Brazil legends to play in Myanmar
YANGON (AFP) –
World Cup winners Cafu, Bebeto and Roberto Carlos will join an All-Star Brazil team in Myanmar next month as the nation tries to boost its footballing prowess, a sporting official said Friday.
The veteran trio are expected to play in an exhibition match in Yangon against a local XI, consisting of current and former national team players, after talks between the Brazilian Embassy and Myanmar’s Football Federation.
Cafu, a flying wingback who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and 2002, will arrive in Yangon on January 20 with striker Bebeto and former Real Madrid star Carlos.
“As we will have the chance to see nearly all the players of the 1994 Champion team here, both the football industry and fans will get an amazing experience, I think,” said Soe Moe Kyaw of the MFF.
“We are still adjusting the player list of who will come here. We will finalise it next week,” he said, adding the date of the match has not yet been confirmed.
Impoverished Myanmar, which is undergoing major political and economic reforms after years of junta rule, was once a regional powerhouse in the sport, winning the Asian Games in 1966 and 1970, and sweeping the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games between 1965 and 1973.
But it has endured a four-decade slide down the rankings since then and the national side limped out of this year’s Southeast Asian AFF Suzuki Cup at the group stages without a win.
Young Myanmar football players will be given a chance to meet the Brazilian stars at a football clinic during their stay.
Bebeto and Cafu were stars of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup triumph, with the former becoming a household name with a ‘cradle-rocking’ celebration after scoring in the quarter-final in honour of his new born son.
In 2002 Cafu became the first person ever to play in three World Cup finals.
Famed for his marauding runs from left-back and thunderbolt free-kicks Roberto Carlos was also a member of the 2002 World Cup-winning side.
He became the last of the trio to quit playing when he hung up his boots this year aged 39 after a season with Russian big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala.