Saturday, January 28, 2017

Botafogo Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Copa CONMEBOL 1993

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

SantosFlamengoSao PauloCorithiansBotafogo
Vasco Da GamaPalmeirasInternacional
FluminenseGremioCruzeiroAtlético MineiroBahia.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, also known as Botafogo and familiarly as A Estrela Solitária (The Lone Star), is a Brazilian sports club based in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. Their best club side probably was from the 1960's.  The team led by Didi, Garrincha, etc was known for its rivalry with Pele's Santos.  They won the Campeonato Carioca in 1957, 1961 and 1962, and in 1968 they won Serie A. The club entered a dark period after that.  In 1989, it ended a period of 21 years without a title when the club won the state championship, retaining the trophy in 1990.  They won the Copa CONMEBOL in 1993, their first international title.

My blog about Botafogo from 1955-1964 here.

The Great Botafogo of the 1960's
GK: Manga (Brazil)
Manga was the starting keeper for the legendary Botafogo side that also featured Garrincha, Nílton Santos and Mario Zagallo in the great Botafogo of the 1960s.  He also won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in 1971 with the extraordinary Uruguay's Nacional playing alongside Luis Cubilla and Luis Artime. For the national team, he had 12 caps.  He went to the World Cup in 1966.

GK: Jefferson (Brazil)
Having begun his career at Cruzeiro, Jefferson then spent 4 seasons in Turkey playing for Trabzonspor and Konyaspor before returning to Botafogo. He is among the players with the most appearances for Botafogo club history. He made his senior debut for the Seleção in 2011 and was named in their squads for two Copa América tournaments, the 2014 World Cup and their victory at the 2013 Confederations Cup.
GK: Sebastião Wagner (Brazil)
Sebastião Wágner began with Bangu in the early 1990s. In 1994, he went to Botafogo. Wágner was an important figure of the team that won the Brasileirao in 1995. He also won the 1997 Campeonato Carioca and the Rio-São Paulo Tournament of 1998.  Wagner played 412 games for Botafogo. He left in 2002 and played for other clubs in Brazil.

RB: Josimar (Brazil)
Josimar won 16 caps with the Brazilian national team, from June 1986 to November 1989. He played three times during the 1986 Football World Cup after an injury to first choice right back Édson. His two goals for Brazil were memorable, and were scored in his first two international matches, in that tournament. He played mainly for Botafogo and a short stay with Sevilla in Spain.

CB: Oscar Basso (Argentina)
Oscar Basso made his debut at first in Tigre, but soon went to River Plate. In 1944, he joined San Lorenzo de Almagro, where he was a key player in the 1946 championship.  He played 209 games. In 1948, he moved to Inter Milan and then to Botafogo in Brazil, where he played alongside Nilton Santos.  He was born in 1922.

CB: Sebastião Leônidas (Brazil)
Sebastião Leônidas started in football at America Football Club (MG) and transferred to the America Football Club (Rio de Janeiro). In 1966 , he moved to Botafogo as a replacement for Nílton Santos. For the national team, he was projected to start at the World Cup Finals in 1970, but he missed the cup through an injury.

CB: Mauro Galvão (Brazil)
In Brazil, Galvão played for Sport Club Internacional, Bangu Atlético Clube, Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense (two spells) and CR Vasco da Gama. In 1990–91 he moved to FC Lugano in Switzerland, where he would remain for the following six seasons.  He was capped 24 times.  He was an unused sub in Mexico, but he played 4 games in the 1990 World Cup Finals.  He helped Brazil to win the Copa America in 1989.
Mauro Galvão

CB: Rildo(Brazil)
In 1961, Rildo began his senior career with Botafogo. In 1967, he transferred to Santos FC.  Rildo was a member of Pele's Santos team in the late 1960's.  He would also also join him at New York Cosmos in 1977.  From 1963 to 1969, Rildo played 38 times for Brazil. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1966, where he scored his only international goal against Portugal.

LB: Nilton Santos (Brazil) 
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: Marinho Chagas (Brazil)
Marinho Chagas was a top leftback during the 1970's and was known as being a right-footed leftback.  He played for many clubs in Brazil, USA and Germany.  His longest stint was with Botafago, which lasted 4 years.  He played with Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto for NY Cosmos. He played 34 times for Brazil between 1972 and 1975. He was the starting fullback at the 1974 World Cup Finals.
Marinho Chagas
CM: Alemao (Brazil)
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 UEFA Cup, scoring a goal in the Final. He also played for Botafogo in Brazil, Atletico Madrid in Spain and other clubs.

