Saturday, January 28, 2017

Botafogo Greatest All-Time Team

Copa CONMEBOL 1993

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

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 ob 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 Zagallo in the great Botafogo of the 1960s, .  He also won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in 1971 with the extraordinary Nacional of Cubilla and Artime. For the national team, Hhe went to the World Cup in 1966.

GK: Jefferson (Brazil)
Having begun his career at Cruzeiro and spent time on loan at Botafogo, Jefferson then spent four seasons in the Turkish Süper Lig in service of Trabzonspor and Konyaspor before returning to Botafogo. He is one of the eight footballers with the most appearances Botafogo club history, with 420 appearances since 2003.A former world champion at under-20 level, Jefferson made his senior debut for the Seleção in 2011 and was named in their squads for two Copa América tournaments, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and their victory at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
GK: Sebastião Wagner (Brazil)
Wágner began with Bangu in the early 1990s. In 1994, he went to Botafogo. Wágner was an important figure of the team 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.

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)
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. 

CB: Sebastião Leônidas (Brazil)
He 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 WC 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.

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. 
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)
He is considered one of the greatest players ever from Brazil.  He was voted the best player in WC 1958.  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 was a long-time player for Botafogo, which tied Quarentinha and Manga, with 442 games. Between 1967 and 1975, he scored 15 goals. 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.  He capped twice. Although he was not selected to the squad for the 1970 FIFA World Cup finals, he was part of manager Zagallo's build-up to the finals. After Botafogo, he played for Santos, Atlético Paranaense, Bangu and CSA, where he finished his playing career.

CM: Mendonça (Brazil)
He joined Botafogo in 1975.  In 1982, he left the team to sign with Portuguesa; He played in the Brazilian football championship in 1984, scoring seven times in twenty games. In 1985, he joined Palmeiras. In 1987 he changed his jersey again, joining Santos, where he played thirty-two games. In 1989, after a period in Qatar with Al-Sadd, he returned home and played the Brazilian championship with Inter Limeira. He was a part of the 1983 Copa America team, but never played a game.

CM: Gerson (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 played with Didi and became his understudy, in which he would inherit the position on the Seleção.

CM: Martim (Brazil)
He began his career in 1929 with Guarany FC of Bagé in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1930, he move on to Rio de Janeiro where 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. After this he returned to Botafogo winning State Championships in 1934 and 1935. He stayed with Botafogo until the end of his career in 1940.

RW: Garrincha (Brazil)
He is considered one of the greatest footballers and perhaps the greatest dribbler in history.  He inspired Brazil to win the WC in 1962, which widely considered the best individual effect in WC history.  He was the Player of the Tournament that year.  He also played in 1958 and 1966.  He was a member of the great Botafogo's team in the 1960's.

RW: Jairzinho (Brazil)
"The Hurricane" was a star at the 1970 WC 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.

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 that also featured Garrincha and Didi.

AM: Paulo Cezar Caju (Brazil)
Paulo Cezar began his career with Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, where his team won the Campeonato Carioca (championship of the state of Rio de Janeiro) several times and many more trophies in the end became one of Botafogo de Futebol e Regatass all-time greatest and most honoured players. 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: Paulo Valentim (Brazil)
Valentim best remembered for his career with Botafogo and Boca Juniors.  With Botafogo, he 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. Valentim scored 10 goals in 7 Superclásico games against River Plate. 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: Quarentinha (Brazil)
He played for Paysandu and Vitória, before joining Botafogo. After a short spell with Bonsucesso he returned to Botafogo and later played in Colombia. He won four Bahia State League (1953, 1957, 1964, 1965), three Rio de Janeiro State League (1957, 1961, 1962), two Rio - São Paulo Cup (1962, 1964), one Mexico Tournament (1962) and one Paris Tournament (1963). 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: 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.

 Squad Explanation

-- I went for Wagner and Jefferson over Paulo Sergio.  They spent more time with the club.
-- Carlos Alberto Torres appeared on several all-time lists, but he only played one season for Botafogo.  I opted for an extra midfielder.

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

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