Infobox Football biography
playername = Rivaldo

fullname = Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1972|4|19
cityofbirth = Paulista
countryofbirth = Brazil
height = height|m=1.87
position = Attacking midfielder
currentclub = Bunyodkor
clubnumber =
contractend = June 30 2009
youthyears =
youthclubs = Paulista
years = 1988–1991
clubs = Paulista
Santa Cruz
Mogi Mirim
Deportivo La Coruña
AEK Athens
caps(goals) = 000 00(0)
020 0(10)
030 0(10)
009 0(20)
100 0(50)
041 0(21)
160 0(90)
022 00(5)
002 00(1)
074 0(35)
035 0(12)
002 0(3)
495 (257)
nationalyears =
nationalteam = Brazil U-20
nationalcaps(goals) = 009 00(1)
086 0(36)
pcupdate = 17 September 2008 (UTC)
ntupdate = 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira (born April 19, 1972 in Paulista, Pernambuco), commonly known as Rivaldo, is regarded as one of the best Brazilian professional football players of all time, currently playing for Bunyodkor, on a multi-million dollar contract, in the Uzbek League.

He most notably played five years with Spanish club FC Barcelona, with whom he won the 1998 and 1999 Spanish La Liga championship and the 1998 Copa del Rey. He was honoured as FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year in 1999. He was named by Pelé as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony in 2004.

Between 1993 and 2003, Rivaldo played 86 matches and scored 36 goals for the Brazil national football team ("A Seleção"), and he was a very influential part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup winning Brazilian team. An attacking midfielder, he is known for his play-making capabilities, as well as his technique and goalscoring ability. He is also known for his bicycle kicks.


Rivaldo had an extremely poor upbringing in the favelas of the port town of Recife. His physical appearance still marks the poverty he experienced in his childhood: malnourishment-caused bowleggedness and the loss of several teeth. Rivaldo's father Romildo was killed in a road accident in 1989, but Rivaldo went on to his first professional contract later that year.Mike Lee, [http://www.britishcouncil.org/japan-sport-footballculture-players-rivaldo-greatest.htm Overcoming Tragedy to be the Greatest] , "British Council"]

Beginnings in Brazil

Rivaldo began his professional career at the age of 16, when he signed with Paulista in 1989. [http://access.fifa.com/en/article/0,4151,17299,00.html Rivaldo: In the name of the father] , "FIFA", October 10, 2000] despite the Paulista coaches believing him too physically weak to succeed. He went on to play for Santa Cruz FC in 1991. In 1992, he moved south to the state of São Paulo where he played for Mogi Mirim EC in the second tier of Brazilian football. In 1993, the forward moved to the state capital to play for SC Corinthians in the first division. In the same year, he debuted for the Brazilian national football team, scoring the only goal in a friendly match against Mexico.

In the next year, he switched local allegiances and moved to SE Palmeiras, helping the club successfully defend its league championship in 1994. In both 1993 and 1994, he was honoured by the authoritative publication Placar Magazine with the Bola de Prata for the best player in his field position. He was selected to represent Brazil at the 1996 Summer Olympics. The Brazilian team won the bronze medal, but Rivaldo was made the scape-goat for Brazil's semi-final defeat to Nigeria, and was excluded from the Brazilian national team by national team manager Mario Zagallo.

Transfer to Europe

Before the 1996 Olympics, Parma F.C. announced that they had signed Rivaldo and his teammate Amaral from Palmeiras.cite news | title=Sousa for Chelsea| date=1996-06-27| publisher=Independent News & Media| url =http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19960627/ai_n14046663 | work =The Independent | accessdate = 2008-02-15] After the Olympics, there was a dispute, and rather than Italy, Rivaldo moved to Spain as he joined Deportivo La Coruña in La Liga. He only stayed for one season, but nonetheless a very successful one for both him and the club. Rivaldo was the fourth top goal scorer of the season with 21 goals(tied) in 41 matches, as Deportivo finished third in the league. Rivaldo moved on to league rivals FC Barcelona in 1997, in a transfer deal securing Deportivo a 4000 million pesetas (around $26 million) transfer fee.

