Cafu

Marcos Evangelista de Morais (born 7 June 1970), known as Cafu [kaˈfu] is a Brazilian former professional footballer With 142 appearances for the Brazil national team, he is the most internationally capped Brazilian player of all time. He represented his nation in four FIFA World Cups between 1994 and 2006, and is the only player in history to have appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals, winning the 1994 and 2002 editions of the tournament, the latter as his team's captain where he lifted the World Cup trophy. With Brazil, he also took part in four editions of the Copa América, winning the title twice, in 1997 and 1999; he was also a member of the national side that won the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Cafu
Cafu in 2017
Personal information
Full name Marcos Evangelista de Morais
Date of birth (1970-06-07) 7 June 1970
Place of birth Itaquaquecetuba, São Paulo, Brazil
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Right back
Youth career
1988–1990 São Paulo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1995 São Paulo 95 (6)
1995 Zaragoza 16 (0)
1995 Juventude 0 (0)
1995–1997 Palmeiras 35 (0)
1997–2003 Roma 163 (5)
2003–2008 Milan 119 (4)
Total 428 (15)
National team
1990–2006 Brazil 142 (5)
Honours
Men's Football
Representing  Brazil
FIFA World Cup
Winner1994 USA
Winner2002 Korea & Japan
Runner-up1998 France
FIFA Confederations Cup
Winner1997 Saudi Arabia
Copa América
Winner1997 Bolivia
Winner1999 Paraguay
Runner-up1991 Chile
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

At club level, Cafu won several domestic and international titles while playing in Brazil, Spain and Italy; he is best known for his spells at São Paulo, Roma and Milan, teams with which he made history, although he also played for Zaragoza, Juventude and Palmeiras throughout his career. Known for his pace and energetic attacking runs along the right flank, he is regarded as one of the greatest full-backs of all time, one of the best defenders ever to play in the Italian Serie A,[1][2][3] and as one of the greatest Brazilian and South American players of his generation.[4][5] In 1994, Cafu was crowned South American Footballer of the Year, and in 2004, was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.[6] He was additionally named to the FIFPro World XI in 2005, and in 2020 was included in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team.

Early life

One of six children, Cafu was raised in the Jardim Irene favela of São Paulo. At the age of seven, he was able to attend a football academy and soon moved up to the junior sides of Nacional-SP, Portuguesa and Itaquaquecetuba. He also played futsal for two years.

In the early 1980s, he was rejected from the youth squads of Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos, Atlético Mineiro and Portuguesa. It was not until 1988 that he made the youth squad of hometown club São Paulo, and subsequently won the Copa São Paulo youth tournament that year, but he did not play during the next season as São Paulo won the 1989 Campeonato Paulista.

Club career

It was during this time, however, that São Paulo youth coach Telê Santana became Cafu's mentor. He suggested that Cafu move from wingback to midfield, a spot into which Cafu made the transition with ease despite never previously playing the position. He had soon anchored onto the first team, as São Paulo won back-to-back Copa Libertadores and World Championships in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, he was named the South American Footballer of the Year. Halfway through the 1994–95 season Cafu joined Spanish side Real Zaragoza, winning the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup with them (though he had injury issues and didn't play in the final).[7][8] He then left Zaragoza to join Brazilian club Juventude.

After a brief stint back in Brazil with Palmeiras in 1996, Cafu returned to Europe once again the next year, this time with Roma, and won the Scudetto in 2001, followed by the Supercoppa Italiana. It was during his tenure at Roma that Cafu earned the nickname Il Pendolino ("The Express Train" or "The Commuter"). Despite making the Coppa Italia final in 2003 with Roma, he moved to Milan after turning down a move to Japan with Yokohama F. Marinos. With the Rossoneri, he won his second career Scudetto in 2004, followed by his second Supercoppa Italiana, and he played in his first UEFA Champions League final in 2005.

