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Top facts about Dante, the Brazilian defender

Thu 09 December 2021 | 11:30

Dante is enjoying a renaissance in France. The Brazilian defender has played almost his entire career abroad. In 2016, the center back joined the French Ligue 1 club Nice. Read on to find out more facts about Dante.

Dante Bonfim Costa Santos (born October 18, 1983), better known by his nickname Dante is a Brazilian professional footballer who currently plays for and leads the French club

Nice

.

Dante is mostly a center defender, although he has also played as a defensive midfielder and a left back in the past.

Dante’s age

is 38. Here you can find out the most important facts about Dante, the Brazilian superstar.

Dante went on to play for Lille, Charleroi, and Standard Liège after making his debut at Juventude, winning the Belgian Pro League with the latter.

He was recruited by

Borussia Mönchengladbach

in January 2009 and spent two and a half seasons there before moving to Bayern Munich for €4.7 million, where he won nine domestic and international titles.

Dante agreed to join Bayern Munich at the start of the 2012–13 season for an estimated transfer fee of €4.7 million.

In new manager Pep Guardiola's first Bundesliga match, against Dante's former club Borussia Mönchengladbach, he scored an own goal after a mix-up with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer but they managed to win the match 3–1.

Dante debuted for Brazil in 2013, winning the Confederations Cup and going on to represent the country in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Top facts about Dante:

An important

fact about Dante

is that on January 22, 2013 he was nominated for the first time by national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for the Seleção. He made his debut on 6 February 2013, the starting at a 1: 2 defeat in test international match in London's Wembley Stadium against the selection of England.

Dante early life

Dante was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Speaking about

Dante’s parents

, it should be mentioned that his mother’s name is Vera Lúcia Costa and his father’s name is Joao Santos.

The Brazil center defender is widely considered as one of Europe's greatest, and he received high praise after guiding

Bayern Munich

to the Champions League final at Wembley.

But it wasn't always easy for the curly-haired defender, who had failed multiple club tryouts as a child and was advised by his parents that bringing him to additional try-outs would be a waste of money.

Dante, on the other hand, was having none of it and made the ultimate sacrifice for a child by selling his cherished video game system in order to support his own club visits. He added, "Like any Brazilian youngster, my goal was to be a player."

'I used to play on the streets in my neighborhood, but my family didn't think I'd make it as a player since I'd failed tryouts at local teams.' 'They advised me to try something different.' But something within me told me that I should keep going for my dream.”

'When my parents stated they wouldn't support me, I decided to sell my games console and use the money to purchase a bus ticket so I could go to the trials.'

Regarding

Dante’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he sold his cherished PlayStation and used the proceeds to purchase a bus ticket to Parana, 1600 miles away, where he was finally picked up by a local club before joining Juventude in 2002.

Dante personal life

Dante is a father of two children. Jonilson Veloso, his uncle, is a football manager. He is married to Jocelyn Costa Santos.

Dante was famed for his hair during his time at Borussia Mönchengladbach, and he became a cult icon with Borussia supporters wearing enormous afro wigs as a tribute to their favorite player. Following the defender's transfer to Munich, Bayern supporters promptly followed the custom.

As an ambassador, Dante supports the Respekt! No place for racism. He has also been the international ambassador for the interdenominational aid organization SOS Children's Villages worldwide since 2013.

Immediately after FC Bayern Munich's triple triumph in 2013, with victory in the DFB Cup final, which Dante had to stay away from because of being sent to the Seleção, he sent a video message in which he congratulated and sang.

The singing was mixed by the Berlin music label Mesanic Music, formerly known as Montana Music Recordings. Dante donates the proceeds of this campaign to the SOS Children's Villages and the German flood victims. The two single titles reached number 88 and 79 in the German charts.

Dante professional career

Dante joined Juventude’s youth system in 2001 and by 2002 became a part of the club’s first team setup. In 2004, he made his move to European football, signing for Lille in France.

After two seasons with the club where he only featured in 12 league games, Dante moved to Belgium, signing for Charleroi in 2006.

After a successful campaign in the Belgian Pro League for Charleroi, where he made 27 appearances and helped the club to a respectable fifth-place finish, he moved across the country to Standard Liège.

Dante club career

In 2001, Dante joined Juventude's youth system, and by 2002, he was a member of the club's first squad. He made the switch to European football in 2004, joining for

Lille

in France. Dante transferred to Charleroi in Belgium in 2006 after two seasons with the club in which he only appeared in 12 league games.

A notable fact about Dante is that he went across the border to Standard Liège after a solid season in the Belgian Pro League with Charleroi, where he made 27 appearances and guided the team to a respectable fifth-place finish.

Dante had a good first season with Standard, as the Belgian giants were crowned league champions; the Brazilian defender proved to be a vital component, missing just one league games.

He played in the first 15 league matches in his second season with Standard before being drafted into the Bundesliga due to interest from Germany.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

A notable

fact about Dante

is that he joined German club Borussia Mönchengladbach for an unknown price on December 27, 2008, and signed a contract with the club until the summer of 2013. In March 20, 2009, he made his first appearance for the club, coming on as a second-half replacement in a 1–0 defeat to fellow strugglers VfL Bochum.

On April 11, he scored his first goal for the club against eventual champions

VfL Wolfsburg

, however it was in a losing effort as 'Gladbach were defeated 2–1 by defender Sascha Riether's late strike.

On May 13, the Brazilian scored a thrilling late winner against Energie Cottbus, heading in a cross from winger Marko Marin in the 91st minute to give the team a 1–0 victory.

Dante scored the sole goal for 'Gladbach in a 1–1 draw with

Borussia Dortmund

on the last day of the Bundesliga season on May 23, 2009, saving the club from imminent relegation to the 2. Bundesliga.

An important fact about Dante is that he was sent off for a hard foul in Mönchengladbach's 3–0 triumph against VfL Bochum in the 2009–10 Bundesliga season opener on August 9, 2009, as Mönchengladbach drew 3–3.

On October 31, he scored his first goal of the season, heading home a corner in the 76th minute to tie the game at 2–2, and a goal from Rob Friend in the 82nd minute gave 'Gladbach a 3–2 win against Hamburger SV.

Dante headed home a free-kick from Juan Arango on April 9, 2010, to extend 'Gladbach's advantage, culminating in a 2–0 win against

Eintracht Frankfurt

that all but ensured Bundesliga survival.

The 2010–11 season was again another challenging one for 'Gladbach. Dante only played in 17 league games due to a recurring injury, and the team ended in 16th place, one place above the relegation play-offs.

Dante did, however, play the full 90 minutes in both of Borussia Mönchengladbach's play-off matches against VfL Bochum, helping the club to a 2–1 aggregate win and a place in the German top division for the 2011–12 season.

The next season was even more successful, with Dante appearing in 38 matches across all competitions, each for the full 90 minutes. He hinted about leaving the club before his contract ended in June 2014 in January 2012, telling the press that he wanted to play for a big German team, namely Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and

Bayer Leverkusen

.

A notable

fact about Dante

is that he played a key role in the club's journey to the DFB-Pokal semi-finals, when they were defeated 4–2 on penalties by Bayern Munich on March 21, 2012, with Dante and Hvard Nordtveit missing penalties to give Bayern a place in the final against champions Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern Munich

An important fact about Dante is that he decided to join Bayern Munich for the 2012–13 season on April 26, 2012, for an expected transfer price of €4.7 million.

Dante made his Bayern Munich debut in the DFL-Supercup on August 12, 2012, starting at center-back in Bayern's 2–1 victory against Borussia Dortmund.

On August 25, he made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern Munich, scoring three goals in a 3–0 win against Greuther Fürth on the opening day of the season. On November 24, 2012, he scored his first competitive goal for the squad in a 5–0 thumping of Hannover 96.

Dante had an instant impact at Bayern, gaining a spot in the starting lineup and forging defensive partnerships with Holger Badstuber, Daniel Van Buyten, and

Jérôme Boateng

.

