Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Forgotten Player: Julinho

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Argentina World Cup 1958

Julinho was one of the greatest right wing ever lived, but people tended to forget about him.  Perhaps, he played for Brazil in the WC in 1954.  He was Brazil's best player at the tournament. Sandwiched between the ill-fated 1950 WC Finals and the WC-winning Finals in 1958, the WC Finals in 1954 was not a big topic in Brazil.  Brazil's participation at the 1954 World Cup Finals was probably remembered for the game they lost to Hungary.  Three players were sent off during the game and players continued to fight in the locker rooms afterward. The game infamously became known as the Battle of Berne, a game that Brazilian fans wanted to forget.

Julinho started his career with Clube Atlético Juventus, but he never made it there.  He moved to Portuguesa half a season later. He made his debut against Flamengo at the Maracana, on February 18, 1950. Because of the tragic World Cup Finals in 1950, Brazil rebuilt their national team.  They did not play a international match for nearly two years.  On November, 1951, against Corinthians he scored 4 goals. His performance earned him  place on the new national team.  He made his national debut 6 months later when Brazil returned to the international scene and beat Mexico 2-0.  Julinho made his Brazil's debut.  

After he made his name at the World Cup Finals, he moved to Fiorentina in 1955.  In his first season, Fiorentina won the scudetti, and then, reched the European Cup Final the following season. He woud become one of Fiorentina's greatest players in history.

In 1950's, most South American national teams did not select their foreign-based players.  However, Brazil asked Julinho to return to the national team for the WC Finals in 1958.  They even suggested that he would meet them in Europe after they arrived for the WC Finals.  However, Julinho did not want to take a spot of a regular player who fought the World Cup Qualifiers and the buildup.  He turned it down.  If he had taken the spot, Brazil would have dropped Garrincha, who was the backup right wing leading up to the WC Finals.  Instead, Brazil met Fiorentina for a pre-tournament friendly match. It was an emotionl match as Julinho faced his national team.  He wept during the game.

In 1958, he returned to Brazil and was recalled back to the national team for a match vs England in May, 1959.  England, in 1959, still commanded respect in Brazil.  Every Brazilian fans expected the new national hero Garrincha to start the game.  However, Garrincha was unfit and Julinho start the game.  When the starting lineup was announced at the Maracana, the fans turned against Julinho.  the jeers got louder and louder as the game approached.  Julinho would weep for the second time in a national team match.  But as soon as the match started, Julinho showed the fans what he was capable of.  He danced through the English defenders.  The jeers became cheers.  At the end of the match, he would score one goal and assist another as Brazil beat England 2-0.  He had won over the fans again.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index. 
North HollandSouth Holand.
The rest of Netherlands excluding North and South Holland
Netherlands All-Time Team After Johan Cruyff
Dutch Players' surnames starting with "Van"
Netherlands 2002

Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy were born on the same day.  Their careers were very different.  Kluivert earned his cap as a 18 years old.  He became the Golden Boy of Dutch football when he scored the winning goal for Ajax at the 1995 Champions' League Final at the age of 18.  He moved to Milan two years later and then, Barcelona in 1998.  However, his career started to fade away quickly.  He left Barcelona in 2004.  Meanwhile, Ruud van Nistelrooy was a late bloomer.  He started his career at the lower division and worked his way up.  In the modern world, it is getting rare for anyone who was not discovered at a younger age.  He never played for any Dutch youth national team.  He joined PSV in 1998 Katy the age of 22, which was not too old.  But by then, Kluivert was among the top striker in the world.  He started to become well-known in Europe, but a dream move to Manchester United was delayed for a year due to his knee problems. Van Nistelrooy did not play in a big tournament until Euro 2004.  Coincidentally, it was the same summer that Kluivert left Barcelona for Newcastle United.  One player's career went up and the other went downward.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

From melon seller to WC starter

     Brazil's World Cup team in 1998 was loaded with superstars.   Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Bebeto, Dungo and Cafu were multi-millionaires.  Ze Carlos, however, was different.  He was a career journeyman.  A year before the WC Finals, he was playing for Matonense in the lower division and his salary was not enough to make ends meet.  So he sold melons in the street.  Then, Sao Paulo signed him in 1997.  Somehow, his performance caught the attention of Mario Zagello.  After a series of injuries within Brazil's player pool, Zagello called him up for the WC Finals.  He had never played for Brazil at any level.  Playing against Denmark at the quarterfinal of the World Cup in 1998, Cafu picked up a yellow card that would suspend him for the next match. Suddenly,  Ze Carlos, Brazil's backup rightback, found himself on the starting lineup vs Netherlands in the semi-final.  So the man selling melons a year earlier started for Brazil.

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

Sao Paulo StateRio de Janeiro
North/Northeastern BrazilSouth/Southeastern Brazil
Brazilian-born players capped by other national teams
Afro-Brazlian Players
Brazil All-Time Team After Pele
Brazil All-Team Under Mari Zagallo
Brazil All-Time Team before 1958

SantosFlamengoSao PauloCorithiansBotafogo
Vasco Da GamaPalmeirasInternacional

FluminenseGremioCruzeiroAtlético MineiroBahia.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ethiopia's first game at the 1994 WCQers

      Ethiopia's first game at the 1994 WCQers was an away match against Morocco. they traveled to Morocco via Rome, where their best five players deflected. The squad ended up with 8 players to play the match. So they used the backup keeper, the assistant coach and a friend to play. By half time, two more players dropped out. Three more players dropped out early in the second half. The match was stopped with 6 Ethiopian players left on the field.

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

Africa All-Time Team

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Figo signed for Real Madrid because he thought Florentino Pérez would never get elected the president of Real Madrid?

