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Cristiano dos Santos Rodrigues (born 3 June 1981), nicknamed Cristiano, is a professional Brazilianmarker football player who plays for Adelaide United.

Biography

Early career

Cristiano began his club career with Dutch club NAC Breda. He signed his first professional contract with Breda at age 16. Cristiano was impressive, without being a prolific goal scorer and spent four reasonably successful years with Breda before moving to fellow Dutch side Roda JC.

Cristiano's performances with Breda impressed Roda manager Wiljan Vloet who was desperate to bring the Brazilian to the club. Cristiano had a fairly successful time with Roda and averaged 0.34 goals a game in his four year stint.

FC Basel

After eight seasons in the Netherlandsmarker, Cristiano sought a new challenge in a foreign country and jumped at the opportunity to join Swissmarker giants FC Basel. Cristiano struggled to command a regular starting spot in to the side (though did win the Swiss Cup), and eventually went on loan back to Holland with Willem II. His loan spell with Willem II was very successful, scoring 5 goals in 12 appearances. Willem II made Cristiano's move permanent at the end of the 2006–07 season.

Willem II

Cristiano was unable to capture his form from his loan spell the previous season. Despite being well known in Holland, he received tentative interest from other Dutch clubs due to his non-EU status requiring a high minimum salary, and began seeking options of regular football elsewhere.

Adelaide United

Cristiano moved to Australia to join A-League side Adelaide United at the start of the 2008–09 season. Adelaide had lost Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite in the off-season and were in desperate need for a permanent striker. After scoring on his debut in a pre-season match, Cristiano made his A-League debut in a 1–0 victory over Perth Glory. Cristiano was impressive in his debut, setting up the winning goal scored by Travis Dodd.

Cristiano scored his first competitive goal for Adelaide United in Round three against Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadiummarker. Cristiano finished with a brace in a 3–0 victory. After helping Adelaide United become the first Australian side to reach the Semi Finals of the AFC Champions League, he scored a brace days later to help the Reds to a 2–0 victory over reigning premiers Newcastle Jets.

Cristiano scored his fifth goal in seven A-League matches by getting on the score sheet in a 3–3 draw against Central Coast. He scored the only goal of the Club World Cup fifth place play off against Egyptian club Al-Ahly the impressive twenty yard strike was awarded 'goal of the tournament'.

In the 2008–09 Grand Final against Melbourne Victory, Cristiano was controversially red carded in the 10th minute. However, this red card was rescinded from his record.

Career statistics

(Correct as of 1 January 2009)

Club Season League1 Cup International2 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
NAC Breda 1998–99 4 1 1 0 0 0 5 1
1999–00 13 3 2 1 0 0 15 4
2000–01 24 5 0 0 0 0 24 5
2001–02 29 9 3 1 0 0 32 10
Total 70 18 6 2 0 0 76 20
Roda JC 2002–03 25 6 2 0 0 0 27 6
2003–04 28 9 2 2 0 0 30 11
2004–05 16 6 1 0 0 0 17 6
2005–06 30 13 3 1 0 0 33 14
Total 99 34 8 3 0 0 107 37
FC Basel 2006–07 7 1 1 1 3 0 8 2
Total 7 1 1 1 3 0 11 2
Willem II Tilburg 2006–07 12 5 0 0 0 0 12 5
2007–08 13 1 2 0 0 0 15 1
Total 25 6 2 0 0 0 27 6
Adelaide United 2008–09 25 8 3 2 9 2 37 12
2009–10 14 2 - - 0 0 14 2
Total 39 10 3 2 9 2 51 14
Total 240 69 20 8 12 2 272 80
1 - includes A-League final series statistics
2 - includes FIFA Club World Cup statistics; AFC Champions League statistics are included in season commencing after group stages (ie. 2008 ACL in 2008-09 A-League season etc.)

References

  1. http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/football/a-league/victory-aleague-champions-after-controversial-decider/2009/02/28/1235237988974.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
  2. http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,25125232-5000940,00.html


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