Monday, October 9, 2017

Brazil Greatest All-Time Team After Pele

1994 World Cup
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Brazil All-Time Team
Sao Paulo StateRio de Janeiro
North/Northeastern BrazilSouth/Southeastern Brazil
Brazilian-born players capped by other national teams
Afro-Brazlian Players
Brazil All-Team Under Mari Zagallo
Brazil All-Time Team before 1958

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time Brazil team after Pele's retirement from the national team in 1970.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

Before Pele, Brazil has never won the World Cup.  At the completion of Pele's career, Brazil is generally known as the greatest football nations in the world.  Pele put Brazil on the football map.  This is my selection of the greatest Brazilian players after Pele.  All players made their national team debut after Pele retired from the national team in 1970.

World Cup 2002
Team  
GK: Claudio Taffarel
Claudio Taffarel earned over 100 caps.  He was the starting goalkeeper for the World Cup winning team in 1994. During an 18-year career, he played professionally for six clubs, including Parma, Internacional, Atlético Mineiro and Galatasaray. He won an UEFA Cup with Galatasaray, which was the first ever European trophy for a Turkish club team.

GK: Julio Cesar
Julio Ceasar was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010.  He won the Champions' League with Inter Milan in 2010.  He won 87 international caps for the Seleção between 2004 and 2014. He was selected for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, in addition to two Copa América tournaments. Unfortunately, he was remembered for a few poor performance for Brazil at the WC Finals.

GK: Dida 
Dida was remembered for his 8 seasons with AC Milan, Dida was the hero of the 2003 Champions' League Final when he helped Milan to win the penalty shootout against Juventus.  He became the first Brazilian goalkeeper to be nominated for Ballon d' Or that year.  He went to three World Cup Finals.  He was the starting keeper in 2006 World Cup Finals for the Seleção. 
RB: Cafu 
Cafu is the all-time cap record holder for Brazil with 142.  He is the only man to play in three World Cup Finals, winning in 1994 and 2002.  He was the captain of the national team as they won the World Cup in 2002.  With Brazil, he also took part in four editions of the Copa América, winning the title twice, in 1997 and 1999. He played with Sao Paulo,  Real Zaragoza, Juventude, Roma, Palmeiras and AC Milan. He was South American Player of the Year in 1994.  
Cafu

RB: Leandro 
Leandro was one of the best rightbacks in the 1980's. He earned 31 caps.  Hwas 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.

CB: Lucio
Lucio was the star of the 2002 World Cup winning team. He earned 105 caps for Brazil.  He reached the Champions' League final with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.  In 2004, he moved to Bayern Munich, where he won one German Cup and three Bundesliga titles. He also helped Inter Milan win the 2010 Champions League against his former club Bayern Munich in Final.

CB: Aldair 
Aldair played for Flamengo before heading to Europe.  He started with Benfica, but he was widely remembered for his 13 seasons with Roma.  The club retired his #6 jersey for 10 seasons.  For the national team, he had 80 caps.  He was a key member of the great defensive unit of the World Cup winning team in 1994.   In addition, he also played in the World Cup Finals 1990 and 1998.

CB: Luis Pereira
Luis Pereira was widely considered to be the best central back in the Seleção's history. He was capped over 30 times, but only 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 La Liga in 1977.

CB: Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva became the most expensive defender in history when he moved from Milan to Paris St. Germain.  In Brazil, he played for Juventude and Fluminense, helping Fluminense to the Final of Copa Libertadores in 2008.  For the national team, he was the captain of Brazil ill-fated team in World Cup 2014, but did not play against Germany in the semifinal. He was an unused sub at the World Cup Finals in 2010.

LB: Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos was regarded one of the best leftbacks in history.  He had 125 caps for Brazil playing in three WC Finals. He won 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid and one WC 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

LB: Junior 
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: Toninho Cerezo 
Throughout his career, Cerezo played with Atlético Mineiro, Roma, Sampdoria and São Paulo. He was a legend at Atlético Mineiro. With São Paulo FC, he was the two-times winner of the Intercontinental Cup and Copa Libertadores.  He went to Argentina 1978 and Spain 1982. During his time in Italy, Cerezo won the Coppa Italia four times; in 1991 he won the Serie A with Sampdoria. 


