Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Vasco Da Gama Greatest All-Time Team

Expresso da Vitória 

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

50 Brazilian Greatest Players (26th-50th)
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.

Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama was founded on August 21, 1898  by Portuguese immigrants, and it is still traditionally supported by the Portuguese community of Rio de Janeiro. The club is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.  In 1924 Vasco da Gama was pressured by the Metropolitan League to ban some players that were not considered adequate to play in the aristocratic league, notably because they were black or mulato and/or poor. After Vasco refused to comply with such a ban, the other big teams, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, among others, created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco from participating unless it complied with the racist demands.  Between 1947 and 1952, the club was nicknamed Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express), as Vasco won several competitions in that period, such as the Rio de Janeiro championship in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1952, and the South American Club Championship in 1948. Players such as Ademir, Moacyr Barbosa, Bellini and Ipojucan defended Vasco's colors during that period.

Copa Libertadores 1998
GK: Moacir Barbosa (Brazil)
Moacir Barbosa was one of the greatest keepers in Brazil's history, but he was, however, associated with Brazil's loss to Uruguay in 1950, in an upset loss dubbed as the Maracanazo.  He became the scapegoat of the event.  He was also a member of the Brazilian team that won the 1949 Copa America.  For his club career, he played over 10 seasons with Vasco Da Gama.  He won the Campeonato Sul-Americano de Campeões in 1948. 

GK: Jaguaré (Brazil)
When playing with CR Vasco da Gama, he won the championship of Rio de Janeiro. He also played for FC Barcelona, Sporting CP and SC Corinthians Paulista. The most successful period of his career was in the 1930s with the French club Olympique Marseille. In Brazil, he is also considered to be the person who popularised the use of gloves by goalkeepers.

GK: Carlos Germano (Brazil)
Carlos Germano started his career with Vasco De Gama in 1991. He was awarded the Silver Ball (Placar) in 1997.  He helped the club to win the Copa Libertadores in 1998, Vasco De Gama's first ever title.  He left the club in 2000 and played for many clubs.  He was capped 9 times for Seleção.  He was the backup goalkeeper for the team that won the 1997 Copa América and that reached the final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.
Carlos Germano
RB: Cocada (Brazil) 
Cocada started his career with Flamengo, but did not succeed there.  He moved to Vasco De Gama and became a key player.  He scored the winning goal in the 1988 Campeonato Carioca final, where he beat his former team Flamengo. He then received a red car for insulting the manager of Flamingo who released him. His brother is the striker, Muller who was on the 1994 World Cup team.

RB: Orlando Lele (Brazil)
Orlando Lele began his career at Santos Futebol Clube in 1972, then transferred to the Coritiba Foot-Ball Club in 1973.  He joined America in 1974. He later played for Vasco between 1977 and 1981. He moved to Udinese in 1981. He played for Brazil 6 times. He made his debut in 1976 against Uruguay.

CB: Bellini (Brazil)
Bellini was Brazil's captain for the World Cup Finals in 1958. He was credited for starting the tradition of lifting the trophy high in the air, making the gesture winning symbol.  He won another World Cup in 1962 and participated also at 1966 FIFA World Cup as the team captain again.  He had 51 caps between 1957 and 1966. During his career he played for Vasco da Gama, São Paulo FC and Atlético Paranaense. 
CB: Orlando Peçanha (Brazil)
During his club career Orlando Peçanha played for Vasco da Gama (1955–1960), Boca Juniors (1960–1964) and Santos (1965–1967). With Boca Juniors, he was their captain at one point. He was part of the Brazilian team that won the 1958 FIFA World Cup, and also participated in the 1966 FIFA World Cup as the vice captain of the team. In total he earned 30 caps.

CB: Augusto da Costa (Brazil)
Augusto da Costa captained the Brazil team to the 1950 FIFA World Cup final leading them to become the runners-up of the tournament after losing to Uruguay. He was born in Rio de Janeiro. He started his career in 1936, with São Cristóvão, leaving the club in 1944. In 1945 he joined Vasco, retiring in 1954. He played 20 games for the Brazilian national team and scored one goal.

CB: Brito (Brazil)
Brito was best remembered as a part of Brazil's great World Cup team in 1970.  He had 47 caps.  He also went to the 1966 World Cup Finals. For his club career, he played over 10 years with Vasco De Gama. He also played for Internacional, Flamengo, Cruzeiro, Botafogo, Corinthians, Atlético Paranaense and River-PI.  In 1970, he won the Bola de Prata as the Best XI in Brazilian championship.

LB/LW: Felipe (Brazil)
Felipe started in 1996 with Vasco De Gama.  He won the Copa Libertadores in 1998 with them.  He stayed with them until 2002. He later played for AS Roma, Galatasaray,  Palmeiras, Flamengo, etc.  He spent 5 seasons playing for  Al Sadd in Qatar. He earned 9 caps for Brazil, winning the Copa America in 2004.

