Monday, January 26, 2015

South/Southeast Brazil Greatest All-team 23 member team

Claudio Taffarel and Branco

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Sao Paulo StateRio de Janeiro
North/Northeastern BrazilSouth/Southeastern Brazil
Brazil 1982 with Careca,etc

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 the all-time team for the South & Southwest regions of Brazil.  The South region consists of  Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina while the Southwest include Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.  For this selection, I have excluded players from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.  Both Gremio and Internacional are located in Porto Alegre in the South region.  Minas Gerais is the home of Cruzeiro and  Atlético Mineiro.

GK: Claudio Taffarel (Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul)
Claudio Taffarel earned over 100 caps.  He was the starting goalkeeper for the World Cup 1994 winning team. He also appeared in other eight major international tournaments. During an 18-year career, he played professionally for six clubs, including Parma, Internacional, Atlético Mineiro and Galatasaray. He won an UEFA Cup with Galatasaray in 1999.

GK: Rogerio Ceni (Pato Branco, Parana)
Roger Ceni is known as the goalkeeper who was known as a dead-ball specialist and scored a lot of goals.  He is recognized as the highest scorer in history for a goalkeeper.  He is a long-term keeper for Sao Paulo.  With them, he won two Copa Libertadores: 1993, 2005.  For Brazil, he had 16 caps.  He went to two World Cup Finals (2002 and 2006) as a backup.

GK: Heurelho Gomes (João Pinheiro, Minas Gerais)
Heurelho Gomes started Cruzeiro in Brazil.  He made a name for himself at Dutch club PSV, and also spent six years at Tottenham Hotspur.  He also played for 1899 Hoffenheim.  He only earned only 11 caps, largely to fierce competition with Dida, Marcos, Julio Ceasar, Rogerio Ceni, etc. He was a part of the 2010 World Cup team. 

RB: Maicon (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul)
Maicon started his career with Cruzeiro before heading to Europe.  He first played for Monaco and then, Inter Milan.  At Inter Milan, he was widely considered to be the best rightback in the world. He won the Champions' League in 2010.  He also spent time with Manchester City and Roma. He earned 76 caps for Brazil, appearing in the World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014.
RB: Juliano Belletti (Cascavel, Parana)
Juliano Belletti had 23 caps for Brazil.  He was Cafu's backup at the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan/Korea.  He played for Sao Paulo, Atlético Mineiro, Villareal, Barcelona, Chelsea and Fluminense. He was also known for winning the Champions League: 2005–06 with Barcelona FC, scoring a goal in the Final.

CB: Oscar (Monte Siao, Minas Gerais)
Oscar had 60 caps for Brazil between April 1978 and May 1986.  He was the starting centerbacks at the World Cup Finals in 1978 and 1982, and went as a reserve player in 1986.  He played for Atlética Ponte Preta, Sao Paulo and NY Cosmos. He played briefly with Nissan FC in Japan as well.  His longest career was with Sao Paulo.

CB: Luizinho (Nova Lima, Minas Gerais)
Luizinho had 34 caps between 1980 and 1983.  He was Brazil's starting centerback at the World Cup Finals in 1982, where he also made the team of the tournament.  He played for several clubs, but mainly with Atlético Mineiro, winning 8 State Championships of Minas Gerais.  He also played overseas for Sporting CP in Portugal for three seasons.

CB: Mauro Ramos (Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais)
Mauro Ramos was considered one of Brazil's greatest centerbacks.  He went to both 1954 and 1958 World Cup Finals without playing a game, but in the World Cup Finals of 1962, he lifted the World Cup trophy as Brazil's captain. He was capped 22 times.  For his club career, he played for Santos and Sao Paulo. At Santos, he was a part of Pele's great Santos team in the 1960's. 
Mauro Ramos

CB: Roque Júnior (Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Minas Gerais)
Roque Júnior played for  São José, Palmeiras, A.C. Milan, Leeds United F.C., A.C. Siena, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, MSV Duisburg and Qatari side Al-Rayyan.  With Palmeiras, he won the Copa Libertadores in 1999.  He also won the Champions' League in 2003 with AC Milan.  He played 99 times for Brazil, winning the World Cup in 2002. 
LB: Everaldo (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul)
Everaldo earned 24 caps for the Seleção.  He was known for being the starting left back at the World Cup Finals in 1970.  He was the first ever player from Gaucho to have won a World Cup.  Greimo added a Gold Star on its flag to honour Everaldo's achievements.  Everaldo spent his entire career with Greimo and was considered one of its greatest players.  

