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Anderson Luís de Souza, OIH (born 27 August 1977 in São Bernardo do Campomarker, Brazilmarker), commonly known as Deco, is a Brazilian-born Portuguesemarker professional footballer who currently plays for Englandmarker side Chelsea and internationally for Portugal. Deco is one of the few players to have won the UEFA Champions League with two different clubs, with Porto in 2004 and FC Barcelona in 2006. He was awarded UEFA Champions League MVP and UEFA Best Midfielder in Porto's UEFA Champions League winning season and was named Man of the Match in the 2003-04 Champions League final. Deco was the first player to win the UEFA Best Midfielder Award with two different clubs (Porto and FC Barcelona). He was awarded the FIFA World Club Cup Golden Ball and the Man of the Match award in the final despite losing to Internacional. Deco made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League while playing for Chelsea against Atlético Madrid joining an elite group of 13 players to have achieved the same milestone.


Early career

Deco started off his career at Nacional Atlético Clube in the city of São Paulomarker, where he was spotted and signed by Corinthians. Despite making a couple of appearances for the Brazilian giant, he was deemed too feeble for professional football and was shipped off to Corinthians' franchise Corinthians Alagoano, where he paid his way by moonlighting as an offshore wind farm technician.

Deco arrived in Portugal in 1997 at the age of 19 along with fellow Brazilian player Caju after being acquired by Lisbonmarker side SL Benfica, along with the Corinthians Alagoano franchise.

Despite good showings in training, Benfica decided to loan Deco to the Portuguese Liga de Honra side Alverca where he played for a season. Deco performed well and was close to renewing his contract with Benfica and joining the main squad. However, the Lisbon club and the player's representative did not reach an agreement, as the then manager Graeme Souness did not believe that he would develop into a player worth keeping. Subsequently, Deco was traded to Portuguese Liga side Salgueiros in the 1998-99 season, playing 12 games and scoring two goals. His performances caught the eye of the Porto staff, and during the winter transfer window, he was sold to FC Porto.


Under the guidance of José Mourinho, Deco was given the role of leading an ambitious Porto team. A key figure in the 2002-03 season, he scored 10 goals in 30 games, but nevertheless received 17 yellow cards and one red card. Deco was one of the key players in Porto's UEFA Cup final 3-2 win over Celtic that year. In the 2003-04 season, Deco helped Porto recapture the national title and led the team to the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final in which Porto won 3-0 over AS Monaco, scoring the second goal of the match. He was the Champions League's top assist provider and also suffered the most fouls in the Champions League that season. That season, Deco won the UEFA Most Valuable Player, as well as the award for the best midfielder in the competition.


On 17 June 2004, Deco told a Portuguese radio station that he would almost certainly join Englishmarker side Chelsea (then coached by Mourinho) following UEFA Euro 2004. He said that a transfer deal between Porto and Chelsea had been all but finalised, and that the only remaining steps were passing a physical examination and signing a formal contract with Chelsea.

However, on 26 June 2004, he told the Portuguese sports daily O Jogo that he would rather move to FC Barcelona than follow Mourinho to Chelsea. While Bayern Munich gave up on Deco after the Chelsea deal seemed to have been concluded, it was still uncertain whether the German side would make a new bid. The best offer at that time was a 21 million bid from Barça, but this figure was still €4 million short of the request by Porto's board. Portuguese newspapers then reported that Barça would try to offer Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma as part of the exchange in order to ease the deal.

Finally, a deal was achieved between Porto and Barcelona the day after the UEFA Euro 2004 final. Barça agreed on a 12 million fee, plus the complete rights of Quaresma to Porto. Deco signed a four year deal with the Catalan side on 6 July 2004.

In Barcelona, some suggested Deco would be completely eclipsed by Brazilian star Ronaldinho (a duo that according to Luiz Felipe Scolari "can make rain fall"). Indeed, many Barcelona fans met the transfer with raised eyebrows, as Deco was considered an attacking midfielder - a department which was already well covered. Instead, coach Frank Rijkaard used him in a pure central midfield position, where his tactical knowledge, defensive abilities, and enormous work rate surprised many. In December 2004, he came second in France Football's Ballon d'Or 2004 award, losing to Andriy Shevchenko and beating teammate Ronaldinho by six votes.