Following Dante's strong start with Die Roten, head coach Jupp Heynckes informed the media that Dante was one of the first names on the squad sheet, and club captain Phillip Lahm agreed: "Dante is one of the finest defenders I've ever played with."

With a 1–0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on April 6, 2013, he won his first Bundesliga championship since moving to Germany, and he was spotted celebrating with the fans in the stands.

Dante surrendered a penalty for a harsh tackle in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, but escaped a red card in a thrilling 2–1 triumph for the Bavarians.

During their treble-winning season, Bayern smashed records for fewest goals surrendered and most clean sheets in a Bundesliga season with Dante in the heart of the defense.

A notable fact about Dante is that he scored an own goal in Pep Guardiola's debut Bundesliga encounter, which was against Dante's previous club Borussia Mönchengladbach, following a mix-up with goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer

. Despite this, Bayern Munich won 3–1 in the encounter.

Dante scored the first goal in Bayern's 2–0 win against Raja Casablanca in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup final on December 21, 2013.

Dante scored three goals in four games for Bayern in February 2014, including victories against Eintracht Frankfurt (5–0) and SC Freiburg (4–0), as well as a DFB-Pokal triumph over Hamburger SV (5–0). Dante's contract at Bayern was renewed until June 2017 on March 24, 2014.

Wolfsburg VfL

Dante agreed to join VfL Wolfsburg for an unknown amount on August 30, 2015. Dante hurt teammate Bas Dost in training on January 13, 2016.

Nice

On August 22, 2016, VfL Wolfsburg confirmed Dante's transfer to Ligue 1 club Nice, where he signed a three-year deal. In a 1–1 tie with Nantes on February 18, 2018, he scored his first goal for the club.

Dante international career

An important fact about Dante is that he was called up to the Brazil national team for the first time on January 21, 2013, by returning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, for a friendly against England on February 6 at Wembley Stadium. He played the first half of the game, which England won 2–1 thanks to goals from

Wayne Rooney

and

Frank Lampard

.

After coming in as a replacement for David Luiz in the 33rd minute, he scored his first international goal against Italy in the last group match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup at the stroke of half-time.

Dante was a part of Brazil's World Cup team in 2014, making his sole appearance in the semi-final as a substitute for suspended captain Thiago Silva, as the Seleço lost 7–1 to Germany. In response to the setback, he said that he had "been treated with 'less respect'."

Dante style of play

For several seasons, Dante has been a constant presence in the heart of Nice's defense. As one would expect, the 38-year-old Brazilian has been one of Les Aiglons' most significant players, especially during Nice's pre-season preparations.

A notable fact about Dante is that he has been a key part of Nice's possession-based style of play, as the center-back has played the most passes of any Nice player thus far, as well as any player in Ligue 1 since his arrival.

Furthermore, the former Bayern Munich midfielder has excellent pass accuracy in France's top flight, with him having the 28th-best pass accuracy of any player in the league despite having played the most passes.

This tactical analysis article will demonstrate how crucial the 36-year-ball-playing old's talent is to Vieira's tactics and to his team's ability to construct attacks from the back.

Nice's left-footed Brazilian plays alongside right-footed Andy Pelmard, who is 16 years his younger, in the left center-back position.

Nice's central defenders spend a lot of time on the ball and are typically forced to make a number of passes in a game, since the Aiglons are a possession-based team that concentrates on methodically setting up attacks from the back.

Dante's left-footedness is essential for the left-sided center-back in this system because it is easier for left-footed center-backs to receive the ball on the left side of defense than for right-footed center-backs, and left-footed center-backs playing on the left side of defense can also create better passing vantage points and possibly enjoy more passing lanes than a right-footed center-back in this position.

Dante's heatmap reveals that he usually plays the left center-back position. While the 38-year-old doesn't go far from his traditional left-sided center-back position, it's apparent that he covers a lot of ground in this area and isn't entirely 'stationary'.

Dante is in the left center-back position, with the right center-back on the other side of the center circle alongside him, the holding midfielder somewhat farther forward and in between them, and both full-backs spread out wide but not pushing beyond the same line as the holding midfielder.