Cafu playing for Milan

Despite his success with Milan, he continued to hold fond memories of his Roma years, and it was for that reason that on 4 March 2007 – the day after Milan eliminated Celtic in the first knockout round of the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League – he candidly revealed in a UEFA.com chat that he did not want Milan to be drawn against the Giallorossi in the quarter-final round. He got his wish, as Milan were drawn against Bayern Munich. Milan's successful Champions League campaign saw Cafu finally pick up a long-awaited winners' medal, in a rematch of the 2005 final.

Cafu signed a contract extension in May 2007 that would keep him with Milan until the end of the 2007–08 season, during which he won another UEFA Supercup, and his third World Title at Club level and now his first FIFA Club World Cup. On 16 May 2008, it was announced that Cafu and compatriot Serginho would be leaving Milan at the end of the season. In Cafu's last game of his Milan career, and maybe his footballing career, he scored a goal in their 4–1 victory over Udinese. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has opened the doors to him to return to work for the club.

He is a member of the A.C. Milan and the A.S. Roma Hall of Fame.

Passport controversy

Cafu was accused along with several other Serie A players, including Roma teammate Fábio Júnior and Gustavo Bartelt, countryman and later Milan teammate Dida, of using a forged passport in their attempt to dodge regulations regarding the number of non-European players allowed on Italian club rosters. However, the charge was cleared by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as Cafu's Italian passport was real and issued by Italian officials, but 13 others – including Dida – were banned.[9] But Cafu faced another controversy that similar to Juan Sebastián Verón, accused that Cafu's wife, Regina used falsified documents to claim Italian nationality through Italian descent.[10] Cafu acquired Italian nationality through marriage. In 2004, Cafu and Roma club president Franco Sensi went to court.[11][12]

On 12 June 2006, less than 24 hours before Brazil were to begin their 2006 World Cup campaign against Croatia, Rome prosecutor Angelantonio Racanelli called for the imprisonment of Cafu, his wife Regina de Morais and his agent for nine months following the resurfacing of a false-passport scandal.[13] The very next day, however, Cafu, his wife and agent were acquitted of all charges.[14]

International career

Cafu training with Brazil before the 2006 World Cup

Cafu is the most-capped Brazilian men's player of all time with 142 appearances, including a record 21 World Cup games. He has won two World Cups in 1994 and 2002, as well as being the only player to participate in three World Cup final matches. Cafu also held the record of winning the most matches in World Cups with 15 (along with two games Brazil won on penalties), before being surpassed by Germany's Miroslav Klose in the 2014 World Cup.

He earned his first cap in a friendly against Spain on 12 September 1990, and played sparingly for Brazil in the early 1990s, making the 1994 World Cup roster as a substitute. He appeared in the final against Italy, following an injury to Jorginho in the 22nd minute. After that, Cafu was soon a regular in the starting eleven as Brazil won the Copa América in 1997 and 1999, the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, and reached the 1998 World Cup final.

Cafu at a Gillette promotion with Brazil in 2010

Brazil endured a rocky qualification for the 2002 tournament, during which Cafu came under heavy criticism from coach Wanderley Luxemburgo, who stripped him of the team captaincy after he was sent off in a qualifier against Paraguay. Shortly after that, however, Luxemburgo was out of a job, and replacement Luiz Felipe Scolari made Emerson his new choice for captain. However, Emerson missed the cut after he dislocated his shoulder in training, which allowed Cafu to regain the armband. After Brazil defeated Germany 2–0 in the final match (Cafu's third consecutive World Cup final), he stood on the victory podium during the postmatch celebration and, as he raised the World Cup trophy, shouted to his wife, "Regina, eu te amo!" ("Regina, I love you!").[15]

Cafu at the 2019 Copa América

Cafu and Brazil fell short of high expectations placed on the squad four years later in 2006, as Brazil meekly exited in the quarter-finals after a 1–0 defeat by France.[16] Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was criticized for featuring fading veterans, most notably the 36-year-old Cafu and 33-year-old Roberto Carlos, in the starting XI in lieu of younger players. Cafu was one of only a few Brazil players who spoke to the press in the midst of a hailstorm of criticism from Brazilian fans and media alike following the team's return home. He nonetheless expressed interest in participating in the 2010 World Cup; however he did not, as he retired completely from football in 2008.

