Join us as we take a look at Sportmob’s choice of best right back ever and one of the best ever World Cup players in this Cafu biography
Marcos Evangelista de Morais, simply known as Cafu, is certainly one of the greatest ever Brazilian players as well as being widely considered to be the best ever right back in football. Throughout his career, Cafu has played for several teams across Europe and his native country Brazil, with him being especially successful in Italian Serie A withAS Roma
and later AC Milan. His time with the Brazilian national team was on another level as he is the only player ever to appear in 3 different World Cup finals, two of which he won. Cafu is also Brazil’s most capped player with 142 caps.
As a right back Cafu is the standard that any player of that position is now compared to. A hard working player who covered the right flank constantly, Cafu switched between attacking and defending seamlessly with his stamina and speed allowing him to almost never be caught out of position. So now that the brief introduction is out of the way, Let’s take an extensive look at
to see how his journey as a footballer went.
Cafu who has already been chosen as our best right back ever, has had a long career spanning 2 continents. So join us as we look at one of the best World Cup players of all time in this Cafu biography.
So let’s start
with a general information about his physical attributes and his position on the pitch:
Full Name: Marcos Evangelista de Morais
Nickname: Pendolino (“the Express Train”)
Profession: Occasional pundit
Height: 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Weight: 75 kg
Positon: Right Back
Professional Debut: 7 June 1970
Jersey Number: 2
Date of Birth: 23 June 1972
Birth Place: Itaquaquecetuba, Brazil
Born on the Jardim Irene favela of Sao Paolo, Cafu was one of the six children of Celio and Cluesa.
Cafu date of birth
is 23 June 1972 and Like many Brazilians, football was his escape from poverty and hardship in
and Cafu soon started attending professional football academies when he was only 7 years old, playing for several local teams.
During his development as a footballer, Cafu also played futsal for 2 years, which would later help him immensely in his career in regards to ball control and technique.
But even though he showed early promise, he was rejected by several local clubs’ youth academies, until he was finally signed by Sao Paolo in 1988. He didn’t make his debut until a year later in 1989.
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In this section of
we take a look at his career as a footballer in the different teams that he played throughout his career:
First let’s take a look at Cafu’s club career as well as his time with the Brazil national team:
Brazilian Serie A
Although Cafu started his career quite late, getting his debut when he was 19, it was during the early 90s thatSao Paolo
’s youth coach, the legendary Tele Santana, suggested that he move from the wingback to more of a midfield position. Santana, who became a mentor to Cafu, knew that Cafu had the right tools to play at either position. Cafu ended up making the transition quite easily and soon became one of Sao Paolo’s most prominent players, helping them win the Copa Libertadores as well as World Championship in 1992 and 1993. He also won theBrazilian Serie A
once with Sao Paolo in 1991.
After a successful tournament with Brazil in 1994, which we’ll talk more of later in this Cafu biography, Cafu was named the South American Player of the Year in 1994, before moving to Spain’s La Liga for a short stint withReal Zaragoza
, where he ended up playing for 6 months, mostly struggling with injury but also helping them win the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup.
Cafu then opted to return to Brazil, and chose Juventude as his destination but he didn’t play any games for the club and ended up joining Palmeiras instead, where he won a Campeonato Paulista in 1996 and once again caught the eye of the Euroepan teams, and so in 1997, Italian Serie A team, AS Roma came knocking, and Cafu answered!
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Cafu joined AS Roma in 1997 in what was perhaps the height of theSerie A
among top European leagues. Zdnek Zeman, who was AS Roma’s manager at the time, utilized Cafu as a right back and the Brazilian had one hell of a season, providing his teammates with 10 assists, the same amount as Roma’s chief playmaker, Francesco Totti and 1 more than the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Baggio.
Although Cafu’s rise to prominence at Roma, accompanied by Brazil’s great 1998 World Cup campaign, continued, it wasn’t until the arrival of Fabio Capello as AS Roma’s manager as well as the
But Roma did prevail and won its first scudetto since 1982-83 season, which would be their third and as of yet last Serie A title. Cafu, who was by now nicknamed Pendolino by Roma fans, helped Roma immensely in that achievement by covering the right flank and contributing hugely in attack.
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A season after Cafu won the World Cup a second time in his career in 2002, and as a captain no less, his stocks as a player were very high so it wasn’t a surprise when AC Milan, who was by then revitalized as a title-challenger by Carlo Ancelotti, came for him. Cafu agreed to join Milan ending his 6 year stay with the Giallarossi.
At Milan, Cafu alongside Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta and later Jaap Stam formed perhaps the most formidable back line in the history of football. The four defenders all are considered as one of the best, if not the best in their respective positions and they were backed by the amazing Dida in goal. Ancelotti’sAC Milan
had an embarrassment of riches when it came to having world class players in each position and he utilized them perfectly. Cafu managed to win the Serie A in his first season with Milan in the 2003-04 season.
In his following season with AC Milan, they went on to reach theChampions League
final, finishing 2nd behind Juventus in Serie A. in the 2005 Champions League final, Milan faced Liverpool and despite finishing the first half 3-0, the match ended up being drawn 3-3 after which it went to extra-time and penalties, which Milan ended up losing.
But the same fixture would repeat itself again two years later and this time Cafu and Milan took their revenge on Liverpool and won the match 2-1. Cafu finally won his long coveted Champions League medal before going into his final season as a player, where he won the FIFA Club World Cup with AC Milan as his last major trophy. His last game as a player came in a 4-1 win over Udinese which Cafu scored in.
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is Brazilian and over the course of his career he has become one of Brazil’s greatest ever player. Making his debut for the Selecao in a friendly against Spain on 12 September 1990, Cafu didn’t feature heavily in Brazil’s sides in the early 90s although he was included in the 1994 roster and even played in the final of that tournament. The following 8 years would be one of Brazil’s best eras.
Cafu first won Copa America in 1997 and then followed that with a second place finish in the 1998 World Cup and subsequently another Copa America in 1999. Brazil also managed to win the 1997 Confederations Cup.
Then in 2002 Cafu gloriously led a Brazil team, who many believed to be a weak side compared to their previous tournaments, to a World Cup final and glory, as he raised the World Cup a second time and this time as a captain. He retired from international duty after a rather disappointing World Cup campaign in 2006 while setting the record for the number of World Cup matches as a player with 21 games under his belt.
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As a right back, Cafu was an incredible opponent, both for attackers and opposition defenders, constantly running up and down the pitch, making tackles, passes, dribbles and crosses.
Although these are the qualities that many of the best right backs in football share, Cafu just simply did it better, adding a touch of class to everything he did as a right back.
Going forward, he could dribble as good as any Brazilian winger, if not better. His speed allowed him to leave players in the dust, earning him the nickname Pandolino (Train), and whenever he reached the forwards positions on the right flank, he would always consider his cross options, choosing the best one, which was often the case with Cafu’s artful crosses.
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Widely considered to be one of the best Brazilian players of all time as well as one of the best defenders ever, Cafu biography is full of praises from players and managers alike. With many players like Jaap Staam, Dennis Irwin, Andriy Shevchenko and Andrea Pirlo admiring his tenacity to both attack and defend for 90 minutes as well as mentioning his great attacking prowess which made him not only a complete full-back but rather a complete player.
Cafu has also been involved in numerous prestigious best XIs and lists with him generally being considered to be the best right back ever in the history of the game.
With Cafu being included in the South American Team of the Year for 4 consecutive years, UEFA Team of the year (2004 and 2005), FIFA 100, AS Roma and AC Milan Hall of Fame and most recently being included as the right-back in the France Football’s prestigious Dream Team of all time.
Cafu didn’t have any particular goal celebration as he rarely scored, but when he did, he would usually run to his teammates, displaying his ready smile!
Outside football, Cafu has been involved with some media outlets over the years. Mainly helping out on punditry duty, but even that is scarce since Cafu has mostly been enjoying a private and quite life after his retirement.
It wouldn’t be a complete Cafu biography without mentioning his personal life. So read on as we take a look at
Cafu life story
, relationships and philanthropy in this Cafu bio.
Cafu married his longtime girlfriend Regina and has been able to acquire Italian citizenship through his marriage. The couple have 3 children: Danilo, Welington and Michelle. It’s worth mentioning that
is also Christianity.
Sadly, in 2019, Cafu’s eldest child, Danilo had a heart-attack whilst playing football briefly at the family home and he passed away at the age of 29.
Like many former players, Cafu has taken part in many charity matches which have helped gather funds for various charity foundations. These include taking part in Legends matches, which is a series of games in which Cafu has appeared in Milan Glorie team which is a combination of former AC Milan legends.
He also has taken part in the Soccer Aid Charity match in 2016. But most importantly was the Cafu Foundation, which supported hundreds of children in Cafu’s own Jardim favela in Sao Paolo.
The foundation provided the children of one of the most hostile and dangerous favelas in Sao Paolo with basic needs but unfortunately Cafu was forced to close the foundation in 2019 because of financial and family hardships he faced.
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Perhaps Cafu’s biggest legal issue would be the passport controversy he had throughout his stay at Italy. Cafu was first accused, alongside several other Serie A players who were mostly Brazilian, to have used a forged passport in order to falsely pass the Serie A’s regulations about having non-European players in the squad. Cafu proved his papers were quite authentic although several other players including AC Milan’s Dida were Banned.
