Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Palmeiras Greatest All-Time Team

Copa Libertadores 1999

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.

The club was founded on August 26, 1914, as Palestra Italia , but changed to the current name on September 14, 1942. It is one of the most popular and successful Brazilian clubs, with around 17 million supporters, including a large number of Brazilians of Italian ancestry. They won the 1999 Copa Libertadores.
Brasileiro 1972 Champion
GK: Marcos (Brazil)
Marcos spent his entire career at Palmeiras of the Série A in Brazil, from 1992 until his retirement in January 2012, and became one of the club's greatest idols, being nicknamed São Marcos ("Saint Mark" in Portuguese). He only earned 27 caps for Brazil, largely because of playing with Dida and Rogério Ceni in the same generation.  He was the starting goalkeeper of the champion Brazilian squad at the 2002 World Cup.
GK: Emerson Leao (Brazil)
Emerson Leao played 80 times for Brazil. He won a World Cup in Mexico 1970 as the backup keeper.  He started at West Germany 1974 and Argentina 1978.  He was the first Brazilian goalkeeper in history to be team captain (during the 1978 World Cup). At the club level, he played for several clubs, his longest term being at Palmeiras.

GK:  Oberdan Cattani (Brazil)
Oberdan Cattani was one of the most famous Brazilian goalkeepers of the 1940s, a period in which the World Cups were suspended because of the Second World War. He is among the greatest idols of Palmeiras. He won four titles of Campeonato Paulista (1942, 1944, 1947 and 1950), the Rio-São Paulo Tournament of 1951.  He played 9 times for Brazil.

RB: Djalma Santos (Brazil)
Some considered DJ Santos as the best right back in the football history. He played in 4 World Cup Finals, winning twice in 1958 and 1962.  He is one of only three players to be included into three World Cup All Star team. Santos started his career with Portuguesa. In 1959, he moved to Palmeiras. He played almost 500 games for the club, winning several league and cup titles. He left the club in 1968, joining Atlético Paranaense for a short spell before retiring in 1970.
Djalma Santos
RB: Francisco Arce (Paraguay)
Arce was a part of the great defensive unit of Paraguay in 1998 and 2002.  Arce started his career in Paraguay playing for Cerro Porteño, where he won the national championship on three occasions. He then moved to Brazil where he played for big clubs such as Grêmio and Palmeiras. He won the Copa Libertadores in 1995 with Gremio, but he spent much of his career with Palmeiras.

CB: Djalma Dias (Brazil)
During his career, Djalma played for América Football Club - where he won the Rio state championship of 1960 - Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, Clube Atlético Mineiro, Santos Futebol Clube and Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, He played 21 times for the Brazilian national team, but did not attend any major international tournament. 

CB/DM: Galeano (Brazil)
Galeano is the all-time appearance leader for Palmeiras. He was a part of team that won the Copa Libertadores in 1999.  He came into the game as a sub in the Final. In his domestic career, he also played form many clubs in Brazil.  He also played briefly for MKE Ankaragücü in Turkey and Gamba Osaka in Japan.

CB: Luis Pereira (Brazil)
Luis Pereira was widely considered to be the best central back in the Seleção's history. He was capped over 30 times, but only attended the 1974 World Cup Finals held in West Germany and remembered receiving a red card against Holland. He played 562 games with S.E. Palmeiras (34 goals) and 171 games with Atlético Madrid (17 goals). With Atletico Madrid, he was considered one of the best defender playing in Europe.  He won the La Liga title in 1977.
Luis Pereira
CB: José Junqueira (Brazil)
José Junqueira played his entire career with Palmeiras between 1931 and 1945. He was considered their best ever defender until the emerge of Luís Pereira. He was the first player to be honored with a bust at the Palestra Italia Stadium by the club. After him only Ademir da Guia, Waldemar Fiúme, Oberdan Cattani and Marcos received such homage.

LB: Geraldo Scotto (Brazil)
Scotto came to Palmeiras in 1958 from Santos, and spent nearly ten years at the club. During that time, he fought many duels with Garrincha and was known to be the greatest defender Garrincha ever faced. Scotto made 352 games for Palmeiras, scoring 3 goals. He was capped twice for Brazil, winning Copa Roca in 1960.

LB: Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
Roberto Carlos was regarded one of the best leftbacks in history.  He had 125 caps for Brazil playing in three World Cup Finals. He won 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid and one World Cup title with Brazil in 2002.  In 1997 he was runner-up in the FIFA World Player of the Year.  He is especially famous for a free kick from 35m out against France in the Tournoi de France 1997. The goal is considered one of the greatest goals ever scored.
Roberto Carlos
CM/DM/RM: Waldemar Fiúme (Brazil)
Born in 1922, Waldemar Fiúme was nicknamed "O Pai da Bola"(Father of the Ball) because he could play for many positions.  He played his entire career for Palmeiras from 1941 to 1958. With 601 games, he is the fourth player in Palmeiras history in terms of appearance for the club. He won Copa Rio in 1951 and Torneio Rio–São Paulo on the same year.