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
Real MadridBarcelona,
Real Madrid All-Time Team Under Florentina Perez
Real Madrid All-Time Team Under Miguel Munoz
Real Madrid Argentine Best XI
Real Madrid Castilla Greatest All-Time
Real Madrid All-Time Team for Foreign Players
Real Madrid All-Time Team for Spanish players

Barcelona Dutch Best XI
Barcelona All-Time Team for Spanish Players
Barcelona All-Time Team for Foreign Players

    Luis Figo's transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000 is perhaps the most controversial transfer of all-time.  According to Steve McManaman, Figo signed for Real Madrid because he thought Florentino Pérez would never get elected the president of Real Madrid. 

    In 2000, Real Madrid was holding an election to elect its president.  Lorenzo Sanz, the president of Real Madrid at the time, just led Real Madrid to two European Cup titles in 1998 and 2000. The two titles were Real Madrid's first European Cup since 1966.   Florentino Pérez was not a big contender on the election. He was relatively unknown, but he had something up his sleeve.  He discovered a release clause in Luis Figo's contract with Barcelona. So he offered Figo a pre-contract.  The deal would only go through if Perez got elected.  According to Steve McManaman, Figo assumed that Sanz would be reelected easily. Thus, if he signed with Perez, the signing bonus would be easy money. Besides, Figo was negotiating with Barcelona at that moment.  He could use the rumor to get a better deal.  After the election, Figo could just simply deny the deal and no one would ever know.   So he signed the pre-contract while denying it up until a few days before he was introduced as a Real Madrid player.  But when Perez leaked information of the deal, suddenly, the tide switched and Perez was elected the President of Real Madrid. The rest is history.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Peter Beardsley playing three major rivalries

Peter Beardsley was known for moving from Liverpool to its cross town rival, Everton in 1991. He is also one of only four players who had played for both Liverpool and Manchester United. He also played for Manchester City.  So he had played for both clubs of three major rivalries in England.  However, he only played for Man Utd once and was playing for Man City in the lower division.  So he never wore the Manchester United shirt against both Liverpool and Man City.  I doubted that he ever wore the Man City shirt against Manchester United.

Beardsley held several record fort the Mersey derby.  He held the transfer record for a player from Liverpool to Everton.  Along with David Johnson, he was one of two players ever scored for both sides of the Mersey derbies.

Note: Brazil's Ronaldo played for Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid.  He played for each of them against the rivals.

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

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton,
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest

Leeds UnitedLeicester City

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cheung was an Asian pioneer in England and Bobby Robson's first ever signing

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

AustraliaSaudi ArabiaIran,
ChinaJapanSouth Korea.
Hong Kong
East AsiaWest Asia(without Iran and Saudi Arabia),
Central Asia, South East Asia(ASEAN).
Chinese Diaspora
All-Time Team under Bobby Robson(Club only)

Before Park Ji-Sung, Hidetoshi Nakata and Lee Young-Pyo played in England, there was Cheung Chi Doy (張子岱)of Hong Kong.  He joined Blackpool in 1960. He was not the first player of Asian origin  to play in England.  The honour went to Frank Soo, a Chinese-English mixed who went on to be capped by England.  Nevertheless, Cheung was a pioneer in the world of Asian football.

Before the 1970's, Hong Kong was a power in Asian football.  players from there formed two national teams.  The Hong Kong "A" team played as the Republic of China.  They had done well at Asian Cup, etc.  Meanwhile, the younger players played for Hong Kong.  They also finished not far behind from the other countries in Asian Cup.  Cheung Chi Doy came from this interesting system of two national team. 

Cheung made his professional debut as a 14 years old in Hong Kong.  in 1960, a Hong Kong-based British journalist from Hing Kong Standard discovered him and recommend him to Blackpool.  Over there, he joined Jimmy Armfield and Stanley Matthews.  However, his playing time was limited. On January 14th, 1961, he made his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers.  The game, however, was stopped due to bad weather.  Later in the month, he made his full debut against Bolton Wanderers.  On November 25th, 1961, he played his second game in a 1-3 loss to Sheffield Wednesday., scoring the only goal for his club.  Thus, he became the first Chinese to score in the top tier of the English league.  However, due to homesickness, he returned to Hong Kong in 1962.

In 1968, Bobby Robson  got his first job as a manager with Vancouver Royals.  He remembered the talented Cheung Chi Doy.  He signed Cheung Chi Doy and his brother.   They became one of Robson's first ever signings as a manager.  Cheung was the highest-paid player on the team.  However, Robson's position was not secured.  Vancouver Royals was merged with another club.  Ferenc Puskas became the manager while Robson was sent home.  Not being one of Puskas' players, he was not used regularly.  He later joined St Louis Stars.

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vsevolod Bobrov: the two sport hero of the Soviet Union

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

Этот блогер Артур Янтурин скопировал мою блог-команду. Его запись была написана в 2020 году, но моя была загружена в 2014 году. Я также периодически ее обновлял. Я нашел ошибки. Он сохранил мои ошибки. Казалось, он был кем-то из бывшего Советского Союза. Он должен был знать эту тему гораздо лучше, чем я, но все равно допускал мои ошибки. Он также скопировал многие-многие мои блогерские записи.

Его запись "Состав Спартака Москва за всю историю" была опубликована в октябре 2020 года, а моя - в 2017 году. Его запись о голландско-немецком соперничестве между Реал Мадрид и Барселоной была написана в 2020 году, а моя - в 2014 году.