On 14 May 2005, Deco played in the draw against Levante, which gave Barcelona their 17th La Liga title. He also was named Barcelona's player of the season in the 05/06 season

Deco scored twice in the Spanish Supercup 2006-07, which Barça won. Deco won the UEFA Best Midfielder Award yet again for his performance in Barça's Champions League winning season, enabling him to join the exclusive group of players that have won the same award more than once with different teams, having won the Champions League previously with Porto. Other members of this exclusive group include greats such as Paulo Sousa (Borussia Dortmund and Juventus), Clarence Seedorf (Ajax, Real Madrid, and Milan), Marcel Desailly (Marseille and Milan), Frank Rijkaard (Milan and Ajax), Didier Deschamps (Marseille and Juventus), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich and Manchester United) and Edwin van der Sar (Ajax and Manchester United). He was also awarded the Golden Ball at the FIFA Club World Cup and the Man of the Match award, despite losing the final to Internacional.


Deco with Chelsea.
On 30 June 2008, Chelsea signed Deco from FC Barcelona on a three year contract for £8 million. He was the first signing of new Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was formerly the national coach of Portugal.

Deco scored on his Chelsea debut and his Premier League debut, with a 30-yard goal, in a 4-0 victory over Portsmouth. Deco followed up his performance by scoring in his second game for Chelsea, a curling free kick against Wigan Athletic. These performances led to him winning the Premier League Player of the Month award for August. Deco made his Champions League debut for Chelsea on September 16. Deco injured himself during a training session, but he returned from the thigh injury on 19 October and came on as a substitute against Middlesbrough. He was sent off in the 3-1 defeat by AS Roma on 4 November 2008. He then scored a bicycle kick against Bolton Wanderers on 6 December.

Deco eventually lost his place in the 2008-09 starting line up, due in part to some poor performances, but also to the sacking of Scolari. In a June interview, Deco stated: "I do not want to stay. I have not liked my experience at Chelsea." This was soon followed by Internazionale, managed by former Chelsea manager José Mourinho, declaring that they were attempting to sign Deco along with fellow countryman Ricardo Carvalho, who had also declared his desire to leave and like Deco desired to link up with Mourinho again. Both players were under Mourinho at Porto. However on July, 6 Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti ruled out signing either of the Portuguese Internationals on the basis of their age, telling Gazzetta dello Sport, "Deco and Carvalho? They are two champions but at this time I don't feel there's a need to buy them."Soon after this Deco said that he would be willing to stay at Chelsea for at least the rest of his contract, but he said that things must change from his first season in West London.

After talks with new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti Deco said he was very happy at the club and wanted to show everyone what he could do, he started on the bench in the 2009 FA Community Shield against Manchester United. Deco himself stepped up to take the winning penalty for Chelsea, but was not allowed as Salomon Kalou was placed before him on the list handed to the referee. Deco had an excellent start to the new campaign. He came on as a second half substitute in the first game of the new season for Chelsea against Hull City, and assisted Didier Drogba who scored in injury time. He scored in the next match with a 3-1 win over Sunderland A.F.C with a powerful rightfooted shot which came off the inside of the post from outside of the penalty area. He made his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance against Atlético Madrid joining only 13 other players to have achieved as many appearances.Deco scored his second goal of the season in a League Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers F.C., with a shot from 16 yards into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. He added to his goal tally the very next game, again against Bolton Wanderers, with a curling left footer from inside the penalty box.

International career

Deco playing for Portugal.
Never called up to the Brazilian national team, Deco was eligible to play for Portugal, with Deco playing club football with Porto his years in Portugalmarker made him eligible to play for the Portuguese. Deco has mentioned several times in the media as an option for the Portuguese national team. In 2002, having completed six years of Portuguese residence, he received Portuguese citizenship. After many months of public discussion which split Portuguese public opinion, and despite the opposition of a large number of Porto rivals' supporters, he was called up for his first international — coincidentally against Brazil. He scored the free kick that stunned Brazil, leading to a 2-1 win for Portugal. This was Portugal's first win over Brazil since the 1966 World Cup. Since that game, he has been a regular in the national team, in spite of initial criticism by players such as Luís Figo, who later recognised Deco's value. Despite the early criticism, Deco is today one of the highlights of the Portuguese national team. He had scored five goals in 70 caps for Portugal by November 2009.

2006 World Cup

In the 2006 World Cup, Deco scored the first goal in Portugal's second Group D match against Iran in the 63rd minute minute prior to Cristiano Ronaldo's 80th minute penalty. During the first knockout stage of the competition, Deco received two yellow cards in the game against Netherlands with the first given for a rash tackle on John Heitinga, suspending him from the quarterfinal win against England, as he already picked up a caution in the match with Iran. The win against England in the quarterfinal stage led to Portugal's defeat in the semifinal, which Deco was able to participate in.