LB: Branco (Bage, Rio Grande do Sul)
Branco appeared 72 times for Brazil, between April 1985 and February 1995.  He went to both Italia 1990 and USA 1994.  In 1994, he scored a powerful against Holland that sent Brazil to the semifinal.  On the club level, Branco played for Internacional , Fluminense, Brescia, FC Porto, Genoa, Grêmio, Flamengo, Corinthians, Middlesbrough, and MetroStars. 

DM: Dunga (Ijui, Rio Grande do Sul)
Dunga's bluecollar and defensive style of football symbolized a new era in Brazil's football.  This period in Brazil's football history was called "Era Dunga", as according to fans and journalists. He played 91 times for Brazil.  He was the captain of Brazil's World Cup winning team in 1994. He also went to Italia 1990 and France 1998.  For domestic football, he played in Brazil, Japan, Italy and Germany in his career.

DM: Toninho Cerezo (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais)
Throughout his career, Cerezo played with Atlético Mineiro, Roma, Sampdoria and São Paulo. He was a legend at Atlético Mineiro. With São Paulo FC, he was the two-times winner of the Intercontinental Cup and Copa Libertadores.  He went to Argentina 1978 and Spain 1982. During his time in Italy, Cerezo won the Coppa Italia four times; in 1991 he won the Serie A with Sampdoria. 

DM: Gilberto Silva (Lagoa da Prata, Minas Gerais)
Gilberto Silva started his career with Atlético Mineiro.  He was best remembered for his 6 seasons with Arsenal, where he joined after the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He played 93 times for Brazil.  He was a key player at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan/Korea after Emerson was injured before the tournament.  He also went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.

DM/CM: Emerson (Pelotas,  Rio Grande do Sul)
For nearly a decade, Emerson was a key player for Brazil.  He earned 73 caps as a midfielder. He was due to captain the 2002 World Cup side, but an injury right before the Finals kept him out of the tournament in which Brazil won.  He played for Gremio, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Juventus, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Santos.

CM: Alemao (Lavras, Minas Gerais)
Alemao was capped 39 times for Brazil. He went to two World Cupo Finals: 1986 and 1990.  He also won the Copa America in 1989.  For his club career, he played with Diego Maradona at Napoli where they broke up the dominance of Northern Italian clubs.  He won the 1989 UEFA Cup, scoring a goal in the Final. He also played for Botafogo in Brazil, Atletico Madrid in Spain and other clubs.

CM: Falcao (Abelardo Luz, Santa Catarina)
At one point, Falcao was the world's highest paid footballer.  He played with Internacional at home before becoming the star of Roma in the 1980's, winning the Serie A in 1982-83. In 1985, he returned home and played for Sao Paulo. For the national team, he was a key player for the fantastic Brazilian of Spain 1982.  He won the Silver Ball in Spain. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1986.
LW/AM: Eder (Vespasiano, Minas Gerais) 
Eder came to international prominence during the 1982 World Cup in Spain, playing in midfield alongside Zico, Sócrates and Falcão. He scored a beautiful goal against the Soviet Union.  He was known as a free kick specialist.  He played for many clubs throughout his career, but longer stints with Gremio and Atlético Mineiro.

LM: Ronaldinho (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul)
Ronaldinho was a member of the "Three R's" with Rivaldo and Ronaldo that helped Brazil winning the WC in 2002.  He started his career with Gemio before moving to Europe. He played with Paris St Germaine and Barcelona before his form started to drop. He formed the REM line with Etoo and Messi before fighting among them destroyed the team.

FW: Pele (Tres Coracoes, Minas Gerais)
Pele is considered the greatest player ever in the history of the game.  He won his World Cup in 1958 as a 17 years old.  He would win his second one in 1962, but he was injured throughout the tournament. In 1970, he won his third and final World Cup, with a team that was considered the greatest ever.  He played almost his entire career with Santos.  He unretired to join New York Cosmos in 1976.

ST: Reinaldo (Ponte Nova, Minas Gerais)
Reinaldo was a hero at Atlético Mineiro, where the fans called him the "King".  He was their all-time leading scorer.  He still holds the record of highest goal average per game in the Brazilian league, with 1.55 goals per match. He won eight Campeonato Mineiro titles including six consecutively: in 1976, 1978–1983 and 1985.  For the national team, he earned 37 caps and went to the 1978 World Cup Finals.