LB/DM: Mazinho (Brazil)
Mazinho played 35 internationals for Brazil national team, winning the 1989 Copa América, 1994 World Cup and the Silver medal at the 1988 Olympics. He was also named in the squads for the 1990 World Cup and 1991 Copa América.  Mazinho played with Vasco da Gama, Palmeiras and Vitória in his homeland, with Lecce and Fiorentina in Italy, and with Valencia, Celta de Vigo and Elche in Spain. 

DM: Danilo Alvim (Brazil)
Danilo Alvim is considered one of he greatest defensive midfielder in Brazil's history.  He played 25 games for Brazil between 1946 and 1953, winning the 1949 Copa América. He played on the ill-fated 1950 team alongside Zizinho.  For his club career, he was a part of Vasco da Gama's legendary "the Victory Express" team. He also played for America. He won the 1948 South American Champions of Champions with Vasco.
Danilo Alvim
CM/DM: Ely (Brazil)
Ely do Amparo played for América and Canto do Rio.  Ely was  member of Vasco de Gama's "Expresso da Vitória squad" that won the Campeonato Carioca in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950 and in 1952, winning the South American Club Championship in 1948 as well. Ely do Amparo also played for Sport from 1953 to 1955. For Brazil, he went to the World Cup Finals in both 1950 and 1954.

LB/CM/DM: Jorge Sacramento (Brazil)
Born in 1927, Jorge Sacramento was known to be a member of Vasco De Gama's "Victory Express".  He was known to be playing the midfield with Ely and Danilo Alvim.  The midfield was one of the greatest in Brazilian club football history.  He played for them between 1945 and 1954. He won all of the titles win by the team known as "Victory Express"

AM/CM: Juninho Pernambucano (Brazil)
Juninho Pernambucano was the leading player at Olympique Lyonnais leading them to seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles between 2002 and 2008.  In Brazil, his career was associated with Vasco da Gama. He won Copa Libertadores in 1998. For the national team, his selection was limited by the number of great attackers in his generation.  He was only capped 40 times and went to the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany.
Juninho Pernambucano 

CM: Geovani da Silva (Brazil)
In 1983 he was transferred to Vasco da Gama, playing alongside the likes of Romário and Roberto Dinamite. He also played with Bologna, Karlsruher SC and Tigres de la UANL in Mexico. He ended his career in 2002. He represented Brazil at the 1983 World Youth Championship, where he became the top scorer, and was also elected as the best player of the tournament. Capped 24 times from 1985 to 1991.

LW: Francisco Aramburu "Chico" (Brazil)
Francisco Aramburu known as "Chico" started with Gremio, but joined Vasco de Gama, where he was a member of the famous "Victory Express" team. They won Southamerican Club Championship in 1948. In the 1950 World Cup Finals held in Brazil, he played four games and scored four goals. He played in the famous game against Uruguay, which later became known as "Maracanazo".

AM: Ademir de Menezes (Brazil)
Ademir formed a great attacking trio with Zizinho and Jair at the ill-fated World Cup Finals in 1950.  That line is considered the greatest ever seen in a World Cup Finals. He won the Golden Boot at the tournament, but unable to win the World Cup at home.  He also won the Copa America in 1949. For club football, he had two spells each with Sport Recife and Vasco da Gama. He also had one spell with Fluminense.
Ademir de Menezes

FW: Russinho (Brazil)
Russinho has played for Brazil national football team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup finals.  He played club football for Andarahy, Vasco da Gama and Botafogo, winning the Campeonato Carioca in 1924, 1929 and 1934 with Vasco da Gama and in 1935 with Botafogo.  He was the topscorer at Campeonato Carioca three times in 1924, 1929 and 1931.

FW: Ipojucan  (Brazil)
At the age of 11, Ipojucan joined Vasco da Gama, where he stayed for 20 years. He scored 225 goals in 413 matches for Vasco's main team from 1944 to 1954, making him the fifth-highest scorer on the team. In 1954, he moved to Portuguese Sports, where he finished his career. He was capped by the Brazilian National Team 9 times, and scored 1 goal.

ST: Edmundo (Brazil)
Nicknamed "Animal", he was known for drewing attention both on and off the pitch.  He played for a number of clubs in Brazil, Italy and Japan.  Edmundo was only selected 39 times for the Seleção, largely for his behaviour 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 Romario (Brazil)
Romario 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 World Cup Finals because of an injury. He also went to the World Cup in 1990.  He was one of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona.
Edmundo and Romario
ST: Vava (Brazil)
Vava's nickname was "Peito de Aço" (Steel Chest). He played for Sport Club do Recife, C.R. Vasco da Gama, S.E. Palmeiras.  He was capped 20 times.  He won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals.  He won the co-winner of the Golden Shoe award in 1962.  He scored in the final of both 1958 (twice) and 1962 (once), thus becoming the first player to score in the final of two different world cups. 