DM: Dunga
Dunga's bluecollar and defensive style of football symbolized a new era in Brazil's football.  This period in Brazil's football history was called "Era Dunga", as according to fans and journalists. He played 91 times for Brazil.  He was the captain of Brazil's World Cup winning team in 1994. He also went to Italia 1990 and France 1998.  For domestic football, he played in Brazil, Japan, Italy and Germany in his career.
Dunga

CM: Falcao
At one stage, Falcao was the world's highest paid footballer.  He played with Internacional at home before becoming the star of Roma in the 1980's, winning the Serie A in 1982-83. In 1985, he returned home and played for Sao Paulo. For the national team, he was a key player for the fantastic Brazilian of Spain 1982.  He won the Silver Ball in Spain. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1986.

RM/CM: Socrates
Socrates earned over 60 caps between 1979 and 1986. He was the captain of 1982 and 1986 team. One of the best attack midfielders in Brazil's history.  In 1983, he was named South American Footballer of the Year.  He spent 7 seasons with Corinthians.  He went abroad in 1984, playing a season in Serie A with Fiorentina.  He was also a MD, earning the degree while he was an active player.
Socrates

AM/LM: Ronaldinho 
From 1999 to 2013, Ronaldinho played 97 times for Brazil. He was a member of the "Three R's" with Rivaldo and Ronaldo that helped Brazil winning the World Cup in 2002.  At the club level, he started his career with Gemio before moving to Europe. He played with Paris St Germaine and Barcelona before his form started to drop. He formed the REM line with Etoo and Messi before fighting among them destroyed the team.  In 2013, he won the Copa Libertadores with Atlético Mineiro.

LW/AM: Zico 
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 World Cup Finals, but probably best remembered for the 1982 tournament, where the team was known as the best ever tram that never won the World Cup.  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.
Zico

AM/FW: Rivaldo 
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 World Cup Finals in 1998. For his club career, he was known for his career with Barcelona in Spain.  He won the 1999 Ballon d' Or.

AM/CM: Kaka 
Kaka started his career with Sao Paulo in Brazil before moving to AC Milan in 2003.  He was the star player who helped Milan to win the Champions' League in 2007, also winning the Ballon d'or the same year.  In 2009, he left Milan for Real Madrid.  For Brazil, he was capped 92 times.  He was a young and seldom used player at the WC in 2002.  He was a key player after the WC Finals in 2002.
Kaka
AM/FW: Neymar 
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.

ST: Bebeto 
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.
Bebeto
ST Romario
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. One of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona under Johan Cruyff.

ST: Ronaldo
Ronaldo was widely considered among the greatest ever to have play the game.  He led Brazil to two World Cup Finals match, winning the one in 2002.  He scored 8 goals in 2002.  He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times.  He is the second top-scorer in WC history.  He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan. 
Ronaldo

Honorable Mention
Waldir Peres, Marcos, Nelinho, Danilo Alves, Maicon, Jorginho, Oscar Bernardi, Ricardo Gomes, Edinho, Marinho Chagas, Branco, Leonardo, Marcelo, Dirceu, Giberto Silva, Ze Roberto, Juninho Pernambucano, Juninho Paulista,  Edmundo, Careca, Roberto Dinamite, Reinaldo.

Squad Explanation
-- Waldir Peres and Marcos were considered, but Julio Cesar and Dida have done better in Europe, especially in Italy where goalkeepers are considered to be very impoprtant.
-- Cafu locked down the rightback position for many years. Nelinho, Leandro, Danilo Alves, Maicon and Jorginho were considered for the backup position.  I took Leandro based of his performance at the 1982 World Cup Finals.
-- Junior and Roberto Carlos were easily choices for the left back.
-- Ricardo Gomes would have made the list if he played in USA 1994.  Edinho also deserved a spot.  Instead, Aldair got the last spot.  His performance with Roma played a part.
-- All attackers have won or finished high at the World Footballer of the Year award, Ballon D'or, World Cup Golden Boot or any other similar award.  Dunga and Toninho Cerezo are not considered attackers.
-- I have to choose between Careca and Bebeto for the last spot. Both players were very close in numbers.  Both players have similar numbers while playing for Brazil. Bebeto scored 39 goals while Careca got 30. Careca was probably Brazil's best player at  Mexico 1986, but Bebeto won the World Cup Finals.  In the end, I took Bebeto because he was a World Cup winner and he scored more goals.
-- At the time of writing, Junior is still ahead of Marcelo, but I am lending on taking Marcelo over Junior.

Formation
4-2-2-2
This is the classic formation for Brazil.  The squad is similar to Brazil 1982, but I added Dunga to add a more no non-sense approach to the team.  Ronaldo-Romario was probably the best attacking duo in Brazil's history.  They would be backed by Zico and Socrates in the midfield.




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