Legendary Football Players: Cafu


086. Cafu

Born in 1970 as Marcos Evangelista de Moraes, Brazilian right-back Cafu is one of the most skilful, successful and widely respected attacking full-backs in the modern game. During a long career at club level he has achieved success in South America and Europe as well as making history in a record breaking international career.

Cafu began his career with his hometown club São Paulo in the late 1980s, and quickly became a crucial member of the team as they enjoyed great success in the early part of the 1990s. In a little over six years with the club, he won a Brazilian League Championship medal in 1991, and helped the club to win the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in each of the next two years.

Also becoming established in the national team, Cafu played in the Copa America in both 1991 and 1993 before making his World Cup debut in the U.S.A. in 1994, playing three matches as Brazil won their first title since 1970. After that tournament, he left Brazil to move to Real Zaragoza in Spain, but returned home after just one season to join Palmeiras. In 1997, Cafu captained his country to success in the Copa America and his performances were rewarded with a move to Italy and AS Roma.

Playing in his second World Cup in 1998, he helped Brazil to the final again where they were beaten by host nation France, but further international success came a year later with a successful defence of the Copa America. In 2001, Cafu picked up his first club honour in Europe when he helped Roma to the Serie A championship.

The 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea saw Cafu become the first player in the competition's history to play in three finals, lifting the trophy after captaining Brazil to victory over Germany in the final. He moved to AC Milan a year later, winning another Serie A title in his first season and a first European Champions League in 2007, having seen his international career end in disappointment with a World Cup quarter final defeat in 2006.
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