His Facebook and Instagram

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 All-Time World Cup Team Index

Soviet UnionRussiaUkraine,

The former Soviet Union without (Ukraine and Russia)
Central Asia

Vsevolod Bobrov was one of the greatest ice hockey player in history. He was also capped by the Soviet Union football team three times. He led the Soviet football league in scoring twice.    He represented the USSR for soccer in 1952 Olympics.  Four years later, he won the gold medal for hockey in 1956.  He also represented the Soviet Union in bandy.

Bobrov started his career playing bandy hockey as a youngster.  He soon was discovered by CDKA Moscow for his football talents.  In 1945, he joined Dynamo Moscow as a guest player for a tour of Great Britain.  He scored six goals against teams which included Chelsea, Arsenal, and Glasgow Rangers.  He was highly rated by the British.  During his visit in Britain, he accidentally discovered ice hockey.  He literally walked into a game between two British teams and he fell in love with the sport. After returning to the Soviet Union, he started to play ice hockey for CDKA Moscow.

On the football field, he was the Soviet league top scorer in 1947.  He was capped 3 times, scoring 5 goals.  At the 1952 Olympics against Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union was down 5-1, but they fought back and made 5-5.  He scored a hat trick in the game. During the extra-time, Bobrov dribbled past several defenders and hit the post.  After 1952, he lost interests in football and concentrated on ice hockey.

His successes on the ice rink exceeded that of his successes on the football field.  In 1948, Bobrov scored 52 goals, compared to the runner-up who had 23. He also won the league scoring crown in 1951 (41 goals) and 1952 (34 goals).  In 1950, a plane crash almost killed the entire Soviet national ice hockey team. Bobrov survived the crash as he overslept and travelled by rail.  With his leadership, the Soviet Union won the world championship Gold medals in 1954 and 56.  They also came second in 1955 and 57. He also won the Olympic Gold in 1956.  He played 59 international games for his country and scored 89 goals.

He was enshrined into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1997, the first year it was created. For the greatest Russian athlete in the 20th century, Bobrov finished third behind football goalkeeper Lev Yashin and Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Forgotten Footballer: Gerri Muhren

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Gerri Muhren played a big part on the great Ajax team of the 1970's that won three European Cup.  Against Real Madrid in the semi-final of the European Cup in 1973, he decided to jiggle the ball in the middle of the field before passing it.  His action captured the minds of football fans from around the world.  Many considered the jiggling act as symbol of Ajax's greatness.  

Muhren was projected to be a starter at the WC Finals in 1974.  Unfortunately, he withdraw from the squad because his son was ill.  Wim Jensen took his spot in the starting lineup.  Without the spotlight from the WC Finals, his name is not as famous as the Dutch players of his generation.   His brother Arnold Muhren was a part of the great Dutch team that won the European Championship in 1988.  Although Gerri was probably rated higher of the two, Arnold is probably the bigger name because of the title in 1988.  

Gerri Muhren would finish his career in Spain and Hong Kong.  He died in 2013.

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

North HollandSouth Holand.
The rest of Holland excluding North and South Holland
Netherlands All-Time Team After Johan Cruyff
Netherlands 2002

Dutch-Indos/Indonesia-born Dutch All-Time Team

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ethnic "mix" at the 2006 World Cup Finals

The World Cup Finals in 2006 was full of teams drawn with their ethnic rivalries and their ethnic "cousins" in the Group stage.  Of course, every WC finals has a few ethnic battle, but Germany 2006 had at least 10 pairings, creating many "derbies".

Group A: Germany, Poland, Costa Rica, Ecuador

1) Germany and Poland shared a border.  A part of current Poland was once upon a time a part of Germany.  Many German citizens are of Polish ancestry and vice versa.  Poland played against Germany at the World cup Finals before, this edition is different.  Two German players, namely Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, were born in Poland, and Tim Borowski is of Polish ancestry.

2) There are too many Latin American teams at every single World Cup Finals.  So it isn't surprising that Costa Rica was drawn into the same group as another Latin American country, and vice verse.
Polish diaspora
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams  

Group B: England, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago and Paraguay

3) The United Kingdom has a huge colonial empire, but only three of the former colonies qualified for this WC Finals.  T&T had the most UK-born players of the three.  At least, three of T&T players were born in the UK.  Shaka Hislop was one of them.

4) England was coached by Sven-Goran Ericsson, a Swede.

Group C: Netherlands, Ivory Coast, Argentina and Serbia Montenegro

This group is free of ethnic battle although both Netherlands and Ivory Coast are dressed in orange.

Group D: Portugal, Angola, Mexico and Iran

5) Portugal was the former master colonial master of Angola.  Several of Angola's players were of Portuguese ancestry or grew up in Portugal.  Except Brazil, Angola is the only former colony of Portugal at the tournament.

Group E: Italy, USA, Ghana and Czech Republic

6) Hollywood led us to believe that the United States is full of Italian-Americans, but their actual population is very small.  We just watched too many movies starring Roberto de Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.  Bruce Arena, the coach of the USA, is an Italian-American.

Hollywood's version of the United States

Group F: Brazil, Croatia, Japan and Australia

7) The Croatian immigrants in Australia played a significant role in Australia's football history. Several of the Australian players are of Croatian background and three of Croatia's players were born in Australia. Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Ante Covic, Zeljko Kalac and Tony Popovic are of Croatian ancestry.  Croatia's Josip Simunic who was sent off after picking three yellow cards from Graham Poll in that infamous incident was born in Australia.

Martk Viduka is a son of Croatian immigrants.

8) Brazil has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. Japan included one naturalized Brazilian, Alex and  Zico was the head coach of Japan. 

