Two former English footballers, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have said that not many young players aspire to become a right-back. That position is considered unattractive and its interests are often ignored. However, in Brazil, a place where a lot of football talent grows, has a different story about the position of right-back.
Since gaining a reputation as the most consistent producer of natural talent, Brazil continues to produce high-quality players. In the 1970s, Carlos Alberto made the right side of the Samba Team more alive. And most recently, names like Maicon to Dani Alves are proof that Brazil and its right-back position have never been disappointing.
Of course, of all the popular names, there are players whose existence cannot be ruled out. He is Marcos Evangelista de Morais, or better known by the name Cafu. Cafu became one of the most iconic Brazilian national team talents. He is fast and often ventures in the opponent’s defense.
The Brazilian National Team played their second match at the 1970 World Cup. The Selecao faced England in Guadalajara. Around 7,836 km to the southeast, in Sao Paulo, a boy named Marcos Evangelista de Morais was born.
Brazil won the match against England 1-0. Four matches later they won too. The boy grew from day to day. Brazil won their third world title. And the boy got his nickname Cafu.
Cafu always becomes the impressive history of the Brazilian national team. During this time, the man who was born on June 7, 1970, has performed 142 matches. The number that put Cafu as the football player who most often defended Brazil in the international arena.
Cafu’s long story began on a night on September 12, 1990. Cafu was still 20 years old at the time. But a young age did not prevent Cafu to gain the trust of the Brazilian coach at the time, Roberto Falcao. Cafu, who previously more often played as a winger, was plotted to fill Selecao’s right-back position to play against Spain at the Molinon Stadium, in the City of Gijon.
The opportunity for a Brazilian-style Cafu to end beautifully. He appeared almost without gaps and managed to bring the team to slaughter La Furia Roja with a score of 3-0.
As a player, Cafu is known as a player who has extraordinary speed. He is known as a reliable defender who is smart and clever to take advantage of opportunities. Supported by excellent technical ability, discipline, and stamina, Cafu seems to be a fortress that is very difficult for the opponent’s attackers to pass.
Like an express train, just like his nickname from Italian fans who also called him ‘Il Pendolino’, Cafu ran so fast but remained calm in reaching his destination. Cafu always looks elegant when he goes down to the side of the opponent’s defense. He possessed the power to maintain the ball. One by one he passes the opponent just to send feedback or even direct the ball into the goal.
Cafu is indeed one of the elite players that Brazil has ever had. This was proven by the trajectory that he had passed along his career as a professional footballer. Unmitigated, Cafu had tasted three World Cup finals at once.
Many observers think that Cafu equaled, even exceeded Pele’s score. This Brazilian legend indeed collected three World Cups, namely in the 1958, 1962 and 1970 editions. However, the 1962 edition was debatable because the legend was injured and absent from the rest of the tournament so that he did not appear in the 1962 final against Czechoslovakia.
When appearing at the 1994 World Cup for the first time, it was completely unexpected for Cafu to match the legendary achievements. He appeared at the tournament in the United States after helping Sao Paulo win the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup.
His role is no more than a substitute. If it wasn’t for Jorginho who was injured, he might not have appeared in the final. The rest then became history. Cafu participated in maintaining a clean sheet for the Selecao before defeating Gli Azzurri through penalties.
Four years ago, Cafu’s role was completely different. He has become a major player. In the final, as in other matches, Cafu appeared from the first minute. France’s final results in 1998, however, differed from the United States in 1994. Cafu and Brazil lost three goals without reply.
Even so, Cafu learned a lot due to his failure at the top match. Already becoming the top choice in maturer age, Cafu brought his best performance in the 2002 edition of the World Cup.
Acting as a captain, he led his teammates to record an impressive 2-0 victory over Germany in Yokohama. The Selecao officially became the most World Cup title collecting team in history with five trophies.
Cafu had reached the top of the world. It was too high that he did not hesitate to ask Sepp Blatter and Pele to help him holding the display table of the World Cup trophy. Cafu stepped on the table and proudly lifted the World Cup trophy.
After that, Cafu’s progress in the world of football continued. He returned to play in the 2006 World Cup. However, he did not become the champion because at that time the Brazilian national team must be stopped in the quarter-finals. Cafu was disappointed but did not save much regret. After all, he was still the only player who could appear in three World Cup finals in a row.
At the club level, this player who started his career in Sao Paulo is also a legend in Italy, where he won the Scudetto with AS Roma and AC Milan.
Cafu tasted his first Scudetto title in 2001, with the Rome Wolf Team. Six seasons in the Giallorossi uniform, Cafu moved to Milan. Cafu’s action reached its peak while defending il Diavolo Rosso. For half-decade grazing at the San Siro, Cafu again lifted the Scudetto title and won the first and only Champion League trophy in 2007.
After being satisfied exploring the world of football, Cafu, the super-fast train, ended his journey at the age of 39, or right in 2009.