Meanwhile, under Vieira's preferred 4-3-3 formation, Nice's center striker, two wingers, and two more advanced central midfielders form a five-man attacking line.

Dante is in control of the ball, but an opposing striker is obstructing a possible pass to the holding midfielder. This is a regular situation for Nice in the build-up, since they normally play via the holding midfielder, but when he is cut off, the center-backs are given greater responsibility for moving the ball forward.

Due to Dante's high-quality ball progressor, this isn't a huge problem, and their build-up play isn't normally hampered by the holding midfielder's tight marking, as Dante is more than capable of moving into the middle and/or attack.

While what Dante does with the ball after he has it and attempts to advance play is obviously vital to his position in the build-up for Nice, how the center-back takes possession of the ball is also important, as Dante routinely makes some creative and effective moves once he has it.

Dante often allows the ball to go over his body while receiving it, which is aided by his position as a left-footed center-back on the left side of defense.

Dante ends up orienting his body to face the left-wing as the ball goes across his body, replicating the movement one would expect him to do if he were playing a pass. The opposition begins to move over to their right-wing, or Nice's left-wing, in anticipation of this pass.

Dante, on the other hand, pulls his leg back and instead of pushing the ball forward or out to the wing, he brings the ball under control, centers it, and centers himself, resulting in him orientating himself more centrally.

With this body feint upon receiving the ball, Dante buys the center-back some more time to scan the playing surface, spot areas of weakness in the opponent's defensive shape, and then seek to exploit them via a gradual pass, in addition to slightly manipulating the opposition's shape and potentially deterring the opposition center forward from aggressively pressing him as he receives possession.

As he gets the ball, he feints while if he is going to rapidly pass control to the right center-back, and as he does so, the opposing center forward moves out towards the right center-back, and as a consequence, he does not press Dante.

As the game progresses, the Brazilian simply controls the ball and centers himself to face the entire pitch, giving him more time and space on the ball to select the best possible passing option while facing less pressure than he would have faced if he hadn't pulled off this body feint when receiving the ball.

These moves, in addition to demonstrating his composure and talent on the ball, demonstrate the center- back's intelligence and since his teammates assist him pick out better passing options during games, they are obviously a vital element of his job in the Nice build-up.

Dante ball control during match

Nice gets past having their holding midfielder marked closely during the build-up by having Dante take the ball out from the back into the next line, taking up a position beside the holding midfielder and effectively generating a 2v1 advantage against that man in the center of the pitch.

Rather than depending on passing at this early stage of the build-up, Dante brings the ball out from the back into this position, moving towards the center of the field owing to his ball-carrying skills.

The Brazilian advances into this position, which might have been held by a deeper left-sided central midfielder, and as he does so, he draws pressure from the opposing center forward who was marking the holding midfielder.

This striker pressures Dante while keeping the holding midfielder in his cover shadow, but he is unable to stop the center-back from approaching this position alongside the holding midfielder and subsequently pushing the ball upfield towards Nice's attacking line on his own.

Dante moves from his natural left-sided center-back position to a position closer to that of the holding midfielder. Dante, on the other hand, does not bring the ball out from the back himself; instead, he moves into this position off the ball and is later discovered occupying it by the holding midfielder when he is pressured.

The opposing attackers push the holding midfielder on the right side of central midfield, but they leave the left side open, and the Brazilian center-back moves into it to provide a passing option.

Dante may then play the ball up into Nice's attacking line of five after receiving the ball in space. Nice placed a player in the center forward position, both wings, and both half-spaces while forming an attacking line of five, and Dante picks out the guy in the left half-space with his pass on this occasion.

While Dante's placement, ball-playing value, and ball-carrying capacity help his side build up into the final third while circumventing the tightly labeled holding midfielder, Dante does frequently play the ball through this holding midfielder, and his ball-carrying ability helps his side build through this player by attracting pressure, thus freeing up the holding midfielder.

Dante is often seen dribbling the ball out of the back. He's being pressured fairly hard this time, and it's really early in the build-up.