Group G: France, Togo, South Korea and Switzerland

9) Togo was a former colony of France.  France had three former colonies at Pot B.  So the chance of drawing a former colony was high for them.  Togo included four French-born players.  Switzerland is partially French-speaking too, but this pairing was not too unusual so I do not list them as an "ethnic" game.

Group H: Spain, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia

10) Saudi Arabia and Tunisia were the only two Arab nations at the WC Finals.

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

German Turks
If Ronaldo and Messi played for Australia in 2006

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brazil 1982 with Careca, Reinaldo etc

Brazil 1982 in Spain

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

South America without Brazil and Argentina.
North/Northeastern BrazilSouth/Southeastern Brazil
Brazilian-born players capped by other national teams
Afro-Brazlian Players
Brazil All-Time Team After Pele
Brazil All-Team Under Mari Zagallo
Brazil All-Time Team before 1958
Hungary World Cup 1950

The 1982 World Cup showcased a talented Brazilian team known for their elegant and exhilarating style of play that captured the hearts of football fans worldwide. However, there is a lingering sense of what could have been. The purpose of this blog is to explore an alternative scenario and imagine the full potential of Brazil's 1982 team.  While their early exit in Spain had multiple factors, unfair blame was placed on starting striker Serginho Chulapa and goalkeeper Waldir Peres.

Compared to his teammates, Chulapa lacked the refined skills that characterized Brazil's renowned Samba football. However, it's important to note that the team was missing their original starting striker, Careca, who got injured just before the World Cup Finals. Careca would go on to shine in the 1986 World Cup. Additionally, Tele Santana, the manager, did not select Reinaldo, who was often considered the best Brazilian striker after Careca at that time. Some even argued that he was superior to Careca. Reinaldo was reportedly "injured" according to Santana and was ruled out of consideration by April 1982. However, Reinaldo himself claimed to be healthy, leaving the reason behind his omission unclear. Speculations arose that his exclusion was due to his liberal politics and bohemian lifestyle. Consequently, the true cause of his absence remained unknown.

Another player often criticized on the 1982 team was goalkeeper Waldir Peres. Brazil's World Cup campaign began with a notable mistake by Peres against the Soviet Union in their first match. Interestingly, there was a potential alternative goalkeeper available. When Tele Santana took charge of the national team in 1980, he started overlooking Emerson Leão, who had been part of the World Cup squads in 1974 and 1978 and had even captained Brazil at one point. The reasons behind Leão's exclusion from the 1982 team remain a mystery to this day.

In this blog, we delve into the hypothetical scenario of Brazil's 1982 team with an alternative lineup and explore how it could have affected their performance. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the players and considering the tactical choices, we aim to recreate a team that showcases the full potential of Brazil's talent on the grandest stage of football.

In: Careca, Emerson Leão and Reinaldo.
Out: Renato, Paulo Sergio and Roberto Dinamite.

I do not believe the additional of better players would have changed much in football and the fortune of any team.  It takes more than just better players to win a World Cup.  So the addition of Careca, Emerson Leao and Reinaldo might or might not have changed history. This is just a fun blog.  Brazil did not fail because of a weak offence. The defeat against Italy was indeed a result of defensive vulnerabilities and lapses in concentration. Paolo Rossi's remarkable performance suddenly changed the course of the match, leaving Brazil stunned. Emerson Leao was my only new player I added to their defence, which probably was not enough to overturn the result.  

On the offensive front, the inclusion of Careca or Reinaldo as an upgrade to Serginho Chulapa may have provided Brazil with more scoring opportunities. Serginho did miss an easy chance in the beginning of the match when Italy was leading 1-0.  However, the result ultimately hinges on numerous factors and cannot be determined with certainty. It is worth noting that tactical decisions, such as substituting Serginho Chulapa with midfielder Paulo Isidoro after Falcao's goal that made the scoreline 2-2 raised questions about the team's approach.  Brazil dominated in the period between Falcao equaliser and Paolo Rossi's go ahead third goal.  Was the intention to secure a draw or maintain a more offensive strategy? Was Santana trying to secure the game with a draw? Isidoro while still an offensive player was seen tracking back in the 5 minute gap between the last two goals of the game. Almost no one ever talked about it.  Anyway, Rossi scored his third goal 5 minutes later and Brazil was eliminated.  
Brazil 1982 with Careca (second bottom from the left)

Team(only 22 players member team in 1982)
GK: Emerson Leao (Gremio)
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: Waldir Peres (Sao Paulo)
Waldir Peres played over 600 games for Sao Paulo.  He was capped 30 times for Brazil, between October 1975 and July 1982; he was a member of the Brazilian national team during the World Cup 1974, 1978 and 1982. He was the starting goalkeeper at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, where Brazil was considered the greatest World Cup team that did not win the World Cup.

GK: Carlos (Ponte Preta)
In a club career which spanned from 1974 to 1993, Carlos played for Ponte Preta, Corinthians, Atlético Mineiro, Guarani, Palmeiras, Portuguesa and Malatyaspor (1988–1990) in Turkey. He won two Brazilian Silver Ball Awards.  For Brazil, Carlos played 37 times between June 1980 and June 1993. He was selected for the 1978, 1982 and 1986  World Cup tournaments, playing in the latter edition of the competition. 

RB: Leandro (Flamngo)
Leandro was one of the best rightbacks in the 1980's and one of Brazil's best ever. He earned 31 caps for Brazil.  Hwas a part of the great 1982 World Cup team in Spain.  At the club level, 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.
RB: Edevaldo  (Internacional)
During his career (1979–1998), he played for several clubs including Fluminense, Internacional-RS, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo, Bangu, Vila Nova, América Rio, Portuguesa-R and in Portugal with FC Porto. For Brazil, he got 18 caps, from 1980 to  1982, scored one goal against Argentina in the 1980 Mundialito. He also played for Brazil at the 1982  World Cup finals.