In 2004, Cafu was again accused and this time it was claimed that Cafu’s wife, Regina, had falsified her papers in order to gain Italian citizenship through her Italian descent and therefore Cafu, who had Italian citizenship through marriage to Regina, was falsely registered as an Italian citizen.
The issue seemed to go nowhere until the day before Brazil’s opening match in 2006 World Cup when a Rome prosecuter called for Cafu, his wife and agent to be imprisoned, however the very next day he was acquitted of all charges and the issue hasn’t been brought up since.
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This section of Cafu biography belongs to his career statistics in the Brazil national team and the clubs that he played at:
Cafu biography isn’t complete without his general statistics in the clubs that he played, starting with Sao Paolo where he played 95 matches and scored 6 goals in the course of 5 seasons. He then moved on to Real Zaragoza for a short 6-month period where he appeared 17 matches in total without registering any goals.
In 1995 Cafu decided to move back to Brazil and this time toPalmeiras
, where he appeared in 35 matches during the course of two seasons before once again moving to Europe. But this time there was no looking back as he would end up finishing his career in Europe.
In 1996 and after two seasons at Palmeiras, Cafu joined AS Roma, where he soon established himself as one of the world’s best defenders and helped them win a Serie A title in his debut season. He ended up appearing in 217 matches in all competitions and scoring 8 goals as well as numerous assists.
He then moved to another Serie A team, AC Milan, who were one of the strongest teams in Europe back then. Cafu went on to represent the Rossoneri in 161 matches scoring 4 times, one of which was in his last ever match as a footballer against Udinese on the 18 May 2008.
Cafu made his debut for Brazil on 12 September 1990 in a match against Spain. He then went on to feature in several major tournaments, namely 4 World Cups.
He holds the record for the most amount of matches in World Cups by a single player with 21. Cafu appeared in 142 matches for Brazil scoring 5 goals and appearing in 3 World Cup finals, winning 2 of them.
He also won two Copa America in 1997 and 1999 as well as a Confederations Cup in 1999.
Unlike many former players, Cafu has not gone into management and is enjoying his retirement by occasionally appearing as a pundit on various TV programs.
In the final section of Cafu bio, we take a brief look at his achievements, either team or individual achievements, throughout his years in the Brazilian and Italian Serie A as well as his short stint at La Liga.
Starting his career at his hometown club Sao Paolo, Cafu went on to have the most successful periods of his career, winning a Brazilian Serie A in 1991, 2 Copa Libertadores in 1992 and 1993 and 2 Intercontinental Cups in the same years. He also won 2 Paulista Serie A’s as well as a Copa CONMEBOL. During this time he was named in the South American Team of the Year 4 times consecutively from 1992 to 1995 and he won perhaps his greatest individual achievement, being named South American Player of the Year in 1994.
He then moved for a brief period of 6 months to the La Liga side Real Zaragoza, where he featured in the club’s successful Cup Winners’ Cup campaign in what would be his first taste of European glory. But his time with Zaragoza was met with an abrupt end when he decided to move back to Brazil. After a move to Juventude fell through, Cafu joined another Brazilian heavyweight team, Palmeiras. Although he stayed at Palmeiras for only 2 seasons, he managed to win the Paulista Serie A once in 1996 before going away to Europe again, and this time for good.
At the start of the 1997-98 season, Cafu joined the Serie A side AS Roma, where he quickly became a fan favorite as he provided 10 assists in his first season, as right back no less. With the help of Cafu and a few new additions to the club, the likes of manager Fabio Capello and striker Gabriel Batistuta, AS Roma went on to win the Serie A in 2000-01 season. But this was the only trophy he achieved with Roma and Cafu was thirsty for more trophies, so a couple of seasons later he joined AC Milan, where he would finish his career.
At AC Milan, Cafu became part of an already great team consisting of Maldini, Nesta, Kaka and Shevchenko among many others. He went on to win his second Serie A title in his debut season with AC Milan. In his second season Milan reached the Champions League final but lost the final. However, Milan took their revenge in 2007 against once again Liverpool and Cafu finally picked up his Champions League Winning Medal. This was followed by a FIFA Club World Cup months later before he decided to retire from football in 2008.
Being one of the best Brazilian players of all time, Cafu made his debut in 1990 and went on to become the Selecao’s most capped player with 142 caps. Cafu took part in 4 different World Cup and reached the final a record 3 times. His first taste of World Cup success was in 1994. Which was followed by another final appearance between 1997 and 1999 Copa America titles but despite losing that final to France in 1998, Cafu would lead Brazil as a captain to World Cup glory in 2002.
And so we come to the end of our
, a player who is both in AC Milan and AS Roma’s Hall of Fame and as recently as last year was named in France Football’s Dream Team of all time. We hope that you enjoyed our account on this great player, please check out our links below for more articles like this.