CM: Didi (Brazil)
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: Carlos Roberto (Brazil) 
Carlos Roberto played for Botafogo between 1967 and 1975, which tied Quarentinha and Manga, with 442 games. He was twice champion of the Torneio Rio-São Paulo and Campeonato Carioca with Botafogo, in 1967 and 1968. He won the Taça Brasil of 1968.  After Botafogo, he played for Santos, Atlético Paranaense, Bangu and CSA, where he finished his playing career.  He capped twice.

CM: Mendonça (Brazil)
Mendoca played for Botafogo between 1975 and 1982. Then, he played for many clubs, including Portuguesa, Bangu, Gremio Palmeiras, Santos FC and in Qatar with Al-Sadd.  At the international level, he was capped twice for Brazil between 1982 and 1983.  He was a part of the 1983 Copa America team, but never played a game.

CM: Gerson (Brazil)
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. Gerson had over 70 caps.  He also went to the 1966 World Cup Finals in England.

CM: Martim (Brazil)
Martim began his career in 1929 with Guarany FC of Bagé in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1930, he joined Botafogo FC. He won the State Championships of Rio of the same year and 1932. From 1933 to 1934, he played for  Boca Juniors in the Argentina, where he became the first Brazilian in the club's history. With Boca Juniors, he won the national championship of 1934. He played in 1930 and 1934 World Cup Finals.

RW: Garrincha (Brazil)
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 (Brazil)
Jairzinho had 81 caps from Brazil. "The Hurricane" was a star at the 1970 World Cup Finals, where Brazil won.  He was one of two players who had scored at every single game of a given World Cup Finals.  He also went to the 1974 World Cup Finals in West Germany.  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.
LW: Mario Zagallo (Brazil)
Mario Zagallo was involved in 4 of Brazil's 5 World Cup titles.  He won 1958 and 1962 edition as a player.  In 1970, he was the head coach.  And in 1994, he served as an assistant coach.  For his club career, he played for America, Flamengo and Botafago. He was a member of the great Botafago team of the 1960's that also featured Garrincha and Didi.

AM: Paulo Cezar Caju (Brazil)
Paulo Cezar Caju began his career with Botafogo, where his team won the Campeonato Carioca (championship of the state of Rio de Janeiro) several times. He was featured in the Brazilian Bola de Ouro team of the season in Brazil in the seasons 1970, 1972, 1976, 1977. He was capped 57 times.  He went to both 1970 and 1974 World Cup Finals.

ST: Quarentinha (Brazil)
With Botafogo, Quarentinha won four Bahia State League (1953, 1957, 1964, 1965), three Rio de Janeiro State League (1957, 1961, 1962) and two Rio - São Paulo Cup (1962, 1964). He was also the top goalscorer for three consecutive years in Rio Leagues(1958, 1959, 1960). For Brazil, he was capped 13 times, scoring 14 goals. No-one in the history of Brazilian football has a better goal average. 
ST: Paulo Valentim (Brazil)
With Botafogo, Valentim played alongside Garrincha, Jairzinho and Nílton Santos.  In 1960, Valentim moved to Boca Juniors where he won two championships with the club.  He was also the clubs topscorer 4 times. He is still Boca's highest scoring player in games against River Plate. He later played for São Paulo, Atlante F.C. and Argentino de Quilmes.  He was capped 5 times, scoring 5 goals.

ST: Heleno de Freitas (Brazil)
The striker spent most of his career with Botafogo, scoring 209 goals for the club, most with his head. He also played for Boca Juniors in Argentina, Vasco de Gama, América (Rio) and Santos. He scored 19 goals in 18 appearances for Brazil as the team finished runners-up in both the 1945 and 1946 Copa America championships. He was joint top goalscorer in the 1945 tournament.

ST: Amarildo (Brazil)
Amarildo's career lasted from 1957 to 1974 and he played for Goytacaz, Flamengo, Botafogo and Vasco da Gama, and in Italy for Milan, Fiorentina and Roma. With Brazil, Amarildo was capped 23 times, between April 1961 and June 1966, and won the 1962 World Cup as a replacement for the injured Pelé. He scored eight goals for his country, including three during the 1962 tournament, one of which came in the victorious final itself.

