Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Vasco Da Gama Greatest All-Time Team

Expresso da Vitória 

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama was founded on August 21, 1898  by Portuguese immigrants, and it is still traditionally supported by the Portuguese community of Rio de Janeiro. The club is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.  In 1924 Vasco da Gama was pressured by the Metropolitan League to ban some players that were not considered adequate to play in the aristocratic league, notably because they were black or mulato and/or poor. After Vasco refused to comply with such a ban, the other big teams, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, among others, created the Metropolitan Athletic Association and prohibited Vasco from participating unless it complied with the racist demands.  Between 1947 and 1952, the club was nicknamed Expresso da Vitória (Victory Express), as Vasco won several competitions in that period, such as the Rio de Janeiro championship in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1952, and the South American Club Championship in 1948. Players such as Ademir, Moacyr Barbosa, Bellini and Ipojucan defended Vasco's colors during that period.

Copa Libertadores 1998
GK: Moacir Barbosa (Brazil)
Barbosa was one of the greatest keepers in Brazil's history, but he was, however, associated with Brazil's loss to Uruguay in 1950.  He played mainly for Vasco Da Gama.

GK: Jaguaré (Brazil)
When playing with CR Vasco da Gama, he won the championship of Rio de Janeiro. He also played for FC Barcelona, Sporting CP and SC Corinthians Paulista. The most successful period of his career was in the 1930s with the French club Olympique Marseille. In Brazil, he is also considered to be the person who popularised the use of gloves by goalkeepers.

GK: Carlos Germano (Brazil)
He started his career with Vasco De Gama.  He helped them to win the Copa Libertadores in 1998.  He left the club in 2000 and played for many clubs.  Capped 9 times for Seleção.  He went to France 1998.

RB: Cocada (Brazil) 
Cocada started his career with Flamengo, but did not succeed there.  He moved to Vasco De Gama and became a key player.  His brother is the striker, Muller who was on the 1994 World Cup team.

RB: Orlando Lele (Brazil)
He began his career at Santos Futebol Clube in 1972, then transferred to the Coritiba Foot-Ball Club in 1973.  He joined America in 1974. He later played for Vasco between 1977 and 1981. he moved to Udinese in 1981. He played for Brazil 6 times.

CB: Bellini (Brazil)
Bellini was the captain of the 1958 World Cup winning team.  He won another World Cup in 1962 and participated also at 1966 FIFA World Cup as the team captain again. He earned a total of 51 caps.  During his career he played for Vasco da Gama, São Paulo FC and Atlético Paranaense.
CB: Orlando Peçanha (Brazil)
During his club career he played for Vasco da Gama (1955–1960), Boca Juniors (1960–1964) and Santos (1965–1967). He was part of the Brazilian team that won the 1958 FIFA World Cup, and also participated in the 1966 FIFA World Cup as the vice captain of the team. In total he earned 30 caps.

CB: Augusto da Costa (Brazil)
He captained the Brazil team to the 1950 FIFA World Cup final leading them to become the runners-up of the tournament after losing to Uruguay. He was born in Rio de Janeiro. He started his career in 1936, with São Cristóvão, leaving the club in 1944. In 1945 he joined Vasco, retiring in 1954. He played 20 games for the Brazilian national team and scored one goal.

CB: Brito (Brazil)
Brito was best remembered as a part of Brazil's great World Cup team in 1970.  He played over 10 years with Vasco De Gama. He also played for Internacional, Flamengo, Cruzeiro, Botafogo, Corinthians, Atlético Paranaense and River-PI.

LB/LW: Felipe (Brazil)
Felipe started in 1996 with Vasco De Gama.  He won the Copa Libertadores in 1998 with them.  He later played for Roma, Galatasaray, etc.  He earned 9 caps for Brazil, winning the Copa America in 2004.

LB/DM: Mazinho (Brazil)
Mazinho played 35 internationals for Brazil national team, winning the 1989 Copa América, 1994 FIFA World Cup and the Silver medal at the 1988 Olympics. He was also named in the squads for the 1990 World Cup and 1991 Copa América.  Mazinho played with Vasco da Gama, Palmeiras and Vitória in his homeland, with Lecce and Fiorentina in Italy, and with Valencia, Celta de Vigo and Elche in Spain. 

DM: Danilo Alvim (Brazil)
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.
Danilo Alvim
CM/DM: Ely (Brazil)
Ely do Amparo started his career with América, in 1939. He joined Canto do Rio in 1940, leaving the club in 1945 to join Vasco. Ely, as part of Vasco's Expresso da Vitória squad, won the Campeonato Carioca in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950 and in 1952, winning the South American Club Championship in 1948 as well. Ely do Amparo was transferred to Sport in 1953, winning the Campeonato Pernambucano in that year and in 1955, when he retired. He went to the WC Finals in 1950 and 1954.

