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
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 (1962 against Eusébio's Benfica and 1963 against Milan). He also played for Corinthians.  In fact, he had played more games for them.

GK: Rodolfo Rodríguez (Uruguay)
He is the second most capped player in the history of the Uruguay with 78 appearances. He won the 50th anniversary tournament of the first World Cup, the 1980 Mundialito. and the Copa América in 1983. He went to the WC in 1978 and 1986. At Nacional, Rodríguez won the Uruguayan Championship in 1977, 1980 and 1983, the Copa Libertadores in 1980 and the Copa Intercontinental also in 1980. In 1984, he joined Santos in Brazil. At Santos he won the São Paulo State Championship in 1984. He stayed with the club until 1987. He also played for 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, he helped Racing Club to win the Copa Libertadores, their only time in the club's history. They followed this up by beating Celtic F.C. in the Copa Intercontinental to become the first Argentine club champions of the world. In 1970, Cejas joined Santos in Brazil where he played in the same team as Pelé. In 1973, Cejas helped Santos to win the Campeonato Paulista and received the prestigious Bola de Ouro as the best player in Brazil. Capped 6 times.

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 2004, but he was loaned to Dutch team PSV. Alex finally joined Chelsea in 2007.  In his time at 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.
CB: Raul Donazar Calvet (Brazil)
Calvet 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 two Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups. 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.  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. 
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.

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.  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).

CM:  Mengálvio (Brazil)
During his club career he 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)
Throughout his career (1923–1937), he played for Santos FC, Club Athletico Paulistano, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, São Paulo. Having been three consecutive times runner-up with Santos at the Campeonato Paulista, he won the title with them in 1931, and then in 1935 with Independente. With Siriri, Feitiço, Evengelista and Camarão formed one of the most important attacking lines of the 1920s. In 1927, he was the top goalscorer of the Campeonato Paulista. With Brazil, he participated in the first edition of the World Cup in 1930, 

CM/RW: Elano (Brazil)
Elano started his career at Santos, and spent six years in Europe in the service of Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City and Galatasaray. He returned to Santos in 2011, and later joined fellow league teams Grêmio and Flamengo. Earned 50 caps between 2004 and 2011, scoring nine goals. He won the 2007 Copa América and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and also played at the 2010 FIFA 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: 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/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.
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.

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 (1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1977) and received the Brazilian Silver Ball Award in 1971. With Brazil, capped 42 times. He won the World Cup in 1970 and also went to the 1966 and the 1974 World Cup. He was 16 years and 339 days of age at the start of the 1966 tournament, being the youngest player to ever be called up for the tournament; however, he did not play in any match.

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.

ST: Dorval Rodrigues (Brazil)
In the 1960s he 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 in Gremio, Racing Club, Atlético-PR, etc. Capped 7 times.

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, Ricardo Oliveira, Deivid, Ganso, Renato, Chico Formiga, Antoninho, Joel Camargo, Dalmo.

Squad Explanation
-- 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.  I might leave him off the squad in the future.  He does not have the honour of wearing the same club shirt as Pele.
-- Giovanni was amazing while at Santos even through he did not stay long enough. 


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