Rivaldo

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Rivaldo
Personal information
Date of birth April 19, 1972
Place of birth Recife, Brazil
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Club information
Current club FC Bunyodkor
Position Forward
Professional clubs*
1992
1993
1994-1996
1996-1997
1997-2002
2002-2003
2003
2004-2007
2007 - 2008
Mogi Mirim EC
Corinthians
Palmeiras
Dep. La Coruña
FC Barcelona
AC Milan
Cruzeiro EC
Olympiakos CFP<br
27(9)
41(17)
104(53)
41(21)
157(86)
22(5)
11(2)
23(12)

* Professional club caps and goals counted for the
domestic league only and correct as of
2005.
** National team caps and goals correct
as of 2005.


Rivaldo, full name Vitor Borba Ferreira, (born April 19, 1972 in Recife) is a Brazilian football player, a World Champion for Brazil at the 2002 World Cup.

Rivaldo signed professional terms at the age of 16 in 1989 with Santa Cruz after impressing local scouts in a junior tournament. He joined Brazilian first division club Mogi-Mirim in 1991.

Rivaldo signed for Corinthians in 1993 and made his international debut in December 1993, scoring the only goal in 1-0 victory over Mexico in a friendly international.

Rivaldo signed for Palmeiras in 1994 and won the Brazilian league championship on the same year. He won the São Paulo state championship with Palmeiras in 1996. He moved to Spain in 1996 and joined Deportivo La Coruña. Rivaldo then transferred to Barcelona in August 1997. He played for Brazil in the 1998 World Cup.

Winning a second Spanish league title with Barcelona in 1999, Rivaldo won both FIFA and World Soccer magazine's World Player of the Year awards. He was voted European Footballer of the Year by France Football magazine.

In June 2002, Barça decided to release Rivaldo from his contract a year before it was due to expire and he signed a three-year contract with the Italian Serie A club A.C. Milan. He left the star-studded Milan after a season of very few starts.

Moving to Greece

After a brief stint back in Brazil with Cruzeiro (11 games played, 2 goals scored), he signed with Greek power Olympiakos for the 2004-05 season and won the Greek championship and the Greek cup (23 games played, 12 goals scored). Rivaldo scored some memorable goals in his first season at Olympiakos, including a fantastic effort in the cup final with a well placed lob from a difficult position close to corner flag. In the last game of that season, Olympiakos won vs Iraklis in an away match in Thessaloniki, with a nice goal by Rivaldo. This win was essential for Olympiakos to take the championship. Rivaldo also scored 2 memorable free kicks during the season, the first was in the local derby vs the other Athens giant, Panathinaikos and the second against English club Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

Rivaldo repeated the "double" with Olympiakos in 2006. He has expressed the wish to make the 2007 season the last of his illustrious career.

He has played over 60 games for the Brazilian national team and played in the winning side of the 2002 World Cup. However, he would receive a large fine from FIFA because of his actions in a group stage match of that event against Turkey. During an encounter with Turkey defender Hakan Ünsal, Hakan kicked a ball in Rivaldo's general direction while the referee was looking away. Rivaldo held his hands to his face as if he had been hit there by the ball, and the referee was successfully deceived into sending Hakan Ünsal off. Television replays proved that Rivaldo was not hit by the ball in the face, but in the body.

Pelé named him in his 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceramony.

On May 12, 2007, Rivaldo quit Olympiakos, a day before ceremonies by Olympiakos to celebrate winning a championship during their final match at home against last-place Ionikos Piraeus. Rivaldo said that for the last 15 days he had made efforts to meet personally with Olympiakos boss Socrates Kokkalis to discuss a new contract, but without a response. "I have not seen such conduct during my entire career," complained Rivaldo.

Rivaldo and AEK

On the 29th of May 2007, he reportedly agreed to a 2-year contract with AEK, preferring to stay in Greece rather than look for a more lucrative contract elsewhere. Greek press reports said Rivaldo will be getting 1.3 million euros a year for playing with AEK plus bonuses if the Greek team does well in the Champions League or wins the domestic league crown. Rivaldo had been receiving 1.9 million euros annually at Olympiakos, it was reported.

On April 20, 2008, Rivaldo said he will leave AEK Athens to finish his career in Brazil if a court ruling does not award the club the Greek Super League title this week. "If we (AEK) are not vindicated I will ask the club president (Demis Nikolaidis) to release me from my contract so that I can leave Greece," Rivaldo told Greek media after AEK's 2-0 win over Asteras Tripolis. "I enjoyed winning this league title more than any I have won in Greece," he said. "A team that was not good enough to win the title on the pitch does not deserve the trophy. Football is a beautiful sport and should be played on the pitch."

However, on May 13, 2008, AEK president Demis Nikolaidis persuaded the Brazilian former World Cup winner not to leave the country. "Following a meeting I had with the president of the club, I have decided that I want to continue playing for AEK next season," said the 36-year-old in a statement on the club's Web site.

On August 25, 2008, Rivaldo at 36, said in an exclusive interview with Athenian radio station NovaSport FM that he talked with AEK officials and that they gave the okay for Rivaldo to join FC Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan, even though the Brazilian star had one more season on his two-year contract with the Greek team.

"I ask forgiveness from AEK supporters, but you can't say no to such a proposal," Rivaldo told the radio station.

"It has been a tough day. I had to make a very difficult decision. Something very positive has come up late in my career and I cannot turn it down."

At the twilight of his career he signed a new contract on January 18, 2013 with Brazilian second division club Sao Caetano.

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