DM: César Sampaio (Brazil)
César Sampaio is one of the few players who had played for the 4 major clubs from São Paulo (Santos, Palmeiras, Corinthians and São Paulo) and one of the greatest idols from Palmeiras' history. He won the Bola de Ouro (Brazilian Golden Ball award) twice, in 1990 and 1993.  Capped 47 times. He was a part of the squad that won both the Copa América and Confederations Cup in 1997, and played for Brazil at the 1998 World Cup finals

CM: Dudu (Brazil)
Dudu played over 600 games for Palmeiras from 1964 to 1975.  At the club, he was known for his partnership with Ademir de Guia. He won the Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol 4 times.  He also spent the 1975-1976 season with Sevilla FC in Spain.  He capped 13 times for Brazil in the 1960's, but did not go to any major tournament.

RW: Julinho (Brazil)
During his career (1951–1967), Julinho played for Portuguesa, Fluminense and Palmeiras.  He was nominated as the best player in the history of Italy's Fiorentina in 1996, helping to win a scudetti.  He was one of the greatest winger in Serie A history.  He had 24 caps for Brazil.  He was one of the best player at the World Cup Finals in 1954.  He turned down a chance to play in the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden, giving the way for Garrincha to shine in the Finals.

LW/AM: Zinho (Brazil)
Zinho played with Flamengo, Palmeiras, Grêmio, Cruzeiro, Yokohama Flügels and Miami FC.  He was awarded Placar Bola de Prata 4 times: 1988, 1992, 1994, 1997. He was best remembered for winning the World Cup with Brazil at the 1994 World Cup in the US.  He played 7 games in the Finals.  In total, he had 57 caps for Brazil between 1989 and 1998.

AM/FW: Rivaldo (Brazil)
Rivaldo was a part of the attacking trio known as "Three R's" with Ronaldo and Ronaldinho at the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He scored 5 goals in 5 games as Brazil took its 5th World Cup. He also went to the WC Finals in 1998. He won the 1999 Ballon d' Or. He played for many clubs in his career.  He spent five years with Spanish club Barcelona.

AM: Alex de Souz (Brazil)
With Palmeiras, Alex won the Copa Libertadores in 1999. With Cruzeiro, Alex had the best performance in his career, winning the Brazilian triple crown (the State Championship, the Brasileirão and the Brazilian Cup).  He also played for Parma and Fenerbahçe. He was capped 47 times.  He never went to the WC Finals, due to playing at the same time as many god midfielders.  However, he captained Brazil as they won the Copa America in 2007.
FW: César Maluco (Brazil)
César played for Palmeiras from 1967 to 1974, where he is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history. He scored 180 goals for then, the club's second-highest scorer. Nicknamed "Crazy" because of such characteristics, he is currently the only player in Palmeiras history to become top scorer of a Brazilian Championship. He went to the World Cup finals in 1974.

FW: Leivinha (Brazil)
Leivinha played 21 times for Brazil from 1972 to 1974, scoring seven goals. He played in the first three matches of the 1974 World Cup Finals in West Germany.  At club level, Leivinha played for Portuguesa, Palmeiras, and Atlético de Madrid, winning national championships in both Brazil and Spain, as well as the UEFA and Intercontinental Cups.

AM/FW: Jair de Rosa Pinto (Brazil)
Jair was a member of the great offensive trio with Zizinho and Ademir for Brazil at the World Cup in 1950. 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.

AM/FW: Ademir da Guia (Brazil)
Ademir is the son of Domingo Da Guia.  He started with Bangu, but moved to Palmeiras in 1962, where he was nicknamed "O Divino" (The Divine One) by his supporters.  He holds the record for the most appearances for the club and is the third best goalscorer ever, and was considered their greatest player.  For the national team, he only managed 9 appearance.  He went to the WC Finals in 1978.
Ademir da Guia 
ST: Heitor (Brazil)
Heitor was one of the most important players in the history of Palmeiras, being their greatest goalscorer of the team. He began his career in 1916, becoming the first idol of the club. In São Paulo, Heitor was a rival of Arthur Friedenreich, but together, they formed a great pair for the national team, notably in the South American championship of 1919.  He was also a star basketball player.

ST: Edmundo (Brazil)
Nicknamed "Animal", he was known as a talented yet controversial footballing figure, both on and off the pitch.  He played for a number of clubs in Brazil, Italy and Japan.  Edmundo was only capped 39 times, largely for his behavior and playing in the same generation as Romario, Ronaldo, Bebeto, etc. He played for Brazil in the victorious 1997 Copa América, and at the 1998 World Cup, where they finished in second place. 