LB/CM/DM: Jorge Sacramento (Brazil)
Jorge was known to be a member of Vasco De Gama's "Victory Express", playing with Ely and Danilo Alvim.  He played for them between 1945 and 1954.

AM/CM: Juninho Pernambucano (Brazil)
He was the leading player at Olympique Lyonnais leading them to seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles between 2002 and 2008.  For the national team, his selection was limited by the number of great attackers in his generation.  He was only capped 40 times for the Seleção and went to the 2006 WC Finals in Germany.
Juninho Pernambucano 

CM: Geovani da Silva (Brazil)
In 1983 he was transferred to Vasco da Gama, where he became famous, playing alongside the likes of Romário and Roberto Dinamite. He also played in Europe at Bologna F.C. 1909 and Karlsruher SC, and a brief stint at Tigres de la UANL in Mexico. He ended his career in 2002. He represented Brazil at the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship, where he became the top scorer, and was also elected as the best player of the tournament. Capped 24 times from May 1985 to September 1991.

LW: Francisco Aramburu "Chico" (Brazil)
Chico started with Gremio, but joined Vasco de Gama, where he was a member of the famous "Victory Express" team. In 1950 FIFA World Cup, he played four games and scored four goals. He played in the famous game with Uruguay, which Brazil lost, known as "Maracanazo"

AM: Ademir (Brazil)
Ademir formed a great attacking trio with Zizinho and Jair at the ill-fated WC Finals in 1950.  He won the Golden Boot at the tournament.  For club football, he had two spells each with Sport Recife and Vasco da Gama. He also had one spell with Fluminense.
Ademir de Menezes

FW: Russinho (Brazil)
He has played for Brazil national football team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup finals.  He played club football for Andarahy, Vasco da Gama and Botafogo, winning the Campeonato Carioca in 1924, 1929 and 1934 with Vasco da Gama and in 1935 with Botafogo.

FW: Ipojucan  (Brazil)
At the age of 11, he joined Vasco da Gama, where he stayed for 20 years. He scored 225 goals in 413 matches for Vasco's main team, making him the fifth-highest scorer on the team. In 1954, he moved to Portuguese Sports, where he finished his career. He was capped by the Brazilian National Team 9 times, and scored 1 goal.

ST: Edmundo (Brazil)
Nicknamed "Animal", he was known as a talented yet controversial footballing figure. He drew attention both for his skill, as well as for his volatile behaviour, both on and off the pitch.  He played for a number of clubs in Brazil, Italy and Japan.  Edmundo was only selected 39 times for the Seleção, largely for his behaviour and playing in the same generation as Romario, Ronaldo, Bebeto, etc.  He played for Brazil in the victorious 1997 Copa América, and at the 1998 World Cup, where they finished in second place. 

ST Romario (Brazil)
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.
Edmundo and Romario
ST: Vava (Brazil)
Vava's nickname was "Peito de Aço" (Steel Chest). He played for Sport Club do Recife, C.R. Vasco da Gama, S.E. Palmeiras.  he was capped 20 times.  He won the WC in 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals.  He won the co-winner of the Golden Shoe award in 1962.

ST: Bebeto (Brazil) 
With 39 goals in 75 appearances for Brazil, Bebeto is the sixth highest goalscorer for his national team. He was the top scorer for Brazil at the 1989 Copa América as the nation went on to win the tournament. At the 1994 FIFA World Cup, he formed a formidable strike partnership with Romário to lead Brazil to a record fourth World Cup title.  His goal celebration against Holland was one of the best ever.  His best club career was with Deportivo La Coruna, where won the Pichichi Trophy in 1993.  He played for Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Cruzeiro and Botafogo in Brazil, Sevilla in Spain, Toros Neza in Mexico, Kashima Antlers in Japan, and Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, finally retiring in 2002.

ST: Roberto Dinamite (Brazil)
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.
Roberto Dinamite

Honorable Mention
Donizete, Ramon Roque Rafagnelli, Mauro Galvão, Bismark, Pinga, Sabará, Fontana, Ricardo Rocha, Tostão, Acácio, Mazaropi, Coronel, Maneca.

Squad Explanation
-- Coronel missed out on the rightback spot.
-- Vasco Da Gama has many great centerbacks. All of my selected centerbacks have long careers with the club. Mauro Galvão was my last back dropped.  He deserved to be on the squad.
-- Both Leônidas da Silva and Domingos da Guia only played one season at the club.
-- Danilo Alvim, Ely and Jorge Dias Sacramento were a part of  as part of Vasco's "Expresso da Vitória" squad.  They formed one of the greatest midfield in Vasco Da Gama's history.
-- Carlos Germano, Felipe and Juninho Pernambucano won the Copa Liibertadores in 1998.
-- I went for two younger strikers, Edmundo and Bebeto over Maneca.


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