Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rio de Janeiro All-time 23 member team

Please also see my All-Time Team Index.

Before 1971, Brazil did not have a national league.  The state leagues, notably the Campeonato Paulista (Sao Paulo) and Campeonato Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) were the main football competitions in Brazil.  Most of the big clubs are located in the two states.  The two major states could produce all-time team that would be among the greatest in the world. I have create 23-member all-time teams for both states.  In addition, I create all-team Best XI selections for North & Northeast region, and then another Best XI for South and Southwest(excluding players born in Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo).  I was unable to create one for the Central-West.  I could only find two players of note from there.  Both Kaka and Lucio were born in the Federal District.  My All-time Brazil team is located here.

This is my selection of Best XI for players born in the State of  Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is home of Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense and Botafogo.  The Maracana is also located in the city of Rio de Janeiro.  All players are born in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

GK: Julio Ceasar (Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro)
He 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 FIFA World Cups, in addition to two Copa América tournaments.

Julio Ceasar
GK: Carlos Jose Castilho (Rio de Janeiro)
Carlos Jose Castilho went to 4 World Cup Finals, but only played in 1954.  He had a reputation for being lucky, earning the nickname "Leiteira".  He played over 695 games for Fluminense.

GK: Diego Alves  (Rio de Janeiro)
At the time of writing, Diego Alves earned 8 caps for Brazil.  He was a backup keeper at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  He spent most of his career playing in Spain. 

RB: Carlos Alberto (Rio de Janeiro)
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, played with Pele both at Santos and NY Cosmos. He had 53 caps for Brazil.

RB: Leandro (Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro)
Leandro was one of the best rightbacks in the 1980's. He earned 31 capsHe was 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: Domingos da Guia  (Rio de Janeiro)
The star defender of the 1940's who was among the first skilled defender to play the game. He played for several clubs, but notably with Flamengo and Corinthians, and aboard with Boca Juniors. He had 30 caps. He was a star at the 1938 WC Finals in France.

CB: Thiago Silva (Rio de Janeiro)
Thiago Silva  became the most expensive defender in history when he moved from Milan to Paris St. Germain.  Before moving to play in Europe, he played for Juventude and Fluminense in Brazil. He was a key player as Fluminense to the Final of VCopa 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 WC Finals in 2010.

CB: Edinho (Rio de Janeiro)
Edinho went to Argentina 1978, Spain and Mexico 1986.  He was the captain of the 1986 team.  He spent most of his career with Fluminense, but also played with Udinese in Italy and Gremio.

CB: Ricardo Gomez (Rio de Janeiro)
He started his career with Fluminense at home before joining Benfica in 1988.  He would then join Paris St.Germaine in 1991.  He went to play in Italia 1990, where Brazil was known for their defensive tactics.  In 1994, he was selected as the captain for USA 1994.  However, he was injured at the last minute and did not attend the WC Finals.

LB: Nilton Santos (Rio de Janeiro)
Nilton Santos went to the WC in 1950, but did not play a single game. He won the WC in 1958 and 1962.  He is widely considered to be a pioneer in offensive wingback. He spent his entire career with Botafogo during one of the club's greatest period.

LB: Marcelo (Rio de Janeiro)
Marcelo started his career with Fluminense before making a dream move to Real Madrid in 2007.  He spent several years in and out of the lineup before establishing himself as one of the star of the team.  With them, he won three Champions' League titles in from 2014 to 2017.  At the time of writing, he has over 50 caps for Brazil and played at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Marcelo
CM: Didi (Campos does Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro)
He is considered one of the greatest players ever from Brazil.  He was voted the best player in WC 1958.  He was also on the 1954 and 1962 team.  He joined Real Madrid in the 1950's, but returned after less than a year because of a personal feud with Alfredo di Stefano. He also played with Garrincha at Botafogo, a team considered among the best ever club side in Brazil.

CM: Gerson
He was the central midfielder for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup Finals. He is considered one of Brazil's best ever passers.  He played on the legendary Botafogo's team of in the 1960's with Garrincha.  While at the club, he played with Didi and became his understudy, in which he would inherit the position on the Seleção.


DM: Danilo Alvim (Rio de Janeiro)
Danilo Alvim is considered one of he greatest defensive midfielder in Brazil's history.  He played on the ill-fated 1950 team.  For his club career, he was a part of Vasco da Gama's legendary "the Victory Express" team. He also played for America.

RW: Garrincha (Rio de Janeiro)
He is considered one of the greatest footballers and perhaps the greatest dribbler in history.  He inspired Brazil to win the WC in 1962, which widely considered the best individual effect in WC history.  He was the Player of the Tournament that year.  He also played in 1958 and 1966.  He was a member of the great Botafogo's team in the 1960's.

Garrincha

RW: Jairzinho (Rio de Janeiro)
"The Hurricane" was a star at the 1970 WC Finals.  he was one of two players who had scored at every single game of a given World Cup Finals.  He also went to West Germany 1974.  For his club career, he played for the famous Botafago team of the 1960's.  He was an understudy to Garrincha. He also played in France with Marseille.

AM/FW: Jair (Rio de Janeiro)
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.

LW: Zico (Rio de Janeiro)
He 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 WC Finals, but probably best remembered for the 1982 tournament.  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
FW: Leônidas da Silva (Rio de Janeiro)
The player known as "Black Diamond" was credited to be the inventor of "Bicycle Kick".  He played in two WC Finals: 1934 and 1938. He was the top scorer at the WC in 1938.  He played for a number of clubs in Brazil and Penarol. His longest spells were with Vasco Da Gama and Sao Paulo.

FW: Zizinho (Nieroi, Rio de Janeiro)
Pele's idol.  The greatest Brazilian player before the 1960's. The star of the WC in 1950.  He played for Flamengo, Bangu, São Paulo FC, Audax Italiano of Chile among others teams. With, Flamengo, he won state championships in 1942, 1943 and 1944.

FW: Ronaldo (Rio de Janeiro)
He led Brazil to two WC 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
 ST: Romario (Rio de Janeiro)
He 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 WC 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.

ST: Roberto Dinamite (Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro)
Roberto Dinamite is a legend at Vasco Da Gama.  He is their appearance record holder and all-time leading scorer. He went to the WC in 1978 and 1982.  He scored 3 gaols in 1978.  In 1982, he was backup striker called up after Careca got injured.

Honorable mention
GK: Walter (Rio de Janeiro)
RB: Nelinho(Rio de Janeiro)
RB: Jorginho(Rio de Janeiro)
CB: Wilson Piazza ( Ribeirão das Neves, Rio de Janeiro)
CB: Carlos Mozer (Rio de Janeiro)
LB/AM: Leonardo (Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro)
AM: Ademir Da Guia (Rio de Janeiro)



Squad Explanation 
  • The final two spots were between Ademir Da Guia, Roberto Dinamite and Jair.  I dropped Ademir Da Guia because I already have too many attack midfielders and I needed a backup striker.  So I took Roberto Dinamite.
  • Edmundo was also considered.
  • I have to choose between Carlos Mozer and Ricardo Gomez for the last centerback spot.  I took Ricardo Gomez.
  • Rio de Janeiro does not produce many great keepers.  Diego Alves was selected because there were no other big name. In the 1930's Brazil sent Walter, Joel, Germano and Pedrosa to the WC Finals, but I knew nothing much about them. Paulo Sergio and Ze Carlos were also from Rio de Janero.

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