ST: Giovane Élber (Londrina, Paraná)
At his prime, he was one of the greatest strikers playing in Europe.  He formed the famous magic triangle with Krassimir Balakov and Fredi Bobic with VfB Stuttgart.  With bayern Munich, he was the star player as the club won 4 league titles and the Champions' League in 2001.  However, he only played 15 times for Brazil, largely due to stiff competition.
ST: Tostao (Bleo Horizonte, Minas Gerais)
Tostao was the starting forward of Brazil's 1970 WC Team. He was a false nine, providing assists for the rest of the team.  He nearly missed the World Cup Finals due to an eye injury.  He also went to England 1966.  He was South American Player of the Year in 1973.  He played 11 years with Cruzeiro.  In 1972, he signed for CR Vasco da Gama for a then record fee in the country He is also a medical doctor.

Honorable Mention
Oreco, Ado, Carlos Germano, Renato Gaúcho, Alcindo, Paulo César Carpegiani, Eurico Lara, Mauro Galvão, Alisson, Alex Pato.

Squad Explanation
-- Pele, Falcao and Claudio Taffarel are the only players who made my all-time team.  I would add Ronaldinho, Dunga, Mauro Ramos, Toninho Cerezo and Tostao to the automatic selections.  All of them needed no explanation.
-- Pele is the greatest player of all-time.  Do I need to go further? This team linked him up with Tostao. The pair won a World Cup in 1970 for Brazil.
-- Eder, Falcao, Toninho Cerezo, Luizinho and Oscar were on the legendary 1982 World Cup team.  Reinaldo was considered a big star in Brazil, but Tele Santana ignored him for that Finals. I created an alternative 1982 World Cup team here where he was a member of the team.
-- Both Gremio and Internacional are located in Porto Alegre in the South region.  Minas Gerais is the home of Cruzeiro and  Atlético Mineiro.
-- Mauro Ramos and Dunga were World Cup winning captains.  Emerson was the 2002 team captain, but he was injured right before the tournament started.
-- Claudio Taffarel was probably the first Brazilian goalkeeper who made an impact in European club football.  Rogerio Ceni on the other hand earned super star status in South America.
-- I chose Heurelho Gomes over Ado ( Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina) and Carlos Germano (Domingos Martin, Espirito Santo).  Heurelho Gomes played in an era where Brazilian goalkeepers were common playing in Europe.
-- Alisson who was born in Porto Alegre would probably make this team one day.  At the time of writing, he already won a Copa America and a Champions' League.
-- Eurico Lara was a legendary goalkeeper for Gremio.  He died in a match defending a penalty against his brother in 1935.  I do not really know how good he was.
-- The four centerbacks all earned status playing in the World Cup Finals and/or in Europe.  Luizinho and Oscar were the starting pair at the 1982 World Cup Finals.  Mauro Ramos is among the greatest of all-time from Brazil.  Roque Junior is a question mark for this team.  He received many criticisms during his career, but he had a long decorated career in Europe, including winning the Champions' league with AC Milan.  They edged out Mauro Galvão from the 1990 World Cup Finals.  
-- In his prime, Maicon was the best rightback in the world. He kept Dani Alves out of Brazil's starting lineup.  In my opinion, they were about the same level.  Juliano Belletti had to backup Cafu during his prime on the national team. Later in his career, he saw the emerge of Maicon and Dani Alves.  His career with the national team was limited.
-- I left out leftback Oreco because Everaldo and Branco are much well-know internationally.  They were key players as Brazil won the World cup in 1970 and 2002 respectively.
-- Emerson had a long decorated European career.  He was due to captain Brazil's World Cup winning team in 2002, but he missed it through an injury.  Dunga captained the 1994 World Cup team.  He was credited for changing how Brazilian football is to be played.
-- Gilberto Silva, Alemao, Falcao and Toninho Cerezo are all household names. 
-- Falcao was known for his partnership with Toninho Cerezo for both club and country while Pele with Tostao for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup Finals.
-- Ronaldinho was the best player in the world for a few years.  I do not really need to go into his selection.
-- Pele, Tostao, Giovane Élber and Reinaldo are ahead of Renato Gaúcho and Alcindo.  
-- I watched a lot of Giovane Élber playing for Bayern Munich.  He was unlucky to be playing in the same generation as Ronaldo, Romario, Mario Jardel, Edmundo, Adraino, etc.  He never had much chance with the Brazilian national team. Reinaldo was also ignored by the national team.  

Staring lineup
Formation: 4-3-3(Diamond)
This is my only all-time team from Brazil that does not use the 4-2-2-2.  A team that included Pele, Ronaldinho and Falcao would be very strong.  However, the bench is very weak.

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