history when he moved from Milan to Paris St. Germain.  Before moving to play in Europe, he played for Juventude and Fluminense in Brazil. He was a key player as Fluminense to the Final of VCopa Libertadores in 2008.  For the national team, he was the captain of Brazil ill-fated team in World Cup 2014, but did not play against Germany in the semifinal. He was an unused sub at the WC Finals in 2010.

CB: Edinho (Rio de Janeiro)
Born in 1955, Edinho played 45 times for Brazil.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1978, 1982 and 1986.  He was the captain of the 1986 team.  Edinho was also in the team which finished fourth at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He spent most of his career with Fluminense, but also played with Flamengo and Fluminense FC.  In  Europe, he played with Udinese in Italy and Gremio.

CB: Ricardo Gomez (Rio de Janeiro)
Ricardo Gomez started his career with Fluminense at home before joining Benfica in 1988.  He would then join Paris St.Germaine in 1991.  He went to play in Italia 1990, where Brazil was known for their defensive tactics.  In 1994, he was selected as the captain for the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA.  However, he was injured at the last minute and did not attend the World Cup Finals.

LB: Nilton Santos (Rio de Janeiro)
Nilton Santos had 75 caps.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1950, but did not play a single game. He won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962 with Pele and Garrincha.  He is widely considered to be a pioneer in the offensive wingback position and was one of the greatest in his position. He spent his entire career with Botafogo during one of the club's greatest period.

LB: Marcelo (Rio de Janeiro)
Marcelo started his career with Fluminense before making a dream move to Real Madrid in 2007.  He spent several years in and out of the lineup before establishing himself as one of the star of the team.  With them, he won four Champions' League titles in 5 years from 2014 to 2018.  At the time of writing, he has over 50 caps for Brazil and played at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and then, the World Cup in Russia four years later.
CM: Didi (Campos does Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro)
Didi is considered one of the greatest players ever from Brazil.  He was capped 68 times for Brazil between 1952 to 1962. He was voted the best player in the 1958 World Cup Finals.  He was also on the 1954 and 1962 team.  He joined Real Madrid in the 1950's, but returned after less than a year because of a personal feud with Alfredo di Stefano. He also played with Garrincha at Botafogo, a team considered among the best ever club side in Brazil.

CM: Gerson (Niterói, Rio de Janeiro)
Gerson had 70 caps for Brazil.  He was the central midfielder for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup Finals. He is considered one of Brazil's best ever passers.  He played on the legendary Botafogo's team of in the 1960's with Garrincha.  While at the club, he also played with Didi and became his understudy, in which he would inherit the position on the Seleção.

DM: Danilo Alvim (Rio de Janeiro)
Danilo Alvim is considered one of he greatest defensive midfielder in Brazil's history.  He played 25 games between 1946 and 1953, winning the 1949 Copa América. He played on the ill-fated 1950 team alongside Zizinho.  For his club career, he was a part of Vasco da Gama's legendary "the Victory Express" team. He also played for America.

RW: Garrincha (Rio de Janeiro)
Garrincha is considered one of the greatest footballers and perhaps the greatest dribbler in history.  He inspired Brazil to win the World Cup in 1962, which widely considered the best individual effect in World Cup history.  He was the Player of the Tournament that year.  He also played in 1958 and 1966.  Brazil never lost a single match with Pele and Garrincha on their lineup. He was a member of the great Botafogo's team in the 1960's.
RW: Jairzinho (Rio de Janeiro)
"The Hurricane" was a star at the 1970 World Cup Finals.  he was one of two players who had scored at every single game of a given World Cup Finals.  He also went to West Germany 1974.  For his club career, he played for the famous Botafago team of the 1960's.  He was an understudy to Garrincha. He also played in France with Marseille.

AM/FW: Jair (Rio de Janeiro)
Jair was a member of the great offensive trio for Brazil at the World Cup in 1950. The other two were Zizinho and Ademir.  He played for Flamengo and Vasco da Gama before the WC in 1950.  After the WC Finals, he played mainly for clubs in Sao Paulo.  For the national team, he only made two cameo appearances two years after the ill-fated World Cup Finals.

LW: Zico (Rio de Janeiro)
Zico was the best player in the world during the early 1980's.  He came eighth in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote.  He went to three World Cup Finals, but probably best remembered for the 1982 tournament where Brazil was known as the greatt side that never won the World Cup.  He won the Intercontinental Cup in 1981 with Flamengo, a team that was considered among the greatest ever.  He later played with Udinese for 2 seasons.
FW: Leônidas da Silva (Rio de Janeiro)
Leônidas da Silva was known as "Black Diamond" and considered the greatest Brazilian footballer before the war. He was credited to be the inventor of "Bicycle Kick".  He played in two World Cup Finals: 1934 and 1938. He was the top scorer at the tournament in 1938.  He played for a number of clubs in Brazil and Penarol. His longest spells were with Vasco Da Gama and Sao Paulo.