In his first season at Barcelona, he was the second top goal scorer with 19 goals in 34 matches, as Barcelona won The Double of La Liga championship and Copa del Rey. Rivaldo returned to the Brazilian national team for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where he scored three goals, including two in the 3-2 quarter-final win against Denmark. Rivaldo had not been a part of the triumphant Brazilian team at the 1997 Copa América tournament, but was a key player in the successful defence of that title at the 1999 Copa América. Rivaldo earned himself the distinction as top scorer of the tournament with 5 goals, one being the equaliser from a trademark free-kick in a 2-1 win over Argentina in the quarter finals, and two in the 3-0 victory over Uruguay in the final. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

In 1999, he won another La Liga title with Barcelona, and was again the second most scoring player in the league. In 1999, Rivaldo won both the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year awards. In his third season in Barcelona, Rivaldo fell out with manager Louis van Gaal, when he insisted to play as a playmaker, and not on the left wing. [ [http://www.4thegame.com/wanadoo/news/story/70237/RIVALDO+NOT+A+HAPPY+NOU+CAMP-ER.html RIVALDO NOT A HAPPY NOU CAMP-ER] , "4thegame", December 22, 1999] Even though he had a strained relationship with van Gaal, Rivaldo went on to score 10 goals in the European UEFA Champions League tournament, as the club reached the semi-finals. Van Gaal was fired in June 2000. In the following 2000-01 season, Rivaldo was once again the second best goal scorer of the league. In the last game of the season, against Valencia CF, Rivaldo scored a hat-trick to win the game 3-2. His third goal was a bicycle kick from the edge of the area in the 90th minute of the game, and is regarded as one of his greatest goals ever in a combination of importance and skill. [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/worldcup2002/story/0,,746642,00.html A star less bright] , "The Observer", June 30, 2002] The win secured Barcelona a place in the following UEFA Champions League tournament.

2002 World Cup

Rivaldo had been the centre of criticism when Brazil did not win tournaments, ever since the 1996 Olympics, [Rodrigo Amaral, [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/hi/matches_wallchart/england_v_brazil/newsid_2056000/2056726.stm Rivaldo reflects on wheel of fortune] , "BBC", June 20, 2002] as he was said to be saving his best form for his club team. During the 2002 World Cup qualifying games, Brazil's poor form saw the team being booed by the Brazilian crowds, and in the 1-0 win against Colombia in November 2000, Rivaldo was booed so heavily that he threatened to retire from playing for his country. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/1031130.stm Brazil questions Rivaldo's role] , "BBC", November 19, 2000]

He was at the centre of numerous tug of wars between Barcelona and the Brazilian national team. In one incident in the summer of 2001, Rivaldo had to play an exhibition match for Brazil against Panama, commute to Poland to play a match for Barcelona, and then return to Brazil for a qualifying match against Paraguay, all within ten days.

The zenith of his national team career came at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, hosted in South Korea and Japan. He scored in the first five games for Brazil. Brazilian striker Ronaldo had done so for four matches, allowing journalists to question whether there was any rivalry between the two athletes. Rivaldo denied this, insisting that all he wanted was to be the world champion. His spectacular goal against Belgium in the second round prompted Belgian coach Robert Waseige to name Rivaldo as the deciding factor. [John Chapman, [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/hi/matches_wallchart/brazil_v_belgium/newsid_2048000/2048030.stm Wilmots tells of ref's apology] , "BBC", June 17, 2002] Brazilian midfielder Ronaldinho helped Rivaldo score a crucial goal in the 2-1 win over England in the quarterfinals. Brazil eventually met Germany in the final, and went on to win the tournament with a 2-0 victory in the final. Both Ronaldo goals came from trademark Rivaldo plays, as both Rivaldo and Brazil made amends for the 1998 World Cup final loss to France.

