Sunday, January 22, 2017

Flamengo Greatest All-Time Team

Copa Libertadores 1981

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.

Flamengo is the most popular team in Brazil, with over 39.1 million supporters as of 2010,and was voted by FIFA as one of the most successful football clubs of the 20th century. It is also one of Brazil's richest football clubs in terms of revenue.  Led by Zico, they won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in 1981.  The side is considered one of the greatest club sides in South American history.

Against Liverpool at the Intercontinental Cup,1981.

GK: Raul Plassman (Brazil)
Raul was the starting keeper for the great Flamengo team of the 1980's.  He played for them between 1978 and 1983, winning the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1981.  His longest stint was with Cruzeiro, where he spent the prime of his career and won the Copa Libertadores in 1976.  He was capped 17 times, but never went to the WC Finals.

GK: Sinforiano García  (Paraguay)
Sinforiano García started his career in 1944, playing for Atlético Corrales,  moving in 1945 to Cerro Porteño, leaving this club in 1948. He joined Brazilian club Flamengo in 1949, after scouts observed him during the 1949 South American Championship. Sinforiano García played 276 games and and was crucial for the club's 1953, 1954 and 1955 Campeonato Carioca titles.  He was capped 20 times.

GK: Ze Carlos (Brazil)
Throughout his career (1983–2000) he played for Americano de Campos, Flamengo, Rio Branco, Cruzeiro, Vitória, XV de Piracicaba, América and Tubarão. He played also in Portugal for Vitória de Guimarães, SC Farense, and Felgueiras. The best moment in his career came when he played for Flamengo, in the late eighties, when he won one Brazilian championship in 1987 and one Rio de Janeiro state championship in 1986. For the national team, he was usually the second goalkeeper after Taffarel. He went to  the 1990 World Cup Finals.

RB: Leandro (Brazil)
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.

RB: Jorginho (Brazil)
Regarded as one of the best full-backs of his generation, Jorginho started playing professionally for local side América Football Club, moving after just one season to Clube de Regatas do Flamengo.  In 1989, he joined Bayer 04 Leverkusen.  He signed with league giants FC Bayern Munich in 1992–93. Capped 64 times for the Brazilian national team, scoring three goals. He played at both the 1990 and the 1994 FIFA World Cups.  In the latter edition, he was named in the All-Star squad.

CB: Domingos da Guia  (Brazil)
The star defender of the 1940's who 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. He had 30 caps. He was a star at the 1938 WC Finals in France.
Domingos da Guia 
CB: Carlos Mozer (Brazil)
Mozer started his career with Flamengo.  In Europe, he played for Benfica on two different spells and went to with Marseille in between. With Marseille, he reached the European Cup Final. He went to Italia 1990 with Brazil.

CB:  Francisco Reyes (Paraguay)
He started his career playing for Olimpia, winning the Primera División Paraguaya in 1962 and in 1965. Reyes joined Brazilian club Flamengo in 1967, helped the club to win the Campeonato Carioca in 1972, and left at the end of 1973. He retired while defending Olimpia, winning the Paraguayan League in his last season, in 1975.  Capped 13 times.

CB: Rondinelli (Brazil)
Rondinelli started his career playing for Flamengo, where he played 394 matches from 1974 to 1981. In 1978, he won the Placar's Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Bola de Prata award.  He was capped three times, but not against international teams.

LB: Junior (Brazil)
Junior was one of the greatest leftback in Brazil's history.  He was the leftback for Brazil in 1982.  He was also a part of the great Flamengo team of the 1980's winning the 1981 Copa Libertadores and 1981 Intercontinental Cup. With 857 matches, he is the player with most appearances for Flamengo. In 1984, he joined Torino in Italy.  He played 70 times for Brazil.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.

DM: Andrade (Brazil) 
From 1977 to 1987 he played for Flamengo, taking part in the club's Golden Age and winning four Rio de Janeiro State Championships, four Brazilian Championships (1980, 1982, 1983, 1987), the 1981 Copa Libertadores and the 1981 Intercontinental Cup. With 569 matches for Flamengo, Andrade has the 5th most appearances for the club.   Later, he moved to AS Roma and then Vasco da Gama winning the 1989 Brazilian Championship. Andrade and Zinho are the only Brazilian players who have won the National League 5 times.  Capped 11 times.

