Marcos Evangelista de Morais alias Cafu is an ex-Brazilian professional footballer who played for clubs like top clubs like Juventus, Roma and A.C Milan. The 5ft 9in right back is one of the well-known names in the history of the game featured in nearly 400 club matches.
The former Brazilian captain is the most internationally capped Brazilian player of all time winning the coveted World Cup trophy in 1994 and 2002. Cafu is known for his pace to make overlapping attacking runs down the right flank, stamina and tactical intelligence.
After attending the football academy at the age of 7, he moved ranks to represent the junior sides of various Brazilian clubs like Nacional-SP, Portuguesa, and Itaquaquecetuba.
In 1980’s he won the Copa São Paulo youth tournament with São Paulo after being rejected by clubs like Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos, Atlético Mineiro and Portuguesa. São Paulo youth coach Telê Santana grew liking to him and became his mentor.
Cafu made his debut in 12th September 1990 in an International friendly against Spain in which Brazil lost 3-0.
Telê Santana moved Cafu from wingback to midfield and thought it suited his game more.
The change started to pay off as he started to feature in the first team of São Paulo as they won back-to-back Copa Libertadores and World Championships in 1992 and 1993. He was named the South American Footballer of the Year in the year 1994.
Rise to glory
Cafu began the 1995 season with Brazil squad Juventude where he didn’t feature in a single competitive match. He went on to play for Spain’s Real Zaragoza making 16 appearances winning the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup in the process.
He played for Palmeiras from 1995 before moving back to Europe for Roma in 1997. He played 6 long years there featuring in 163 matches scoring 5 goals.
He won the Scudetto in 2001, followed by the Supercoppa Italiana and was given the nickname Il Pendolino.
However, he moved to the rivals A.C Milan turning down Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos. He won his second career Scudetto in 2004 and second Supercoppa Italiana with “the Diavolo”.
He finally won the UEFA Champions league in 2007 after failing in the finals of the 2005 edition and won another UEFA Supercup and his third World Title at Club level.
He announced his retirement by the end of the season and scored in his last match for the club in the 4–1 victory over Udinese.
Brazil's football federation president Jose Maria Marin told the former title-winning captain to stay away from the Dressing room after the 7-1 defeat to Germany in the 2014 semi-finals claiming that 'he didn't want any strange people”.
On July 1994, Cafu moved from São Paulo to Real Zaragoza for €1.5 million. He then played for Palmeiras who paid €1.5 million for his services in January 1995.
He was then brought by AS Roma for a hefty fee of €7,60 million where he spent the prime period of his career. He then signed for A.C Milan as a free agent in 2003 where he won the Uefa Champions League.
Pelé named him as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He was awarded the Officer of the Order of Rio Branco in 2008. He was added to the A.C Milan and A.S Roma Hall of fame. He is the most capped Brazilian player in for the national side.
Brazil lost to France in 2006 World Cup and many of the veterans were questioned including Roberto Carlos and Cafu and retired from International duties in 2006 making 6 appearances in the calendar year.
He then took a short International break in July 2008 before joining a non-league side Garforth Town mid-season of 2008/09 and hung his boots by the end of the season.