His early performance at the tournament was marred by his play-acting in the group match against Turkey. In the closing stages of the match, with the ball out of play, Turkish defender Hakan Ünsal kicked a ball towards Rivaldo, who was waiting at the corner flag. The ball struck his thigh, but Rivaldo fell to the ground clutching his face. The referee sent the Turkish player off with a second yellow card. After a video review, Rivaldo was fined 11,670 Swiss Francs by FIFA, 1,670 of which were for "costs". [ [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/06/05/1022982720138.html Rivaldo fined half a day's pay for play-acting] , "The Age", June 6, 2002]

Barcelona exit

In June 2002, van Gaal returned to manage Barcelona. Rivaldo was released from his contract, and signed a three-year deal with the Italian Serie A club AC Milan. With Milan, he won the Italian Cup and the UEFA Champions League in the 2002-03 season. His time in Milan proved a mutually disappointing affair. He left the club after a season of very few starts, partly due to injury problems. He briefly returned to Brazil, playing for Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte. In 2004 he returned to Europe, joining Greek Alpha Ethniki division club Olympiacos F.C. after much talk about which club he would join. Olympiacos had to fight off other clubs like Celtic F.C.. There was also speculation that he might join English club Bolton Wanderers, with Rivaldo stating that he wanted to help them qualify for Europe for the first time. However the deal fell apart because his agents were making too many demands. [ [http://mannyroad.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/bolton-wanderers-rivaldo/ Bolton Wanderers Hall of Shame: Rivaldo] . "Manny Road", August 8 2008]

Olympiakos move

Rivaldo scored some memorable goals in his first season at Olympiacos, including a fantastic effort in the Greek Cup final with a well placed lob from a difficult position close to the corner flag. Rivaldo also scored two memorable free kicks during the season, the first in the local derby against Panathinaikos and the second against English club Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League. Olympiacos managed to keep the 1-0 lead against their arch-rivals, but Liverpool fought back to score the 3 goals needed to keep Olympiacos from the Final 16, much to Rivaldo's dismay. In the last game of his first season at Olympiacos, the club needed a victory in order to win the Alpha Ethniki championship, with Panathinaikos just one point behind. Olympiacos went on to beat Iraklis 0-1 in an away match in Thessaloniki, by yet another Rivaldo goal, and secured the championship.

Rivaldo continued to score in the UEFA Champions League the following year. He scored a stunning 30 yard strike against Rosenborg BK, and against old foes Real Madrid, although this was not enough, as Olympiacos failed to advance from the preliminary Group Phase. In the domestic competitions, he kept the best for the second half of the season. He scored twice in Olympiacos' come-from-behind victory against Panathinaikos, as well as two in his team's 3-0 triumph against second placed AEK Athens, effectively securing another title for Olympiacos. He also put Olympiacos through to the Greek Cup semi-finals, scoring on free-kicks in both quarter-final games against Skoda Xanthi.

Rivaldo renewed his contract with Olympiacos for a third and final year, and promised to give his best, despite having turned 34. He didn't wait long to turn his words into actions: He led Olympiacos to overturn their half-time deficit against Skoda Xanthi, and scored both goals for the dramatic 2-1 victory in the first game of the season, winning him the Greek SuperLeague's first-ever Player of the Week and Goal of the Week awards. In July 2006, Rivaldo announced that the 2006-07 season with Olympiacos would be his last in Europe, before returning to Brazil. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/5189506.stm Rivaldo to quit at end of season] , "BBC", July 17, 2006] However he quicky changed his decicion and decided to stay for another year. The 2006-2007 season was arguably his best season at Olympiakos, having scored 17 goals at 27 matches, at the Superleague championship.

Rivaldo has stated that "the fans of Olympiacos are wonderful", and the best in any team he has met ever in his career [ [http://www.ribo.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=110&Itemid=27 Rivaldo interview in flash.gr] . "http://www.flash.gr", January 23,2007 ] ; notable when considering that he has already played for teams such as Barcelona and Palmeiras.

AEK Athens

Rivaldo quit Olympiakos Piraeus after contract negotiations stalled and signed on with rival Super League club AEK Athens FC on 29 May 2007, making the acquisition arguably the best in the team's history. Rivaldo finished his Olympiakos career with 43 goals in 81 games played.