CB: Luizinho (Atletico Mineiro)
Luizinho had 34 caps between 1980 and 1983.  He was Brazil's starting centerback at the World Cup Finals in 1982, where he also made the team of the tournament.  At the domestic club level, he played for several clubs, but mainly with Atlético Mineiro from 1978 to 1989, winning 8 State Championships of Minas Gerais.  He also played three seasons overseas for Sporting CP in Portugal.  He won the Bola de Prata award twice in 1980 and 1987.

CB: Juninho Fonseca (Ponte Preta)
In career he played for clubs Ponte Preta (1974–1983 and 1989), Corinthians (1983–1986), Juventus Paulista and Vasco da Gama (1986), Cruzeiro (1987), XV de Piracicaba and Atlético Paranaense (1988), São José (1989), Nacional Paulista (1990), Olímpia (1991), and closed his career in Japan Japan Soccer League in 1992 with Yomiuri FC. For Brazil, he earned 4 caps. He was in the squad for 1982  World Cup, without playing any game.

CB: Edinho (Fluminense)
Born in 1959, Edinho played 45 times for Brazil.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1978, 1982 and 1986.  He was the captain of the 1986 team.  Edinho was also in the team which finished fourth at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He spent most of his career with Fluminense, but also played with Flamengo and Fluminense FC.  In  Europe, he played with Udinese in Italy and Gremio.

CB: Oscar (Sao Paulo)
Oscar had 60 caps for Brazil between April 1978 and May 1986.  He was the starting centerback at the World Cup Finals in 1978 and 1982, and went as a reserve player in 1986.  In his club career, he played for Atlética Ponte Preta, Sao Paulo and NY Cosmos. He played briefly with Nissan FC in Japan as well.  His longest career was with Sao Paulo.

LB: Junior (Flamengo)
Junior was one of the greatest leftback in Brazil's history.  He was the starting leftback for Brazil in 1982 World Cup Finals.  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 also went to the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.
LB: Pedrinho (Vasco de Gama)
Pedrinho played for Palmeiras (1977–1981), Vasco da Gama (1981–1983 and 1986), Bangu (1987–1988) and in Italian Serie A with Catania (1983–1985). He won two Rio de Janeiro State Championship in 1982 and 1987. For Brazil, he got 13 caps from 1979 to 1983, and was in the squad for the 1982  World Cup, although without playing a game during the tournament.

DM: Toninho Cerezo (Atlético Mineiro)
Throughout his career, Toninho 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.   During his time in Italy, Cerezo won the Coppa Italia four times; in 1991 he won the Serie A with Sampdoria. For Brazil, he went to 1978 and 1982 World Cup Finals, in Argentina and Spain respectively.
Toninho Cerezo
DM: Batista (Gremio)
Bastista began his career with Internacional, where he won 3 Brasileiros and 4 Campeonatos Gaúchos.  In Europe, he played for Lazio and Belenenses.  He was capped 38 times for Brazil.  He started all matches at the World Cup Finals in 1978, but was used mainly as a sub fours years later in 1982.  In 1982, he was famously remembered being fouled by Diego Maradona in the 2nd round that led to Maradona's red card.

CM: Falcão (AS Roma)
At one stage, Falcao was the world's highest paid footballer.  He played with Internacional at home before becoming the star of Italy's AS Roma in the 1980's, winning the Serie A in the 1982-83 season. In 1985, he returned home and played for Sao Paulo. For the national team, he was a key player for the fantastic Brazilian team of Spain 1982.  He won the Silver Ball in that World Cup Finals. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1986.
AM/CM/RM: Paulo Isidoro (Gremio)
Paulo Isidoro played for many clubs in Braizl, but his best years were spent with Atletico Mineiro.  He started his career in 1975 with them, where he formed a great partnership Reinaldo.  He later played with Gremio and Santos before returning to Atletico Mineiro in 1985.  From 1987, he played for several clubs.  He won the Bola de Prata in 1976, 1981 and1983, and Bola de Ouro in 1981.  He earned 41 caps.  He played in four of five matches at the 1982 World Cup, always as a substitute.

RM/CM: Socrates (Corinthians)
Socrates was one of Brazil's greatest players. He earned over 60 caps between 1979 and 1986. He was the captain of 1982 and 1986 World Cup team. He was 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. His younger brother is Rai who also played for Brazil.
AM: Dirceu (Atletico Madrid) 
Dirceu earned 44 caps for Brazil. He was on three World Cup teams: 1974, 1978 and 1982.  His best tournament was in 1978, where he made the All-tournament team and awarded the Bronze Ball.  For his club career, he played for various clubs in Brazil and Mexico before joining Atletico Madrid in 1979.  From 1982 to 1987, he played for 5 different Italian clubs.

LW/AM: Zico (Flamengo)
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, which Brazil fielded a wonderful team.  He won the Intercontinental Cup in 1981 with Flamengo, a team that was considered among the greatest club side ever.  He later played with Udinese for 2 seasons, where he was Serie A Player of the Year n 1984
LW/FW: Eder Assis (Atlético Mineiro)
Eder played for many clubs in his career, most notably with Grêmio and Atlético Mineiro in the Campeonato Brasileiro.  His career was best remembered for playing with Brazil at the World Cup Finals in 1982. He scored a wonderful, winning goal against the Soviet Union, flicking the ball up and volleying it with blistering power into the net from 25 yards. He followed that up with another outstanding goal in the 4–1 win over Scotland. He earned 52 caps.  

