Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Santos Greatest All-Time Team

 
Santos 1962

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.

Santos' is forever associated with Pele. It is the most successful club in the Brasileirão, becoming national champions on eight occasions, a record they share with Palmeiras. It has also won 21 Paulistãos, three Copa Libertadores, two European/South American Cups, one Supercopa de Campeones Intercontinentales, one Copa CONMEBOL (the precursor of current Copa Sudamericana), one Copa do Brasil and one Recopa Sudamericana. In 1962, Santos became the first club in the world to win four out of four competitions in a single year, thus completing the quadruple, comprising the aforementioned treble and the European/South American Cup.  On January 20, 1998, Santos became the first team, in any category in the world, to reach the milestone of 10,000 goals in the entire history of footballSantos
2011 Copa Libertadores
Team
GK: Gilmar
Gilmar was the goalkeeper for WC 1958, 1962 and 1966 winning two titles. He had 104 caps. Also a member of Pele's Santos team of the 1960's. With Gilmar between the posts, Santos conquered almost every championship they competed in: they won five São Paulo State Championships (1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968), five National Championships (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965), two Libertadores Cups (1962 and 1963) and two Intercontinental Cups. 

GK: Rodolfo Rodríguez (Uruguay)
Rodolfo Rodríguez is the second most capped player in the history of the Uruguay with 78. He won the 1980 Mundialito. and the Copa América in 1983. He went to the World Cup in 1978 and 1986.  With Nacional, Rodríguez won the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Intercontinental also in 1980. He also played for Santos, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Portuguesa and Bahia.

GK: Agustin Cejas (Argentina)
Cejas made his first team debut with Racing Club in 1962 at the age of 17. In 1967, Racing won the Copa Libertadores in1967, and then, the following Intercontinental Cup to become the first Argentine club champions of the world. In 1970, Cejas joined Santos in Brazil where he played with Pelé. In 1973, Cejas helped Santos to win the Campeonato Paulista and received the prestigious Bola de Ouro as the best player in Brazil. 

RB: Carlos Alberto (Brazil)
Carlos Albero was one of the greatest fullback ever played the game. He was the captain of the 1970 team in Mexico.  His goal in the Final was considered one of the greatest goals in the history of the tournament. He missed the WC in 1974 through an injury.  He played with Pele both at Santos and NY Cosmos. He had 53 caps for Brazil.

CB: Alex  (Brazil)
Alex was a star with Santos at home.  He joined Chelsea in 2007, but after a loan deal to PSV.  With Chelsea, he won the FA Cup in 2009 and a league and FA Cup "double" in 2010, as well as reaching the 2008 Champions League Final. He also played for Paris Saint-Germain and Milan. Alex earned 17 caps for Brazil between 2003 and 2008, winning the 2007 Copa América and finishing as runner-up at the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Alex
CB: Raul Donazar Calvet (Brazil)
Calvet started with Guarany FC. was a member of Pele's Santos team in the early 1960's.  He played for them between 1960 and 1964.  He was a part of the team that won back-to-back Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups in 1961 and 1963. He also played for Gremio. Capped twice. 

CB: José Ramos Delgado (Argentina) 
Born in Argentina of the Cape Verdean ancestry, he started his playing career in 1956 with Lanús. He soon earned a move to River Plate where he played seven seasons with the club. After a short spell with Banfield, he moved to Santos, where he played alongside Pelé in the club's golden years.  He was capped 25 times.  He went to the 1958 and 1962 WC Finals.

CB: Mauro Ramos (Brazil)
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 between 1948 and 1965.  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, winning two Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cups.
Mauro Ramos 
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: Leo  (Brazil)
Until he joined Santos in 2000, Leo's career did not go well.  In 2002, playing alongside the likes of Diego, Elano, Renato and Robinho, he won his first Série A championship, losing the following year's Copa Libertadores.  In 2005, he joined Benfica in Portugal and returned to Santos in 2009.  He was a key player as Santos won Copa Libertadores in 2011. He was only capped 7 times.
Leo

DM: Zito (Brazil)
With Brazil, Zito earned 52 caps and won the World Cup in 1958, and 1962.  He played his entire career with Santos.  He was the captain of the "Os Santásticos" team of the late 1950s and 1960s, playing alongside Pelé, Pepe and other Brazilian stars. He was known as a leader that a young Pele respected throughout his career.

DM: Clodoaldo (Brazil)
Clodoaldo was a member of Pele's Santos in the 1960's between 1966 and 1979.  He is best remembered for being the defensive midfielder of the 1970 World Cup Team in Mexico.  At the Final, he contributed to Carlos Alberto's famous goal against Italy by dribbing past 4 Italian players. He also played for Tampa Bay Rowdies (1980), New York United (1980) and Nacional-AM (1981).
Clodoaldo 
CM:  Mengálvio (Brazil)
During his club career Mengálvio played for Aimoré-RS (1957–59), Santos (1960–67; 1969), Grêmio (1968) and Millonarios of Colombia (1969). Whilst at Santos he won the 1962 Copa Libertadores, playing in all three matches of the final against Penarol.  He earned 13 caps. He was unused sub at the 1962 WC Finals.

