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Anderson Luís de Souza, Order of Prince Henry (born 27 August 1977 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil), commonly known as Deco, is a Brazilian-born Portugal professional Association football who currently plays for Fluminense Football Club.

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Deco biography

Anderson Luís de Souza, Order of Prince Henry (born 27 August 1977 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil), commonly known as Deco, is a Brazilian-born Portugal professional Association football who currently plays for Fluminense Football Club.

Deco is one of the few players to have won the UEFA Champions League with two different clubs – F.C. Porto in 2004 and FC Barcelona in 2006. Deco was named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and UEFA Best Midfielder in Porto's UEFA Champions League winning season and was named Man of the Match in the UEFA Champions League 2003-04 final. Deco was the first player to win the UEFA Best Midfielder Award with two different clubs (Porto and Barcelona). Deco was awarded the FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball and the Man of the Match award in the final despite losing to Sport Club Internacional.

Deco received Portuguese citizenship in 2002 having completed six years of Portuguese residence, subsequently opting to play internationally for the Portugal national football team.


Early career

Deco started off Deco career at Nacional Atlético Clube (SP) in the city of São Paulo, where Deco was spotted and signed by Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.
Deco arrived in Portugal in 1997 at the age of 19 along with fellow Brazilian player Caju after being acquired by Lisbon side S.L. Benfica.

Despite good showings in training, Benfica decided to loan Deco to the Liga de Honra side FC Alverca where Deco played for a season. Deco performed well and was close to renewing Deco 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 Deco would develop into a player worth keeping. Subsequently, Deco was traded to Portuguese Liga side S.C. Salgueiros in the 1998-99 in Portuguese football, playing 12 games and scoring two goals. Deco performances caught the eye of the F.C. Porto staff, and during the winter transfer window, Deco 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 in Portuguese football, Deco 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 UEFA Cup 2002-03 Final win over Celtic F.C. that year. In the 2003-04 in Portuguese football, 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 FC, scoring the second goal of the match. Deco was the UEFA Champions League top assist (football) provider and also suffered the most fouls in the Champions League that season. That season, Deco won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year as well as the award for the UEFA Club Football Awards Best Midfielder in the competition.


On 17 June 2004, Deco told a Portuguese radio station that Deco would almost certainly join English side Chelsea F.C. (then coached by José Mourinho) following UEFA Euro 2004. Deco 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, Deco told the Portuguese sports daily O Jogo that Deco would rather move to FC Barcelona than follow Mourinho to Chelsea. While FC 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 €15 million fee in cash, plus the complete rights of Quaresma to Porto, which tagged Quaresma for €6M. 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 Deco in a three man midfield, where Deco tactical knowledge, passing abilities, and enormous work rate surprised many. In December 2004, Deco 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 UD, which gave Barcelona their 17th La Liga title. Deco 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 Club Football Awards Best Midfielder yet again for Deco performance in Barça's Champions League winning season, enabling Deco 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 (AFC Ajax, Real Madrid C.F., and A.C. Milan (Twice)), Marcel Desailly (Olympique de Marseille and Milan), Frank Rijkaard (Milan and Ajax), Samuel Eto'o (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona (Twice) and Internazionale), Didier Deschamps (Marseille and Juventus), Owen Hargreaves (FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United F.C.), Dejan Savicevic(Red Star and A.C. Milan), Miodrag Belodedic(Steaua and Red Star), Vladimir Jugovic(Red Star and Juventus) and Edwin van der Sar (Ajax and Manchester United). Deco was also awarded the FIFA Club World Cup Honours at the FIFA Club World Cup and the Man of the Match award, despite losing the final to Sport Club Internacional.


On 30 June 2008, Chelsea F.C. signed Deco from FC Barcelona on a three year contract for €10 million (£8 million). Deco was the first signing of new Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was formerly the national coach of Portugal.

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

Deco eventually lost Deco 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 F.C. Internazionale Milano, 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 Deco desire to leave and like Deco desired to link up with Mourinho again. Both players were under Mourinho at F.C. Porto. However, Inter president Massimo Moratti later 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 Deco would be willing to stay at Chelsea for at least the rest of Deco contract, but Deco said that things must change from Deco first season in West London.