ST: Evair (Brazil)
During his career Evair played for several clubs, he is most famous for his time with Palmeiras and also his contributions to Vasco da Gama, when the club won Brazilian Série A in 1997. He scored 125 goals for Palmeiras and he is the seventh top scorer of the club. He also played for Atalanta in Italy. He was only capped 9 times for the Seleção, largely due to playing in the same generation as Romario, Ronaldo, Bebeto, Edmundo, etc.
Honorable Mention
Francisco Rodrigues, Junior Ângelo de Souza, Junior Baiano, Amaral, José Altafini(Mazzola), Djalminha, Romeu Pellicciari, Jorge Mendonça, Chinesinho, Roque Junior,  Valdemar Carabina, Zinho, Jorginho Putinatti, Mazinho, Valdir de Moraes, Gino Imparato, Nascimento, Roque Júnior, Paulo Nunes, Vava, Cafu, Flávio Conceição, Velloso, Weverton, Gustavo Gómez, Matías Viña, Rony.
2020 Copa Libertadores winner

Squad Explanation

-- Palmeiras had a resurgence in the 1990's.  They won the Copa Libertadores in 1999.  I selected the following players from that team: Zinho, Alex de Souz, Marcos, Evair, Francisco Arce, Galeano and César Sampaio. Meanwhile, Roque Júnior, and Paulo Nunes earned honourable mention.
-- Marcos and Emerson Leao had won the World Cup.  Oberdan Cattani spent 14 years at the club. Valdir de Moraes was the 4th goalkeeper.  I also came up with Velloso.
-- Luis Pereira was widely considered to be the best centerback in the Brazil's history. He spent most of his prime years playing for the club.
 -- Roberto Carlos was selected because of the lack of a suitable alternative. I sometimes selected super star players who made thier name at a given club.  He also won two Brasileiro titles in his two seasons there.  He was selected on the Bola de Prata(Serie A Team of the Year)on both occasions as well.  He would be Geraldo Scotto's backup.  
-- On the right, Djalma Santos needed no introduction.  Francisco Arce was one of the best South American rightbacks in his time. He spent 5 seasons here.  They kept Cafu off the team.
-- Jair won many trophies for the club. He was a hero as the club that won the Campeonato Paulista in the Final against Sao Paulo in 1950.  The game was known as "Jogo da Lama" (The Mud Game).
-- On the right wing, Palmeiras had Julinho who is one of the greatest right wings in Brazil's history.
-- Ademir da Guia is considered the club's greatest player.  He is Domingo da Guia's son.
-- With Palmeiras, Edmundo won the Campeonato Brasileiro twice, in 1993 and 1994, scoring 34 goals in 89 appearances for the club. Despite his success, he had several disputes with his manager Wanderley Luxemburgo, and was involved in an altercation with his team-mate Antônio Carlos, which led to Edmundo being sacked by the club.  Nevertheless, he made my all-time team.
-- Rivaldo spent two seasons here, in which he was selected into Bola de Ouro team of the year.  However, his position was filled up by players who had done more for the club. As mentioned, Ademir da Guia is considered the club's greatest player.  Alex won the Copa Libertadores in 1999 while Jair spent 6 seasons here.  
-- The same applied to Djalminha who won Bola de Ouro Player of the Year award in 1996.  he also only made honorable mention.
-- Both Rivaldo and Zinho could play on the left as well as an attack midfielder.  Obviously, Rivaldo's prime was better than Zinho, but Zinho played 5 seasons here.  He also won the Copa Libertadores.  I have been thinking of dropping Zinho and select Rivaldo or Mazzola.  In December, 2019, I did a review of the team.  I decided to drop Francisco Rodrigues and select Rivaldo in his place.
-- Palmeiras has two great players named Dudu.  I selected Dudu(Born 1939).  He won the Campeonato Brasileiro 6 times.  Dudu (Born 1992) is currently playing for the club.  He has won a number of individual award while playing here. 
-- Heitor is their all-time leading scorer.
-- Mazzola (Jose Altafini) scored his first goal for the club at the age of 17.  That reminded a record.  He only played 2 seasons here.  So I could not justify dropping Heitor, Evair or Edmundo.  
-- Palmeiras won the 2020 and 2021 Copa Libertadores.  I added goalkeeper Weverton, Gustavo Gómez, Matías Viña and Rony to Honorable mention.



  1. Marcos (Oberdan) - D.Santos (Arce) - L.Pereira (D.Dias) - Junqueira (Cléber) - R.Carlos (G.Scotto) - Dudu (C.Sampaio) - A.Guia (W.Fiume) - Jair (Leivinha) - Rivaldo (Rodrigues) - J.Botelho (Edmundo) - Heitor (Evair)

  2. Oberdan Cattani, Emerson Leão and Dudu were also Coaches in Palmeiras, Oberdan is still one of the best the club has ever had.
    Ademir da Guia is the best player in the history of Palmeiras, he and Dudu still alive and well.
    Ademir Da Guia, Dudu, Junqueira, Waldemar and Marcos, all have a statue ( we call it busto) in the club, this is the highest honor a Palmeiras player can receive.
    In 2003 Marcos refused an Arsenal(Yes the English team) offer, to stay in Palmeiras and play the Série B with the club.