On This Day – Deco Born

27-8-1977: Barcelona’s Brazilian born midfielder Deco was born on this day in 1977. Both Brazilian club Corinthians and his first Portuguese club Benfica where dubious to Deco’s small build (1.74m). He played for two lower league Portuguese clubs both he was spotted by Porto.

In his first season’s for Porto he gained as many yellow cards as assists and it was first with the arrival of Jose Mourinho that Deco blossomed in his playmaker role. He scored 10 goals in 30 games in the 2002-3 season but gained 17 yellow cards. The season was crowned with the UEFA Cup title as Porto defeated Celtic 3-2. The following season Porto achieved a greater prize when the won the Champions League. Deco scored in Porto’s 3-0 victory over Monaco.

Mourinho left to manage Chelsea and Deco was tipped to follow him to London but in the end moved to Spanish giants Barcelona for a €15m fee in July 2004. Deco who had won the Portuguese League title in 1999, 2003 and 2004 with Porto won La Liga in 2005 and 2006 with Barca. In 2006 he became one of the few players to have won the Champions League with two different clubs when Barcelona defeated Arsenal 2-1 in Paris.

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