ST: Bebeto (Brazil) 
Bebeto is the sixth highest goalscorer for his national team.  At the 1994 World Cup, he formed a formidable strike partnership with Romário to lead Brazil to their fourth World Cup title.  His best club career was with Deportivo La Coruna, where won the Pichichi Trophy in 1993.  He played for Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Cruzeiro, Botafogo, Sevilla, Toros Neza, Kashima Antlers, and Al Ittihad.

ST: Roberto Dinamite (Brazil)
Roberto Dinamite is a legend at Vasco Da Gama.  He is their appearance record holder and all-time leading scorer. He was also the all-time leading scorer in the Brazilian Série A.  He had 38 caps scoring 20 goals for Brazil. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1978 and 1982.  He scored 3 goals in 1978.    He was the Copa América Top Scorer in 1983.  In 1982, he was backup striker who received a callup after Careca got injured and unable to play in Spain.
Roberto Dinamite

Honorable Mention
Donizete, Ramon Roque Rafagnelli, Mauro Galvão, Bismark, Pinga, Sabará, Fontana, Ricardo Rocha, Tostão, Acácio, Mazaropi, Coronel, Maneca, Fausto dos Santos, Juninho Paulista.

Squad Explanation
-- In the 1940's, Vasco Da Gama had a successful period with a team nicknamed "Expresso da Vitória".  They won the South American Championship of Champions in 1948. This tournament is seen as a precursor of the Copa Libertadores. Ademir de Menezes, Moacyr Barbosa, Danilo Alvim, Ely, Jorge Dias Sacramento Augusto da Costa, Ipojucan and Chico played for this team.
-- Unfortunately many players from that team was associated with the "Maracanazo".  Moacir Barbosa, Danilo Alvim and Ademir de Menezes would have bene ranked much higher on the Brazilian all-time team if Brail won the World Cup in 1950.  Augusto da Costa and Chico were  also a member of the team.
-- Moacir Barbosa was perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world at his peak. He was blamed for the defeat.   "The maximum punishment in Brazil is 30 years imprisonment, but I have been paying, for something I am not even responsible for, by now, for 50 years," he said shortly before his death.
-- Danilo Alvim, Ely and Jorge Dias Sacramento were a part of Vasco's "Expresso da Vitória" squad.  They formed one of the greatest midfield in Vasco Da Gama's history. 
-- In 1998, Vasco Da Gama won the Copa Libetadores.  Goalkeeper Carlos Germano, Felipe and Juninho Pernambucano made this all-time team.  Mauro Galvão also made honorable mention.
-- From 1995-2001, Juninho Pernambucano played for Vasco Da Gama.  He was very popular with the club.  The fans nicknamed him Reizinho de São Januário (The Little King of São Januário).  At one point, he was playing with Juninho Paulista.  They won the 2000 domestic Campeonato Brasileiro Série A championship and the international Copa Mercosur trophy. The team also featured Romario and Edmundo on attack. 
-- Both Edmundo and Romario were homegrown players.  They became friends in the 1980's when Romario was a star player with Vasco while Edmundo played on the reserve team.  However, the pair started a feud off the field around 1998. In 2000, the pair was reunited at the club and formed a brilliant partnership that easily destroyed Manchester United at the 2000 World Club Championship.  Both Edmundo and Romario made the team while Juninho Paulista is on honorable mention.
-- Bebeto was Romario's famous strike partner at the 1994 World Cup Finals, but the pair started as rivals in Brazil.  Romario was playing for Vasco while Bebeto played for crosstown rival Flamingo.  But when Romario left for PSV in 1988, Vasco signed Bebeto as his replacement.  Over here, Bebeto won the South American Footballer of the Year in 1989.  
--- Roberto Dinamite is their all-time appearance leader as well as all-time leading scorer.  The peak of Vava's club career was also spent here.
-- I took those players over Maneca who played for them in the 1940's. Tostão also spent a short time at the club.
-- Coronel missed out on the rightback spot.
-- Vasco Da Gama has many great centerbacks. All of my selected centerbacks have long careers with the club as well as a great career with the national team. Both Augusto da Costa and Bellini captained the national team at a World Cup Finals, while Brito and Orlando Peçanha had won the World Cup. Mauro Galvão was my last back dropped.  He deserved to be on the squad.
-- Ricardo Rocha did not have a long career here. Meanwhile, Leônidas da Silva and Domingos da Guia only played one season at the club.  



  1. Hey, I come across a big lot of 1930s and 40s of Vasco players. I have no clue where to start on figuring out who they are. It's a bunch of team photos, and the guys around the town.

  2. Fausto, maravilha negra, instead of Ely. Mazinho on right back. Felipe on left back.

    And Geovani from 89's instead Ademir . Ademir was forwards.

  3. Theres also Mauro galvao and domingos da Guia as CB. Domingos is my pick. Played more for Vasco than for flamengo

  4. Germano
    Ely Bellini/Wilson(Capão) Galvão Felipe
    Danilo Alvim/Fausto
    Juninho(Pernambucano) Geovani/Jair
    Friaça Vavá Ademir

    the best of 48, 58 and 98 and your preferred 8