ST: Reinaldo (Atlético Mineiro)
Reinaldo was a hero at Atlético Mineiro, where the fans called him the "King"("o Rei", in Portuguese, which also served as a pun on his name).  He was their all-time leading scorer.  He still holds the record of highest goal average per game in the Brazilian league, with 1.55 goals per match. He won eight Campeonato Mineiro titles including six consecutively: in 1976, 1978–1983 and 1985.  For the national team, he earned 37 caps and went to the 1978 World Cup Finals.
ST: Serginho Chulapa (Sao Paulo)
Serginho was capped 20 times for Brazil between 1979 and 1982, and participated at 1982 FIFA World Cup, where he played in all five matches and scored two goals. Sadly, he was blamed for Brazil's exit at the tournament. For his club career, he played for Marília, São Paulo Futebol Clube, Santos, Corinthians, Marítimo (Portugal), Atlético Sorocaba, Portuguesa Santista, Malatyaspor and São Caetano. 
ST: Careca  (Guarani)
Careca had 64 caps for Brazil.  He supposed to be the starting striker of the star-studded 1982 World Cup team, but he missed the Finals with an injury.  Instead, he starred at the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  He finished second in scoring with 5 goals.  He also played in the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy.  For club career, he was remembered for playing with Napoli as a teammate of Diego Maradona. He also played for  São Paulo and Guarani as well as in the J-League.

Players considered
Wladimir, Pita, Perivaldo, Tita, Zé Sérgio, Mario Sergio, Baltazar II, Roberto Dinamite, Paulo Sergio, Nelinho, Numes, Tita, Adílio, Raul Plassmann.