Euro 2008

On 11 June, Deco scored the opening goal in Portugal's second match of Euro 2008, a Group A clash with the Czech Republic. The game ended 3-1 to Portugal, with Deco aiding his team in their passage to the quarter-finals where Portugal's campaign came to an end against Germany, the eventual runners-up of the tournament.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 March 2003 Estádio das Antasmarker, Portomarker, Portugalmarker 2-1 2-1 Friendly
2. 13 October 2004 Estádio José Alvalademarker, Lisboamarker, Portugalmarker 4-0 7-1 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
3. 17 June 2006 Commerzbank-Arena/FIFA World Cup Stadium Frankfurtmarker, Frankfurtmarker, Germanymarker 1-0 2-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Group D Report
4. 11 June 2008 Stade de Genèvemarker, Genevamarker, Switzerlandmarker 1-0 3-1 UEFA Euro 2008
5. 10 September 2008 Estádio José Alvalademarker, Lisbonmarker, Portugalmarker 2-1 2-3 FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifying

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Corinthians 1995-1996 2 0
Total 2 0 ? ? ? ?
Alverca 1996–97 32 13
Total 32 13 ? ? ? ?
Porto 1997–98 6 0 0 0 0 0 - 6 0
Total 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Salgueiros 1997–98 12 2 0 0 - 12 2
Total 12 2 0 0 12 2
Porto 1998–99 6 0 0 0 0 0 - 6 0
1999–00 23 1 0 0 0 0 - 23 1
2000–01 31 6 10 6 -
2001–02 30 13 12 2 -
2002–03 30 10 5 0 -
2003–04 28 2 2 0 12 2 1 0 43 4
Total 148 32 ? ? 39 8 1 0 ? ?
Barcelona 2004-05 35 8 1 0 7 2 43 10
2005-06 29 3 4 0 11 2 44 5
2006-07 31 1 3 0 8 2 1 0 43 3
2007-08 18 1 5 0 6 0 29 1
Total 113 13 13 0 32 6 1 0 159 19
Chelsea 2008-09 24 3 1 0 1 0 4 0 30 3
2009-10 7 2 0 0 1 1 2 0 10 3
Total !31 5 1 0 2 1 6 0 40 6
Career total 340 69 1 0 75 14 2 0







Personal life

When Deco started his European career in 1997, his first wife Cila, whom he had met three years earlier, moved to Portugal with him. Deco and Cila have two sons, João Henrique and Pedro Gabriel, who now live in Brazil with their mother. A few years later, Deco met Jaciara at a party in Salvadormarker (Brazil) and divorced Cila to live with Jaciara in Portomarker. They married in April 2005 and now have a son and a daughter. They announced their divorce in March 2008. His maternal family is of Japanese heritage and his paternal family is of Portuguese descent.

His current ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his fifth child.

Deco is the brother-in-law of fellow footballer Alecsandro, who plays for Internacional and Brazil international Richarlyson.Deco is an ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. He has a charitable organisation, Deco Institute, in the Brazilian city of Indaiatubamarker, near São Paulomarker, where he grew up.


  • "Deco doesn't talk a lot, but when he does, everybody listens" - Lionel Messi
  • "He is a genius, just like Zidane" - José Mourinho
  • "I think one of my bigger mistakes when in Brazil was not signing Deco. Now that we are with Portugal, I am glad I did not." Luiz Felipe Scolari on not inviting Deco to the Brazilian national team during his tenure as head Brazilian coach.
  • "My choice of Deco had to do with his technical and professional qualities and his strong determination in reaching the objectives," - Luiz Felipe Scolari on the inclusion of Deco in the Portuguese national team.
  • "Deco is the barometer of our season, when he is in form the quality of the game rises, when he is not so good the team as a whole performs less well" -Former Barça Coach Frank Rijkaard
  • "He's a great player. It would be foolish to underestimate him" - Ex-Celtic coach Martin O'Neill on Deco during the 2002-03 UEFA Cup Final.
  • "He may look like a lost boy in a Japanese comic but Deco is intelligent, focused, hard, arrogant and a superb passer." - British football magazine FourFourTwo on Deco's abilities.
  • "Deco looks constantly worried, poor guy, someone should tell him he's good." Sam Potter in an interview with BBC Sport.


  2. Deco Award
  3. [1]
  6. Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup

External links

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