ST: Tulio Maravilha (Brazil)
Tulio played for many Brazilian club teams. In Europe, he had short-lived career, playing for Sion and Újpest. His best years were while he was at Botafogo, where he was three times the Brazilian top scorer (1989, 1994 and 1995) and won the 1995 Campeonato Brasileiro.  With the national team, Túlio was famous for scoring a controversial equalizer against Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1995 Copa América in Uruguay. 

Honorable Mention
Djalma Dias, Nariz,Wilson Gottardo, Wilson Gottardo, Sérgio Manoel, Gonçalves, Donizete, Clarence Seedorf, William, Nilo, Carvalho Leite.

 Squad Explanation
-- Garrincha is Botafogo's greatest ever player.  However, he was often exploited by Botafogo.  He was paid a fraction of what he was worth.  He died penniless at the age of 49.  
-- Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Didi, Gerson, Mario Zagello and Jairzinho are probably automatic selections.  I do not really need to explain their selections.
-- The Botafogo team of 1960's was considered one of the best club teams in the history of world football.  I selected the following player from the era. Manga, Nilton Santos, Mario Zagallo, Didi, Quarentinha, Paulo Valentim, Rildo, Jairzinho, Gerson, Amarildo and Garrincha.  Carlos Roberto, Caju and Sebastião Leônidas came around the mid-1960's.  That is 14 out of 25 players on this all-time team.  
-- The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A did not start until 1968.  Botafogo won the first ever Brasileiro title that year.  Manga, Paulo Cesar Caju, Gerson, Carlos Roberto and Jairzinho played on that team. Mario Zagello was their manager.
-- I wrote a blog post about Botafogo from 1955-1964 here.  They had a rivalry with Pele's Santos at the time.
-- -Gerson would replace Didi at the national team.  Jairzinho also inherited Garrincha's position.
-- Carlos Alberto Torres appeared on several all-time lists, but he only played one season for Botafogo.  Instead, I took Josimar.  Then, I opted for an extra midfielder.  
-- After their successful period in 1960's, they went 21 years without winning a title.
-- Tulio helped the club to win the Brasileiro in 1995.  It was their first Serie A trophy since 1968, the very first Brasileiro.  Sebastião Wagner was also on the team.  Túlio was famous for scoring a controversial goal with his hand against Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1995 Copa América in Uruguay.  At that time, he was rated as one of the best Brazilian youngsters.
-- The Copa Conmebol in 1993 is the only major international trophy that Botafogo won. I don't know much about the team.  I put Williams on honourable mention because he won a penalty shootout.
-- I went for Wagner and Jefferson over Paulo Sergio who was the backup goalkeeper at the 1982 World Cup Finals.  They spent more time with the club.  Jefferson also played for Brazil in recent years in which I have seen him in action.
-- Alemão and Mendonça were both capped by Brazil during their career over here.  Alemão later played with Diego Maradona for Napoli.
-- Clarance Seedorf joined Botafago at the end of his career.  It was rare to have an European star to play in Brazil.  I put him on honorable mention.
-- Heleno de Freitas was one of their earliest star players.  He scored 204 goals in 233 matches, but went to the Boca Juniors in 1948, the year Botafogo won its 9th state championship.

In most all-time lists, Carlos Alberto Torres started on the rightback position, but I did not select him to the team.   In real life, Jairzinho and Garrincha played played together when Jairzinho first made his appearance with the club.  But I just do not feel comfortable playing two right wide players on the same field. So I only started Garrincha.


  1. Carlos Alberto Torres????? Best right-back in history...

  2. Nilton Santos played as a central defender, Rildo didn't; Anyway, the ideal lineup would be:

    Manga, Carlos Alberto, Mauro Galvão, Nílton Santos, Marinho Chagas; Didi, Gerson, Jairzinho and Garrincha; Amarildo and Heleno;

  3. Mario Zagallo Mario Zagallo was a great manager, but as a player, he was overrated.

  4. Paulo Cesar caju instead of Zagallo. Jairzinho instead of Amarildo . Nilton Santos as a CB and marinho chagas on left back

  5. Manga
    Josimar Leonidas/Dimas/Zé-Carlos/Zé-Maria N.Santos Chagas
    Garrincha Didi Gérson Paulo-Cézar-Caju
    Jairzinho Roberto-Miranda

    There have been many great strikers like Heleno, Quarentinha, Nilo, Leite, Amarildo, Tulio etc. But Roberto was there with tournament winning goals and he gelled with Jairzinho during the golden years.
    Pick your favorite centerback.