Anderson Luis de Souza, popularly known as Deco is a former Portuguese football player who excelled in the role of a central attacking midfielder.

Born at Sao Bernardo do Campo in Brazil, Deco honed his skills as a youth player with Nacional and Corinthians before turning pro with Corinthians. He signed for Benfica during the 1997-98 season before going on loan to Alverca, where he scored 13 goals in 32 appearances.

He was exchanged for Nandinho by Benfica at the start of the 1998-99 season but struggled with injuries throughout the season, making just a handful of appearances.

Position Midfielder
Height / weight 1.81 m / 72 kg
Born 27 Aug 1977
Nationality Brazil Brazil
Nickname Deco
Number 30
Team History
2014 - present
401 fluminense Fluminense 2010 - 2013
6 chelsea fc Chelsea 2008 - 2010
129 fc barcelona Barcelona 2004 - 2008
244 fc porto FC Porto 1999 - 2004
243 benfica Benfica 1997 - 1999
392 sport club corinthians paulista Corinthians 1996 - 1997

That summer, he was snapped up by Portuguese giants FC Porto and the rest, as they say, is history. His transfer from Benfica and subsequent success at Porto riled quite a few figures at his former club. However, Deco maintained that it was the club’s decision to trade him for another player and not his decision to leave Benfica in an interview with FourFourTwo.

His moment of triumph at Porto arrived during the 2002-03 football season. Deco was charged with leading an enthusiastic Porto side under Jose Mourinho as the main playmaker.

The midfielder, who had earned Portuguese citizenship that summer after completing five years of residency in his adopted country, scored 10 goals in 30 appearances for Porto that season as his side went on to win the UEFA Cup by defeating Celtic 3-2 in the final.

The following season saw Porto achieve even greater success as a team as they won both the Portuguese league title and the UEFA Champions League. Mourinho masterminded a 3-0 win over AS Monaco of France in the grand finale as Deco scored the all-important second goal to seal the contest. The midfielder won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award as well as the award for the best midfielder in the Champions League.

At the beginning of the 2004-05 season, Deco angled for a move to Chelsea but changed his opinion about joining his old manager at Stamford Bridge soon afterwards. Instead, the player moved to Barcelona for a fee in the region of 15 million Euros with Ricardo Quaresma moving the other way.

Deco formed a part of the three-man midfield at Barca where his passing abilities and enormous work rate endeared him to a demanding set of fans. He would go on to finish second in the Ballon d’Or awards that year, finishing ahead of Ronaldinho by six votes but behind AC Milan forward Andriy Shevchenko.

He was a part of the Barcelona side that lifted their 17th La Liga crown in his first season with the Catalans. The following season would see him named the player of the season for FC Barcelona as they won the Champions League by beating Arsenal at the Stade de France in Paris.

Deco won the UEFA Best Midfielder Award yet again and joined an illustrious list of players who have won the Champions League with two separate clubs. He would also win the Golden Ball at the at the FIFA Club World Cup as well as the man-of-the-match award in the final although Barca lost to Internacional.

After spending four years with Barcelona, Deco signed for Chelsea in 2008 with Luiz Felipe Scolari appointed as manager of the club.

He scored on his Chelsea debut with a superb 30-yard strike and curled a free kick against Wigan Athletic in his second match. However, his first season with Chelsea ended poorly as Scolari was sacked as manager. However, his second season with the London club saw Chelsea win the Premier League and FA Cup double under their new manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The player moved back to Brazil with Fluminense for the final two seasons of his playing career before retiring in August 2013, a day ahead of his 36th birthday.

Deco earned 75 caps for Portugal between 2003 and 2010 during which he scored five goals. He featured both in the Euro 2004 and the Euro 2008 for Portugal as well as the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. While Portugal were finalists at Euro 2004, they finished fourth at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with the hosts beating them in the third-place play-off fixture.

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