At AEK Athens Rivaldo played under his former FC Barcelona manager Llorenç Serra Ferrer. He began his AEK career with a bang, scoring in his first friendly match. European goals soon followed; a penalty kick against Sevilla FC in AEK's unsuccessful UEFA Champions League qualifier, and a stunning bicycle kick in their UEFA Cup first round thumping of FC Red Bull Salzburg. Rivaldo's first Super League goal with AEK Athens came through a penalty in their 3-0 win against Panionios.

Move to Uzbekistan

Rivaldo announced on 25 August 2008 to a Greek Sport Radio Station that he agreed to continue his career at FC Bunyodkor in Uzbekistan, effective immediately, after what he described as "an extremely tempting contract offer".

Rivaldo, who stunned AEK with his decision to leave after just one season, said this week he had received an offer from Bunyodkor he could not turn down. Rivaldo signed a 2 year contract worth 10.2 million euros. Rivaldo started his Uzbekistan carrer superbly with a brace on his debut. He scored his third goal in the AFC Champions League quarter final match leg 1, against Saipa of Iran in match that finished 2:2. He scored in the return leg as well, in 5:1 victory. [ [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=566955&sec=europe&cc=5739 Rivaldo moves to Uzbekistan] Retrieved on August 28 2008]

Carrer in numbers

08/09 Uzbekistan FC Bunyodkor 5 3

07/08 Greece AEK Athens 29 8

06/07 Greece Olympiakos Piraeus 25 17

05/06 Greece Olympiakos Piraeus 22 7

04/05 Greece Olympiakos Piraeus 23 12

2004 Brazil EC Cruzeiro (MG) 11 2

02/03 Italy AC Milan 22 5

01/02 Spain FC Barcelona 20 8

00/01 Spain FC Barcelona 35 23

99/00 Spain FC Barcelona 31 12

98/99 Spain FC Barcelona 37 24

97/98 Spain FC Barcelona 34 19

96/97 Spain Deportivo La Coruna 41 21

1996 Brazil SE Palmeiras (SP) 30 23

1995 Brazil SE Palmeiras (SP) 45 17

1994 Brazil SE Palmeiras (SP) 28 14

1994 Brazil SC Corinthians (SP) 22 6

1993 Brazil SC Corinthians (SP) 19 11

1992 Brazil EC Mogi Mirim (SP) 27 9

1991 Brazil Santa Cruz FC (PE) 18 8

1990 Brazil Paulista FC (SP) 22 4

1989 Brazil Paulista FC (SP) 26 3



*Brazilian Série A: 1994
*São Paulo State Championship: 1994, 1996
*Euro-America Cup: 1996


*Spanish La Liga: 1998, 1999
*Copa del Rey: 1998
*European Super Cup: 1997


*UEFA Champions League: 2003
*Coppa Italia: 2003
*European Super Cup: 2003


*Greek Super League: 2005, 2006, 2007
*Greek Cup: 2005, 2006


*FIFA World Cup
**2002 Winner
**1998 Runner-up
*Copa América: 1999
*Confederations Cup: 1997

*Brazilian Bola de Prata: 1993, 1994
*FIFA World Player of the Year: 1999
*European Footballer of the Year: 1999
*World Soccer Player of the Year: 1999
*Onze d'Or: 1999
*Copa América 1999 Top Scorer
*Copa América 1999 MVP
*Spanish League Footballer of the Year: 1999
*UEFA Champions League Top Scorer: 2000
*FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1998, 2002
*Greek Championship best foreign player: 2006, 2007



External links

* [http://www.rivaldo-10.gr/ Rivaldo's official site]
*FIFA player|170691|Rivaldo
* [http://rivaldofans.ifrance.com/ Rivaldo french fan site]
*pt icon [ CBF profile]
* [http://www.footballdatabase.com/site/players/index.php?dumpPlayer=1100 FootballDatabase profile and statistics]
* [http://www.midfielddynamo.com/cups/ca/10_heroes.htm#SectionRivaldo Midfield Dynamo's 10 Heroes of the Copa América] Rivaldo listed in the top 10

title= Rivaldo - Navigation boxes and awards

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