Style of play

Cafu (pictured with Milan in 2007) was known for his great ability to attack and defend as a right back

Regarded as one of the greatest full-backs of all time, one of the best footballers of his generation, and as one of Brazil's best ever players,[1] Cafu was a dynamic, hard-working, offensive-minded, and energetic right-sided wing-back who is mostly remembered for his great pace, stamina, tactical intelligence, distribution, and technical skills, as well as his ability to make overlapping attacking runs down the right flank and provide accurate crosses to teammates in the area.[17][18][19][20][21]

In addition to his footballing ability, he was also known for his discipline, leadership and his characteristically cheerful demeanour.[22][23][24] Although he usually played as an attacking right-back, he was also capable of playing as a centre back, due to his defensive skills, or in more advanced positions, and was often deployed as a right winger. During his time in Italy, he was given the nickname Pendolino, after the country's express trains.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

Personal life

Cafu is married to Regina Feliciano de Moraes, they have two sons together, Wellington and the late Danilo Feliciano de Moraes.

In September 2019, Cafu's son Danilo, suffered a heart attack whilst playing football at his family home after complaining about feeling unwell. Danilo was taken to hospital, where he later died on the 4th of September 2019.

Career statistics

Club

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Brazil League Copa do Brasil South America Total
1990São PauloSérie A201201
1991201201
1992211211
1993181181
1994162162
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1994–95Real ZaragozaLa Liga16010170
Brazil League Copa do Brasil South America Total
1995PalmeirasSérie A190190
1996160160
19970000
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1997–98RomaSerie A31150361
1998–9920150251
1999–20002824050372
2000–013112070401
2001–0227010102382
2002–0326031120411
2003–04Milan2811090381
2004–05331120451
2005–061911050251
2006–072403080350
2007–081512010181
Total Brazil 13061306
Spain 16010170
Italy 282922174237812
Career total 4281522175252518

International

[31]

Brazil national team
YearAppsGoals
199030
199190
199220
1993120
199471
199550
199630
1997200
1998122
1999121
2000101
200160
2002120
200370
200490
200580
200650
Total142[32]5

International goals

Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first.
#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultCompetition
18 June 1994Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, United States Honduras6–28–2Friendly
23 June 1998Stade de Paris, Saint-Ouen, France Andorra3–03–0
314 October 1998Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington, D.C., United States Ecuador3–15–1
49 October 1999Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands Netherlands2–22–2
523 May 2000Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales Wales2–03–0

Honours

Club

São Paulo[33]
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (1): 1991
  • Campeonato Paulista (2): 1991, 1992
  • Copa CONMEBOL (1): 1994
  • Copa Libertadores (2): 1992, 1993
  • Supercopa Sudamericana (1): 1993
  • Recopa Sudamericana (2): 1993, 1994
  • Intercontinental Cup (2): 1992, 1993
Real Zaragoza[33]
Palmeiras[33]
  • Campeonato Paulista (1): 1996
Roma[33]
  • Serie A (1): 2000–01
Milan[33][34]

International

Brazil[33][35]

Individual

  • South American Team of the Year (4): 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995[36]
  • South American Footballer of the Year (1): 1994[37]
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002 (Reserve)[38]
  • FIFA 100[39]
  • UEFA Team of the Year (2): 2004, 2005[35]
  • FIFPro World XI (1): 2005[40]
  • Sports Illustrated Team of the Decade: 2009[41]
  • ESPN World Team of the Decade: 2009[42]
  • A.S. Roma Hall of Fame: 2012[43]
  • World Soccer Greatest XI of all time: 2013[44]
  • A.C. Milan Hall of Fame[34]
  • World XI: Team of the 21st Century[45]
  • Ballon d'Or Dream Team: 2020[46]

Orders

  • Officer of the Order of Rio Branco: 2008

See also

  • List of footballers with 100 or more caps

References

General
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Bibliography
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