CM: Araken Patusca (Brazil)
From 1923–1937, he played for Santos FC, Club Athletico Paulistano, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, São Paulo. With Siriri, Feitiço, Evengelista and Camarão, he formed one of the most important attacking lines of the 1920s with Santos. In 1927, he was the top goalscorer of the Campeonato Paulista. With Brazil, he went to the World Cup in 1930, 

CM/RW: Elano (Brazil)
Elano started his career at Santos, and spent six years in Europe with Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City and Galatasaray. He returned to Santos in 2011, and later joined Grêmio and Flamengo. With 50 caps  and 9 goals between 2004 and 2011, he won the 2007 Copa América and the 2009 Confederations Cup, and also played at the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 Copa América.

LW/FW: Pepe (Brazil)
Pepe was considered the second best striker ever played for Santos after Pele.  His nickname was "Canhão da Vila" (The Vila Cannon), because of his potent kick with his left leg and the fact that Santos plays in the Estádio Urbano Caldera, nicknamed Vila Belmiro. He went to both WC Finals in 1958 and 1962, but did not play a single game. 

AM/FW: Robinho (Brazil)
In 1999, at only 15 years of age, Robinho was personally picked by Pelé as his heir apparent and went on to lead Santos FC to their first Campeonato Brasileiro title since Pelé himself played for the club.  In 2005, he made a dream move to Real Madrid. He would also play for Manchester City, AC Milan, Guangzhou Evergrande and Atlético Mineiro. He earned 99 caps.  He won the Golden Boot Award for the Copa America in 2007, where Brazil also won.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.
Robinho
AM: Giovanni (Brazil)
Giovanni played for Barcelona, Olympiacos and Santos. In his prime, he was one of Barcelona's most valuable players. At Olympiacos, Giovanni had the most successful days of his career, and is still remembered as a club legend by supporters. For Brazil, he gained 20 caps and scoring 6 goals. He was part of the 1998 Brazilian team that reached the World Cup Final.

AM: Diego (Brazil)
Diego started his career with Santos and moved to Porto in 2004.  In 2006, he moved to Werder Bremen where he was one of the best players in the Bundesliga.  In 2009, he moved to Juventus, but could not find his form.  He went on to play for various clubs.  In 2012, he was a part of Atletico Madrid that won the 2012 Europa League. He earned 33 caps between 2004 and 2011.

AM/FW: Neymar (Brazil
Neymar was known as the greatest player ever produced by Santos since Robinho.  He moved to Barcelona FC in 2013, where Barcelona FC and his family were founded to have involved under the table money.  In 2017, he again moved to PSG after the French club paid for his release clause and became the most expensive transfer ever.  For Brazil, he played at the WC Finals in 2014, but missed the 7-1 defeat in the semi-final.
Neymar
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: Edu
From 1966 to 1985, Edu played for Santos, Corinthians, Internacional, Tigres UANL, São Cristovão and Nacional Fast Clube. He won five Campeonato Paulista titles. He won the 1971 Brazilian Silver Ball Award. Capped 42 times. He won the World Cup in 1970 and went to the ones in 1966 and the 1974. He was 16 years and 339 days of age in 1966 tournament, making the youngest player to ever in World Cup history.
 
FW: Pele
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.
Pele
ST: Dorval Rodrigues (Brazil)
In the 1960s Dorval Rodrigues became the idol of Santos, forming an attack with Coutinho, Pele and Pepe.  It was one of the best attacks in the history of the team and world football. He also played for many clubs, including Gremio, Racing Club, Atlético-PR, etc. He was capped 7 times between 1959 and 1963.

ST: Coutinho (Brazil)
Coutinho played for Santos from 1958 to 1968 and in 1970, periods during which Santos won five Taça Brasil and seven Campeonato Paulista titles, two Copa Libertadores, and two Intercontinental Cups. Coutinho has been named the greatest Santos' player after Pelé, with whom he formed a mythical attacking duo with 1461 goals scored (370 by Coutinho). He was capped 15 times.  He went to the WC in 1962, but was injured.
Coutinho and Pele

Honorable Mention
Aguinaldo, Claudio, Pita, Pagão, Ricardo Oliveira, Deivid, Ganso, Renato, Chico Formiga, Antoninho, Joel Camargo, Dalmo.

Squad Explanation
-- Pele's Santos was one of the greatest club side in South American history.  The team was better known as "Os Santásticos". I selected the following 14 players who played with him at Santos to my all-time team: Agustin Cejas, Gilmar, Carlos Alberto,  Raul Donazar Calvet. José Ramos Delgado, Mauro Ramos, Rildo, Zito, Clodoaldo, Mengálvio, Pepe, Dorval Rodrigues, Coutinho and Edu. Of course, Pele is also on the team.  Jair da Rosa Pinto also played for Santos at that time.
-- Santos was in decline after the 1960's.  It explained why 15 out of 25 players selected played in the 1960's.
-- Diego and Robinho were one of the best young players when they played for Santos. They led the resurgence of the club in the early 2000s along with Alex. Leo and Elano also played during that era alongside Deivid. Deivid made my honourable mention.
-- The 2010 Copa Libertadores was Santos' greatest achievement after the 1960's generation.  Leo, Neymar and Elano are from that team.  Ganso received a honourable mention.
-- At the time of writing, Neymar's transfer saga has not resolved. Barcelona, Neymar and his father cheated Santos in his transfer.  In my opinion, he betrayed the club that helped to create him.  That did not affect his selection to my all-time team.
-- Zito was known to be Pele's mentor.  Pele listened to him when he was a young player.
-- Giovanni was amazing while at Santos even through he did not stay long enough. 

Formation

 

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