Anderson Luis de Souza, or better known as Deco, is one of the golden talents who once filled the world stage. In this case, a greenfield is a place for him to impress thousands of pairs of eyes. With his glazed eyes, a simple but deadly step in processing the ball is the best description for a Deco.
Right at the age of 15, he received a professional contract with Corinthians. This player born August 27, 1977, was born in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo. He is the third child of six siblings and a teenager with the blessings of football at his feet.
Since he was a teenager, before getting a professional contract, Deco did stand out among his peers. Since he was young, Deco has shown amazing ball control. “Elegant”, is one of the words used at that time to describe his ability to control the ball.
At the age of 19, this player moved to Portugal after Benfica redeemed him from the Centro Sportivo Alagoano. Instead of the capital club’s red uniform, Deco was immediately taken to Alverca to undergo a loan period for one season. In 1998, Deco was released to the second division club, Salgueiros.
His romance with Benfica is indeed tragic. At that time, Benfica was trained by Graeme Souness but the Scottish coach preferred to let Mark Pembridge and Steve Harkness play. As it has been said, Deco himself was immediately loaned to Alverca for one full season. The loan period became a nightmare, a drop in performance, and a period when he lost the trust from the club that took him to Portugal.
So when Deco was sold to Salguieros, Benfica supporters didn’t bother. He was only regarded as one of the many young people who failed and no one regretted his departure.
At that time, Graeme Souness was thought to have wasted Deco talent once, and never had the chance to make amends. The false decision making then harmed Benfica.
The short periods with Salguieros were full of sadness. A series of injuries made Deco almost absent in half of the season’s matches. However, even though the minutes of play were very limited, FC Porto management was pretty sure that in the right and capable hands, Deco could be an important player.
FC Porto gladly, in 1999, took Deco from the second division. But everything did not immediately become okay for him. In Porto, Deco could only be happy after Jose Mourinho became the coach.
In 2002, when Jose Mourinho arrived, with a 4-4-2 scheme, Deco became the center of the game. Under Mourinho’s direction, Deco became a more complete player. Playing behind two attackers, Deco was still the number 10 player who was given the freedom to innovate. But he was also charged with the task of defense and a deeper understanding of tactics.
Slow but sure, Deco became good at carrying out Mourinho’s orders because basically, he was a hard worker. He was not a box-to-box player but he was never tired of asking the ball to and fro, to involve himself as much as possible here and there.
The football ability and creativity combined with a willingness to work hard made Deco a key player in the success of Porto in winning the 2003 UEFA Cup. The dramatic match at the final during defeating Celtic was an exhibition of Porto’s toughness, with Mourinho as the brain, and Deco led the orchestra on the field.
At that time, thanks to his extraordinary football skills and his ability as the club’s attacker from Portugal, Deco immediately attracted many European clubs. Name them FC Bayern and FC Barcelona. Both teams immediately expressed their interest in contracting Deco. However, Porto’s president at that time, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, decided to detain Deco. He wanted Deco to be part of Porto’s efforts to defend the title. And indeed, the next season became the best season for Porto and Deco.
Successfully led Porto to qualify for the European Champions League final, Deco again, gave his big contribution to the success of Mourinho’s squad in carving the history. The team played against AS Monaco in the final which then became anticlimax for Monaco, yet the joy for Deco and Porto. The finale ended with a score of 3-0 to win Porto, and Deco scored one goal.
It was a peak victory that proved Deco’s talent that had once been discarded by Benfica.
After creating a fairytale with FC Porto, Deco finally made his choice to Barcelona. One of the biggest clubs in the world was chosen because indeed, Catalan had been his idol when he was a child. In fact, at that time, many thought that Deco would follow in the footsteps of Mourinho who continued the gold ink at the London club, Chelsea.
In Barcelona, Deco continued to play roles that were no less important. He still maintained the flow of the ball with short passes, and certainly, remained became the attack regulator with important baits and non-stop movement.
Although at that time his role was threatened by the presence of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, Deco was able to find another alternative role by creating a deadly duet with Ronaldinho. His duet with many samba men also received praise, including from the experienced trainer, Luis Felipe Scolari.
All the abilities and experiences he has gathered since he first kicked a football helped him succeed in Barcelona. Two years since lifting the Big Ear as a Porto player, Deco won the European Champions League with the Blaugrana.
After pursuing a brilliant career in Barcelona, Deco finally joined Chelsea. Despite succeeding in leading Chelsea to win several important trophies, such as the English Premier League and FA Cup trophy, Deco felt unhappy in London. Because of his impermanence, he left London in 2010 and returned to Fluminense.
The most unforgettable thing from Deco’s trip in the Blues uniform was when he hit a long-range shot against Portsmouth. His debut goal made David James helpless. A cold celebration by just raising his right hand, the spectators’ uproar, and the warm embrace of his teammates, made Deco successfully demonstrated his quality in Britain.
At Fluminense, or rather in 2013 after three years at Estadio das Laranjeiras, Deco officially ended his tenure as a professional footballer. In total during his career, Deco has scored 44 goals and 87 assists from 381 appearances.