Squad Explanation
-- Originally, this blog entry was only about Careca's injury. However, we realized that simply replacing Serginho Chulapa or Roberto Dinamite with Careca might not be sufficient to create an engaging blog post. Drawing parallels to other great World Cup teams, such as the Netherlands in 1974, we see that missing key players does not always lead to failure. In the case of the Netherlands, the replacements, Wim Jansen and Jan Jongbloed, stepped up and performed admirably, fulfilling the team's expectations. However, in Brazil's case, Serginho and Waldir Peres were often viewed as the scapegoats for the team's failure in 1982, making it historical significance to redo the team. Brazil actually had better alternatives than the team they had in 1982.  In another words, they could have been better.
-- Brazil 1982 was a mythical team.  I only wanted to alter it with the minimum changes.  Specifically, I wanted to address the team's two main problem areas: the goalkeeper and the striker position. The inclusion of three new players, namely Careca, Emerson Leão, and Reinaldo, had been widely discussed and suggested by many even before I began writing the blogTheir inclusion were actually not too revolutionary. 
-- For your information, the winners of Bola de Prata winner in 1982 are as followed: Carlos,  Leandro, Juninho Fonseca, Edinho, Wladimir, Batista, Biro-Biro, Pita, Zico, Lucio and Careca. 
-- Emerson Leão went to the World Cup Finals in 1970, 1974 and 1978, but Tele Santana ignored him as soon as he was appointed the manager of Brazil in 1980. That remained a mystery today.  He was immediately brought back to the Seleção by then new manager Carlos Alberto Parreira after the disastrous World Cup in Spain. Ironically, Tele Santana would return to manage the 1986 World Cup team, and he also brought Emerson Leão to Mexico.  And if he went to Spain, he would be the only player to have won a World Cup on the team.  And he was only a year older than Waldir Peres. Throughout Emerson Leão's career, he was known for his bad relationship with teammates. However, Eder and Serginho was also known for their attitude issue.  We would never know if he would be a destruction in the locker room.
Emerson Leão
-- Waldir Peres started in almost of all of Brazil's matches after Tele Santana became the manager.  Against West Germany in 1981, he saved two penalties from Paul Breitner to ensure a victory for Brazil. His heroic sealed his place on the team.
-- Carlos was chosen as the third goalkeeper over Paulo Sergio for the Brazil squad in the 1982 World Cup. While I initially admitted not being aware of their respective statuses at the time, I later discovered that Carlos had been honored with the Bola de Prata award in 1982.  He also played more times for Brazil than Paulo Sergio at the time before the World Cup Finals.  He had more international exposure compared to Paulo Sergio.
-- Raul Plassmann who helped Flamengo to win the 1981 Intercontinental Cup was also available, but if I have Emerson Leao, I was not concerned with the backup position.  Furthermore, he would be 38 years in September, 1982. 
-- I made no change to defence.  I just wanted to go over other possibilities and miscellaneous facts.
-- Nelinho, renowned for his long-range goal against Italy in the 1978 World Cup Finals, was occasionally mentioned as an alternative to Leandro for the right-back position in the Brazil squad. However, in 1981, Nelinho found himself involved in a notorious altercation with Eder during a match between Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro, resulting in a widespread brawl. Despite both players' involvement, Nelinho was the only one sent off. Coincidentally, Tele Santana was present at the stadium that day, and some speculated that the incident played a role in Nelinho missing out on the 1982 team.  Ironically, Nelinho joined Atlético Mineiro in 1982, shortly after the aforementioned incident. There, he formed a formidable partnership with Eder, Reinaldo, Luizinho, and Toninho Cerezo. Although he turned 32 in the summer of 1982, Nelinho's performances earned him the Bola de Prata award in 1983, indicating his continued prowess. However, I lacked information regarding his fitness and condition prior to the 1982 World Cup Finals, especially when compared to Leandro and Edevaldo. His last cap was in 1980.  He probably deserved to go ahead of Edevaldo, but Leandro of Flamengo should remain the starter in the World Cup Finals, that would turn Nelinho an unused bench player in the Finals.   So I decided against selecting him.  Leandro was the youngest member of the 1982 team.  
-- Another option for the left-back position was Wladimir, who was widely regarded as Corinthians' greatest left-back.  He was named in the 1982 Bola de Prata.  Although he was considered superior to Pedrinho, I made the conscious decision not to make changes to the team's lineup.
-- Perivaldo Dantas, a right-back, had made two appearances for Brazil prior to the World Cup Finals. However, I did not seriously consider him for the squad. The reason I mentioned him was due to his post-retirement story in Portugal, which caught attention. Tragically, after his football career ended, Perivaldo faced significant financial difficulties and ended up as a homeless person in Lisbon. It was not until 2013 that he was able to return to Brazil with the assistance of the Portuguese Professional Footballers Union. 
-- According to Zico's interview, the highly anticipated midfield quartet of Falcao, Toninho Cerezo, Socrates, and Zico only shared 15 minutes of playing time together in a friendly match against Ireland before the World Cup Finals. Unfortunately, Toninho Cerezo would be suspended for the first match in Spain, which prompted Tele Santana to experiment with different starting lineups in the friendly matches. As a result, Toninho Cerezo did not start but came off the bench. Careca was not in the game at that point.  So he never played with the midfield quartet.
Zico and Socrates 
-- Zico also cited the lack of right winger or midfielder probably put too much pressure on Leandro and affected the team.  Zico himself tended to move to the center from the left, but often found himself as a right winger in Spain.  On the left, the team had winger Eder who was drifting toward the wing while Junior cut inside and became a playmaking back.  I did not solve the issue with an additional player.
-- Jairzinho was given a one-off farewell cap against Czechoslovakia on March 3, 1982.  He was 37 years old at the time of Spain 1982. He had not played for Brazil since 1974. The match was a farewell match for him.  
-- Falcao did not feature in the World Cup Qualifiers because AS Roma refused to release him.  His place was never in question at the time.  Brazil did not take him to the 1978 World Cup Finals, despite the fact that he was Player of the Year in Brazil.
-- In midfield, Batista was chosen over Renato Frederico due to his defensive capabilities. Not only was Batista a veteran of the 1978 World Cup Finals, but he also featured regularly during the World Cup Qualifiers, showcasing his experience and reliability. Many critics of the Brazil 1982 team believed that Batista should have been a starter in Spain, as his defensive presence could have potentially made a difference in the World Cup FinalsFurthermore, Batista shared a strong connection with Falcao, as they both emerged from the reserve team of SC Internacional. They enjoyed several years of playing together at the club before Batista eventually moved to Greimo. SC Internacional was a dominant force in Brazilian football during the late 1970s, and with Batista and Falcao as starters, they even won the Campeonato Brasileiro undefeated in 1979. This partnership further emphasized Batista's familiarity and understanding of Falcao's playing style.  However, it is important to note that the specific decisions Tele Santana would have made regarding Renato or Batista remain unknown. As for the critics' opinions at the time of the team selection in 1982, it is uncertain if they would have shared the same sentiments as they did later, after witnessing the events of the World Cup. Hindsight and the knowledge of what ultimately occurred in Spain significantly impact our judgments today, which may differ from the opinions held prior to the tournament.
-- Batista was injured in 1981, which led to his departure from Internacional.  Santana's preference of Toninho Cerezo might also have been due to Batista's fitness.  Batista was actually one of Tele Santana's most used players during his tenure before the 1982 World Cup Finals. 
-- Dirceu, widely regarded as one of Brazil's finest midfielders in his prime.  He was considered the standout player for Brazil in World Cup Finals in 1978. However, following the World Cup, he didn't represent Brazil again until May 1982.  During the 1982 World Cup Finals, Dirceu was utilized only in the first match against the Soviet Union. Among the Brazil squad, he was one of two players not playing in Brazil, with the unique distinction of being the sole player plying his trade in Spain. Shortly after the tournament, Dirceu departed from Atletico Madrid and made a move to Hellas Verona in Italy. There, he emerged as their key player, leading them to a notable fourth-place finish in Serie A during the 1982-1983 season, which stood as their highest league finish ever at that time.
-- I never considered to drop Paulo Isidoro. He did not play in the World Cup Qualifiers, but he played in most of the matches from 1980 to 1982.  He was also featured in the actual World Cup Finals.
-- The videos of Mario Sergio playing in the early 1980's surfaced on the internet around 2010's.  They became viral.  He played in several friendlies before the World Cup Finals in 1982, but I was sticking with my original plan, which was limited changes to the original team. 
-- After Careca was injured, Tele Santana brought back Roberto Dinamite who was out of form.  Serginho Chulapa became the starter in Spain. Without Careca's injury, Roberto Dinamite would not make the squad.  So he was the easy choice to be dropped.
-- Reinaldo was considered among Brazil's greatest strikers.  In fact, he was often considered to be held in higher regard than Eder. Some even went as far as stating that Reinaldo surpassed Careca during the early 1980's. However, his performance at the 1978 World Cup Finals fell short of expectations, leading to a tarnished reputation beyond South America.  In December 1981, Placar weekly magazine's cover was that of four players whom the magazine considered to be the key figures capable of securing Brazil's World Cup triumph.  Alongside Falcao, Zico, and Socrates, Reinaldo was prominently featured, emphasizing the recognition he received domestically as a crucial component of Brazil's potential success.
Placar cover, December 1981
-- Reinaldo played with Eder at Atlético Mineiro in 1982. Their chemistry in Spain would not be an issue if Careca was injured. They also played for Brazil together on May, 1981 against both England and France. He also played in the World Cup Qualifiers in 1981. In the context of the Brazil team, Eder held a unique role as the sole attacker capable of providing width on the pitch. As a left winger or wing forward, he offered a crucial dimension to the team's attacking play. It is worth noting that in 1976, Eder joined Gremio, where Tele Santana had recently taken charge as the coach. Despite occasional clashes between Santana and Eder during their time at Gremio, Santana held a deep admiration for Eder's skills and abilities.
-- As mentioned, Careca was the projected starter on the 1982 World Cup team.  He was only 21 years old.  He did not make his national team debut until March, 1982 against East Germany.  He would have picked up his 5th cap at the start of the World Cup Finals.  
-- I also studied the international careers of Careca and Reinaldo.  the two prolific strikers never had the opportunity to share the field together in matches for Brazil. In 1985, Reinaldo subbed in for Careca in a match against Argentina.  They also never played for the same club team.  I do not know if they ever teamed up for an all-star team.  But on paper, Reinaldo and Careca were a lethal pair.
-- Despite the presumption that selecting Careca and Reinaldo together would render Serginho Chulapa unnecessary, I believe that he was unfairly criticized for Brazil's exit. Serginho's style of play as a striker actually complemented his more skillful teammates, creating space and opportunities for them to shine. His physical presence and ability to open up defenses were valuable assets to the teamIt is worth noting that Serginho's professional debut was given to him by Tele Santana when they were both at Sao Paulo in 1973. Furthermore, Serginho's performance in the 1982 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, where he finished as the second-highest goal scorer with 20 goals (only one goal behind Zico), demonstrates his scoring prowess and impact on the field.
-- Socrates also had played as a forward for Tele Santana.
-- From 1981 to 1982, Tita, Ze Sergio and Baltazar II also regularly played for Brazil. They were not considered because I only wanted limited changes with this team.  
-- Nunes of Flamengo was also an interesting prospects.  He was remembered for Flamengo's destruction of Liverpool at the 1981 Intercontinental Cup.  His spells over there in the early 1980's made him a legend at the club, but his last two caps were in 1980.  His club mate Tita played regularly with Brazil in 1981, but not in 1982. He started in all three matches of the 1980 Gold Cup "Mundialito" held in Uruguay.
-- Ze Sergio suffered a serious injury in 1981.  He was not ready by 1982.  He also failed a doping test.  He also did not do well in the 1980 Mundialito.  Some said that he was Santana's first choice over Eder.  
-- Renato Gaúcho had not made his debut with the national team in 1982.  Gremio finished second in  the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A with him as a starter.

