RIO DE JANEIRO: Rivaldo, one of the finest Brazilian footballers of the modern era, has retired at 41 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Veteran Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira, an outstanding match-winner from a floating role between midfield and attack, was a key member of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-wining team under Luiz Felipe Scolari. He was also FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999.

Rivaldo, who announced his decision on his Instagram account, mde his name with Corinthians and then Sao Paulo between 1993 and 1996. He then moved to Europe with Spain’s Deportivo de La Coruna before transferring to Barcelona.

In Catalonia Rivaldo scored 130 goals in 273 appearances and helped win the UEFA Supercup in 1997, the Spanish league in 1997 and 1998 and the domestic cup in 1998.

On leaving Camp Nou Rivaldo embarked on a peregrination around the world club game starting in Milan and moving on to Cruzeiro, Olympiakos Pireus, AEK Athens, Bunyodkor (Uzbekistan), São Paulo, Kabuscorp (Angola), São Caetano and then Mogi Mirim of which he became president and for whom his son plays.

Rivaldo made his Brazil debut against Mexico in 1993 and ultimately scored 34 goals in 74 games which including winning Olympic bronze in 1996, finishing World Cup runner-up in 1998 then winner in 2002. He also helped Brazil win the Confederations Cup in 1997 and the Copa America in 1999.

In his retirement message, written “with tears in my eyes,” Rivaldo thanked God, his family and everyone who had supported in his 24-year playing career.

He recalled many obstacles and disappointments along with the triumphs and successes which had been achieved “without any financial advantages, without agents and despite the doubts of many doctors and coaches.”

He ended his statement by quoting I Corinthians 9:25: “Everyone who competes in the Games undergoes strict training. They do it to win a crown that will not last but we do it to win a crown that will last forever.”



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