FW: Zizinho (Nieroi, Rio de Janeiro)
Zizinho was Pele's idol.  He was considered the greatest Brazilian player before the 1960's. He was the star of the ill-fated World Cup Finals in 1950 playing alongside Jair and Ademir.  At the club level, he played for Flamengo, Bangu, São Paulo FC, Audax Italiano of Chile among others teams. With Flamengo, he won state championships in 1942, 1943 and 1944.

ST: Romario (Rio de Janeiro)
Romario helped the Seleção to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He missed the 1998 World Cup Finals because of an injury. One of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona.

ST: Roberto Dinamite (Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro)
Roberto Dinamite is a legend at Vasco Da Gama.  He is their appearance record holder and all-time leading scorer. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1978 and 1982.  He scored 3 goals in 1978.  He was the Copa América Top Scorer in 1983.  In 1982, he was backup striker who received a callup after Careca got injured and unable to play in Spain.

ST: Ronaldo (Rio de Janeiro)
Ronaldo was widely considered among the greatest ever to have play the game.  He led Brazil to victory at the 2002 World Cup, scoring 8 goals.  He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times. He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan. His moves to Spain and Italy made him only the second player, after Diego Maradona, to break the world transfer record twice, all before his 21st birthday.

Honorable mention
GK: Walter (Rio de Janeiro)
RB: Nelinho(Rio de Janeiro)
RB: Jorginho(Rio de Janeiro)
CB: Wilson Piazza ( Ribeirão das Neves, Rio de Janeiro)
CB: Carlos Mozer (Rio de Janeiro)
LB/AM: Leonardo (Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro)
AM: Ademir Da Guia (Rio de Janeiro)
ST: Edmundo (Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro)

Squad Explanation 
-- Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Didi, Zizinho, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto, Domingos Da Guia, Gerson and Leônidas da Silva are automatic selections.  No explanation is needed.
-- Only 8 players have won the World Cup, which was surprising given Brazil's history.  They are Gerson, Garrincha, Jairzinho, Ronaldo, Romario, Carlos Alberto, Nilton Santos and Didi.
-- Julio Cesar was widely considered among in the best in the world.  He is one of three non-Italian keepers who have won the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year and he won it twice. It is a big achievement for Brazilian goalkeepers that no one would have thought of before the 1980's.  I know Brazilians do not forgibe his the 2014 World Cup Finals.
-- Rio de Janeiro does not produce many great keepers.  Diego Alves was selected because there were no other big name. In the 1930's Brazil sent Walter, Joel, Germano and Pedrosa to the WC Finals, but I knew nothing much about them. Paulo Sergio and Ze Carlos were also from Rio de Janero.
-- Domingos Da Guia and Tiago Silva are probably two of Brazil's greatest centerbacks.  I have to choose between Carlos Mozer and Ricardo Gomez for the last centerback spot.  I took Ricardo Gomez. 
-- The rightback position is strong with Carlos Alberto and Leandro. Nelinho was remembered for his goal in the 1978 World Cup Finals. Jorginho is a top rightback of his time.  
-- Marcelo won four Champions' League for Real Madrid.  His international reputation, however, was defined by his performance against Germany in the 2014 World Cup Finals.  His grandfather who was Marcelo's greatest supporter died shortly before the match.  We should have a better understanding what went wrong emotionally with him on that day.  He was not the only player who failed to perform.
-- Jairzinho was Garrincha's understudy with Botafago.  Gerson did the same with Dida.  
-- Zizinho was Pele's idol.  He was Brazil's greatest player before the merge of Pele. Leônidas da Silva was Brazil's greatest player before emerge of Zizinho.
-- Gerson's father was a dear friend of Zizinho.  He grew up with Zizinho as his mentor. 
-- Jair da Rosa Pinto formed a great attack line with Zizinho at the 1950 World Cup Finals.  Ademir de Menezes was the third member of the trio, but he was not from Rio de Janeiro.
-- Ademir Da Guia is Domingos Da Guia's son.  Ademir de Menezes as mentioned above played with Jair and Zizinho.
-- The final two spots were between Ademir Da Guia and Roberto Dinamite.  I dropped Ademir Da Guia because I already have too many attack midfielders and I needed a backup striker.  So I took Roberto Dinamite.  I actually rated Ademir Da Guia higher than Roberto here.  This has to do with the position.
-- Edmundo was also considered. With Ronaldo, Romario, Jair, Zizinho, etc, he only made honorable mention.  He did not lead a World Cup attack, largely playing in the same generation as Romario and Ronaldo.  His club career in Europe did not stand out.
-- Romario and Ronaldo formed a lethal duo between 1996 and 1997.  Unfortunately, Romario was injured before the 1998 World Cup Finals.  The world never saw the two of them playing in a World Cup Finals. 


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