The stars of Flamengo, Rio heroes in red and black

Flamengo is one of the iconic football clubs of Brazil and the city of Rio de Janeiro. The club is today dominating the game and might have the best team in their history, and they have just won the Libertadores, a grand tournament of South America that Flamengo last won and were finalists as far back as 1981.

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They are winners of the Brazilian A league 6 times and this year was the first win in 10 years and they are really flying high at the moment. So who are the greatest players of this mythical football club playing their home games at the famous Maracana stadium.

Before we start to start counting star players, just want to mention that the club this season was managed by Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus. A 65 year old who you probably would recognize from his days at Benfica, being in charge of that team from 2009 to 2015.

This season was phenomenal and for the first time since 1962 a Brazilian team did win all three top competitions, and to copy Santos with Pele in their team, is just surreal, but it actually happened.

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Zico is one top name to mention, a magical player in his years adding up 212 league games in which he scored 123 goals, and after returning from Udinese playing 39 more and scoring 22 goals. Zico never shined as much as we would have liked in the World Cup, but the 1982 tournament gave some “shoots” of what he was all about, but the magical team couldn’t get through to the final despite playing some of the finest football seen on planet earth.

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Rafinha is back in Brazil and now playing for Flamengo. The former Bayern Munich star gives the current team depth and quality and of course a bit of routine. Rafinha returned this season and made instant impact. Strangely they right back has not played more than four times for Brazil.

Some might also remember Diego who has been back at Flamengo since 2016. Previously with European clubs Juventus, Werder Bremen and last with Turkish club Fenerbahce. Diego Alves is the current goalkeeper, who we have seen at Valencia and Almeria in the past. The addition of home coming Brazilian exiles can be seen as a key reason for such success seen at the moment.

Legendary Mario Zagallo who is one of few people who have won the World Cup as a player and coach started his life as a player with Flamengo, he returned to take charge as coach three times and the last time as current as 2000, when the now 88 year old had a short period in charge, before again taking over the national team in a caretaker position. A real icon and wonderful football person.

Central midfielder Adilio never shined as much in the national team as he did for Flamengo, he played 666 games for the club and during a grand period from 1978 to 1987. Aldair is another name to mention, with a great career, leaving Flamengo as a young man and for most of his time in football playing for Roma. A skillful central defender who also added up 80 caps for Brazil.

Defensive midfielder Andrade is of course not to be forgotten. 160 games and 7 goals in 11 seasons with Flamengo. Not as many caps for Brazil, but added up 11 games in stiff competition with some of the finest players in the World at his time.

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Bebeto and Jorginho, just fantastic players who operated up front (Bebeto) and right back (Jorginho). They were influential at Flamengo and for Brazil, adding up the numbers in caps and appearances. Julio Cesar a fantastic goalkeeper, once on the books at Queens Park Rangers, added up 135 league games for Flamengo before moving to Europe.

Leanardo did not play many games at Flamengo, just 52, before he was spotted and started a nomadic life in football, but always a pick for the national team adding up 55 caps for Brazil.

A special man in the history of Flamengo is the English born Sidney Pulton, who was an emigrant to Brazil in his younger years, but as a foreigner getting the chance to represent Brazil at international level, playing three times in the famous jersey. Pulton played for Flamengo from 1915 to 1925 and must be seen as a “special one”.

Savio who many might remember from Real Madrid did start his career with Flamengo. Attacking midfielder Tita was another great, so was central defender Rondinelli, who had a safe spot in the team from 1971 to 1981 adding up 406 games for Flamengo.

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Iconic players Ronaldinho and Romario also have a past at Flamengo. Romario returned to Brazil and Flamengo in 1995 but a short stay and a move back to Europe and Valencia, then a new return to Flamengo were he stayed from 1997 to 1999. Ronaldinho had his time at Flamengo from 2011 to 2012.

Could also mention Leandro who was magnificent and added up 119 games from 1978 to 1990, 27 caps for Brazil. He played only for Flamengo in a 12 year career, had to retire and struggled a lot with injuries. He will always be remembered for his performances in the 1982 World Cup, one of the best from a full back in the lifetime of football.

Could be more players to talk about but if you would like to look them all up, those icons for Flamengo, this is the list, and hopefully it will give you a picture of how this club nurse forward great talent.

 

 

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