After talks with new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti Deco said Deco was very happy at the club and wanted to show everyone what Deco could do, Deco 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 Deco on the list handed to the referee. Deco had an excellent start to the Premier League 2009-10. Deco came on as a second half substitute in the first game of the new season for Chelsea against Hull City A.F.C., and assisted Didier Drogba who scored in injury time. Deco scored in the next match with a 3–1 win over Sunderland A.F.C with a powerful right-footed shot which came off the inside of the post from outside of the penalty area. Deco made Deco 100th UEFA Champions League appearance against Atlético Madrid joining only 13 other players to have achieved as many appearances.
Deco scored Deco 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. Deco added to Deco goal tally the very next game, again against Bolton Wanderers, with a curling left footer from inside the penalty box.
Deco was a consistent player for Chelsea throughout the autumn period but injuries halted Deco season throughout the Christmas period. Deco returned in games against Preston North End, Hull City and Birmingham City F.C. and played well, but then injury caught Deco again.
Deco made Deco first start after injury in the 5–0 win away at Portsmouth, and Deco header forward (even though through an error from Portsmouth goalkeeper David James (footballer)) set up Didier Drogba for Chelsea's first goal.
Deco was sensational in Chelsea's 7–1 win over Aston Villa, creating chances for Deco team mates and helping Chelsea's midfield flow, Deco provided a key pass for Chelsea's third goal of the game, skilfully working past an Aston Villa defender and playing a clever ball with the outside of Deco right foot to Yuri Zhirkov whose cross fell to Florent Malouda who scored.
Deco started in Chelsea's potential title decider against Manchester United at Old Trafford alongside fellow midfielders Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel. Deco made several accurate passes to advancing teammates and also provided a key delivery to Florent Malouda who set up Joe Cole for the opening goal in Chelsea's 2–1 win.


On 6 August 2010, Deco signed a two-year contract with Brazilian club Fluminense Football Club on a free transfer, joining former Chelsea player Juliano Belletti.
Also on 2010, Deco has won Deco first Brazilian Championship, participating in Fluminense's victorious campaign.

International career

Deco was never called up to the Brazil national football team and the Brazil squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup included other attacking midfielders such as Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and Juninho. Having played six years of club football with F.C. Porto allowed Deco to gain Portuguese citizenship that made Deco eligible to play for Portugal. None of Deco's great grandparents, grandparents or parents were Portuguese and therefore under Fifa's player eligibility rules required Portuguese citizenship to be considered eligible. Deco was mentioned several times in the media as an option for the Portugal national football team. In 2002, having completed six years of Portuguese residence, Deco 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, Deco was called up for Deco first international – coincidentally against Brazil. Deco 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 FIFA World Cup. Since that game, Deco was a regular in the national team. Before the 2004 European championship Luís Figo, criticized Deco's inclusion and said "If you're born Chinese, well, you have to play for China." However, Deco commented saying "I was born in Brazil and it would be a lie to say that I'm Portuguese now and not Brazilian. But I love Portugal and I love playing for the national team." Despite the early criticism, Deco was one of the highlights of the Portuguese national team. Deco scored five goals in 75 caps for Portugal by June 2010 and Deco international career ended after the second round defeat to Spain at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

2006 World Cup

In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Deco scored the first goal in Portugal's second 2006 FIFA World Cup Group D match against Iran national football team 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 Battle of Nuremberg against Netherlands national football team with the first given for a rash tackle on John Heitinga, suspending Deco from the quarterfinal win against England national football team, as Deco already picked up a caution in the match with Iran. The win against England national football team in the quarterfinal stage led to Portugal National Football Team 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 UEFA Euro 2008, a UEFA Euro 2008 Group A clash with the Czech Republic national football team. The game ended 3–1 to Portugal, with Deco aiding Deco team in their passage to the quarter-finals where Portugal's campaign came to an end against Germany national football team, the eventual runners-up of the tournament.

In February 2010 Deco announced that Deco would be retiring from international football after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

2010 World Cup

Deco played for Portugal in their opening game against Côte d'Ivoire national football team. During the game Deco was injured and was ruled out of the remaining two group games, against North Korea national football team and Brazil national football team. Deco was fit again for the Last 16 game against Spain national football team but Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz chose Tiago Mendes over Deco.

Deco retired from international football with 75 caps and 5 goals.

International goals


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