CM: Adílio (Brazil)
Adilio won almost everything for Flamengo during the Golden Age of the club, whom he played between 1975 and 1987.  Adílio is the third player with most appearances for the club. He was one of the goal scorers against Liverpool during the Intercontinental Cup against Liverpool in 1981. Capped twice.  

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.

AM: Dejan Petković (Serbia/Yugoslavia)
After leaving Red Star Belgrade in 1995, Petkovic's career in Europe did not succeed.  In 1997, he joined Vitória in Brazil.  He was one of the few Europeans to play and succeed in the Brazilian league.  He was considered one of the best players in Brazil during his days there.  Between 2000 and 2011, he played for 7 Brazilian clubs.  He was a hero for three Rio clubs.  His international career, however, was limited to 7 caps.
Dejan Petković 
CM: Dequinha (Brazil)
The midfielder started his career in 1946 at Atlético de Mossoró. He played yet for Potiguar de Mossoró, ABC-RN (where he won the 1947 Rio Grande do Norte State Championship), and América-PE until 1950 when he signed with Flamengo. Dequinha was a key player during Flamengo's 1953-54-55 Rio State Championships campaigns. He played the 1954 FIFA World Cup for Brazil and remained in the national team for another two years. In 1960 he transferred to Campo Grande-RJ where he retired two years later.

LW/AM: Zico (Brazil)
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 WC Finals, but probably best remembered for the 1982 tournament.  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.

AM: Zinho (Brazil)
Zinho played club football in Brazil with Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube and Nova Iguaçu Futebol Clube. He also had spells abroad with Yokohama Flügels and Miami FC.  Capped 57 times.  He played in every game at USA 1994 as Brazil won their fourth World Cup.

FW/AM: Zizinho (Brazil)
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.  For his club career, 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. He turned down a chance to play in the 1958 World Cup Finals.

FW: Leônidas da Silva (Brazil)
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.
Leonidas and Zizinho
AM/FW: Jair (Brazil)
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.

FW/AM: Carlinhos (Brazil)
Known as "The Violin", Carlinhos was one of the few players to receive the Belfort Duarte Trophy ("fair play award") from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). The award is given to the players who have never received a red card.  He spent his entire career with Flamengo, playing over 500 games.  After retirement, he also coached for the team, making him one of the most important personal ever for the club.

FW: Veve (Brazil)
Veve was one of Flamengo's greatest attackers.  He won Campeonato Carioca de Futebol three times; 1942, 1943 and 1944. He was capped once for the Seleção.

FW: Dida (Brazil)
Dida is among the greatest players in Flamengo's history.  He was the first great scorer of Maracanã. His delightful performances at the pitch made him an idol of idols as Zico, Júnior and Carlos Alberto. He led Flamengo to consecutive Carioca championships in 1954 and 1955.  Dida is the 2nd high scorer in Flamengo's history with 244 goals.  He was capped 6 times and went to the WC Finals in 1958.

ST: Nunes (Brazil)
Nunes started his career with Flamengo, but did not play for the first team.  He became a star with Santa Cruz, Fluminense and Mexico's CF Monterrey.  In 1980, he returned to Flamengo. He was a part of Flamengo's Golden Age and became one of the most important player of that generation.  Capped 6 times for the Seleção.  He missed the 1978 WC Finals due to an injury.

ST Romario (Brazil)
He 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 WC 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.

Honorable Mention
Jordan, Joel, Rubens, Bebeto, Doval, Renato Gaucho, Aldair, Henrique Frade, Biguá, Tita, Sylvio Pirillo, Evaristo de Macedo.

 Squad Explanation

-- I don't have space for Rubens. Henrique Frade, Biguá, Tita, Sylvio Pirillo and Evaristo de Macedo.
-- Biguá was more associated with the club than Jorginho. He had a long history with the club.  I took Jorginho because I did not really know Biguá.
-- Bebeto got name recognization, He enjoyed successful careers with the club and elsewhere, but I selected players who had done more for the club. Gerson was similar with Bebeto. He was among the greatest Brazilian players.  His club career, however, was defined by his years with Botafogo.  I have question marks over his inclusion to the Final 25.  Unlike Bebeto, Gerson was a midfielder.
Bebeto has to go against great forwards. For example, Nunes was on the great 1981 team; Veve scored many goals; Carlinhos played his entire career with Flamengo. I did not even have space for Tita.  -- Romario was the 5th highest scorer in Flamengo's history.  I combined the fact that he was among Brazil's greatest strikers.  

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