Brazil played three friendly matches in May, 1982 before Careca's injury.  Careca did not start on the first match, but he came in as a sub.  He started in the next two against both Switzerland and Ireland. Falcao did not even play against Portugal while Dirceu and Batista started.  Toninho Cerezo would be suspended against the Soviet Union in the first match of the 1982 World Cup Finals.  He did not start in the last three friendlies.  Tele Santana used the same starting lineup for the last two matches.  In another words, Careca never played with Zico, Socratos, Falcao and Toninho Cerezo.

Starting lineup for last two friendly games against Switzerland and Ireland in 1982:

GK: Waldir Peres
RB: Leandro
CB: Oscar
CB: Luizinho
LB: Junior
MF: Falcao
MF: Zico
MF: Socrates
FW: Eder
FW: Paulo Isidoro
FW: Careca

Brazil drew 1-1 with Switzerland.  Then, they beat Ireland 7-0 during the sendoff game before the Finals.  It was Ireland's worst ever defeat. While the scoreline was impressive, the Irish team was not their full team.  Their English-based players were not allowed to travel because of the Falklands War a year earlier.  Liam Brady, however, played.  

Brazil vs Ireland

Formation I
My starting lineup would be different from the two friendlies. Paulo Isidoro who was used as a substitute during the WC Finals started for both friendly matches. During the World Cup Finals, Dirceu started in his place in the first match against the Soviet Union because Toninho Cerezo was suspended for a red card he received in the World Cup Qualifier against Bolivia.  Toninho Cerezo  took over for the rest of the Finals.  In my alternative World Cup Finals, I would continue with Toninho Cerezo even through I knew about his error against Italy in the second round. He was more all around than Batista. In the real World Cup Finals, Batista played once as a substitute for Zico.  Of course, Careca, Reinaldo and Emerson Leao were inserted into the lineup.  Reinaldo was more highly rated than Eder.  

Formation II
Brazil in 1982 was an art form.  The formation above tried to follow that tradition.  At the same time, I still wanted to come up a formation that could win the World Cup.  In the real World Cup Finals, Brazil actually played in a similar formation.  Many times, Serginho served as the lone striker while Eder moved toward the wing.  He stretched the defence with his wing play in 1982.  Their left flank was much more free flowing than their right against the Soviet Union and Scotland.  Against Italy, Eder seemed to be contained and Brazil played through the middle. Zico often drifted toward the middle or the front.  In effect, Brazil was playing 4-2-3-1 in Spain.  In this team, I simply replaced Serginho with Careca, and Toninho Cerezo with Batista.  SC Internacional went undefeated in the 1979 Campeonato Brasileiro with Batista and Falcao.  The chemistry existed between them.  However, Batista was carrying an injury in 1982.  Careca could connect the plays better Serginho. I could also use Reinaldo instead of Careca.  Reinaldo and Eder were known for their partnership at Atlético Mineiro.  They would have much better chemistry than Careca and Eder, or Careca and Reinaldo.