Dante, on the other hand, is a player who can withstand a lot of pressure. Despite not being the fastest or most nimble player on the field, he can use his exceptional ball control, dribbling ability, power, and 188cm (6'2") tall stature to his advantage when under pressure to keep possession. As he fights off the opposition's offensive pressure, we can see all of Dante's qualities.

The centre-back returns his attention to his goal while fending off the pursuing player, who remains close to him. As Dante turns back, the opposing attacker who had been covering the holding midfielder decreases his position slightly to protect the passing route between Dante and the right center-back.

However, this frees up space for the holding midfielder, and as the game progresses, Dante disguises a ball to him.

Morgan Schneiderlin, the holding midfielder on this occasion, sends the ball back to the goalie nonetheless, but it serves as an illustration of Dante's skill as a progressive passer in this Nice squad, as well as his press resistance, both of which are clearly huge strengths for Vieira's side.

Dante's position in the build-up includes carrying the ball out of the back, but that isn't the only way he contributes to his team during this period of play; another crucial component of his game in the build-up is his long-ball playing skill.

Dante is as comfortable dribbling out of the back and moving the ball upfield as he is dropping deep and picking out passes from behind the rest of his teammates.

Dante had a total of 44 long passes in the first six matches of Ligue 1 last campaign, which was the 16th-highest sum of long passes by any Ligue 1 player at that time in the season. He also had a 50% long-ball accuracy rate.

Dante also had the eighth-highest number of passes to the final third (54) of any Ligue 1 player thus far that season, with a 74:07 percent accuracy, as well as the fourth-highest number of progressive passes (74) of any French top-flight player at the time.

When playing against a team that does not press the Nice backline aggressively from the front, Dante's long passing becomes even more important, as it allows him to have more time and space on the ball in deep playmaking positions, from which he can pick out long passes and potentially play teammates in behind the opposition's defensive line.

Dante appreciates the time and space he has on the ball at a deep position, when he can pick out a long-pass to a teammate racing in behind the opposing defensive line.

While the opposition appears to be doing a good job of covering the central areas and preventing Les Aiglons from playing through them, their backline is also sitting fairly high, leaving plenty of space in behind for Nice to potentially exploit via a long-ball, which is exactly what happens as Dante plays this ball over the top for the right-winger, who runs past the left-back to exploit this space in behind.

Additionally, Dante prefers to transfer the ball from his left center-back position to the player providing width on the right, whether it's a right-winger or an advanced right-back, depending on the scenario. This is a long-ball that you'll see the Brazilian try several times throughout a game if he's given the time and space to do so.

Dante, on the other hand, doesn't only stretch long balls out to the wide areas from his deep center position; he also plays balls over the top, into the middle of the field, for his teammates to sprint onto, all while playing against a rather high line.

Dante's flexibility in terms of how he can assist his team in the build-up is impressive. He is capable of carrying the ball upfield and creating plays from deep parts of the field. His ability to withstand pressure while yet being deadly when given time and space in deep parts of the field makes him a tough opponent for opposing defenses to cope with.

Dante under press

To begin, Dante's talent and serenity on the ball are critical for his team while building up from the back against an intense high press.

PSG

is a team that likes to push high up the field, and Nice has faced them numerous times in Ligue 1. These matches provide several instances of Dante's press retaliation.

Occasionally, three PSG players would push the 38-year-old during the build-up, shortly after a goal kick. In these instances, the center-back does not panic and does not hurry the game.

He advances the ball forward slightly, drawing the pressing PSG players closer to him and relying on his own skill to play the ball past them. As the game progresses, he succeeds in doing so, passing the ball to the right foot of the left central midfielder positioned just in front of him.

This is a nice pass since this player may either take the ball and face forward or send the ball out to the left-back, who can then carry the ball forward.

Finally, despite being pressed from the left and right by two PSG players, Dante does not panic or rush the play, instead seeming to slow it down and wait for the PSG players to get closer to him, allowing more time and space for his teammates near him who these two PSG players will now be too far away from to effectively press.

This is another illustration of Dante's self-assurance, intellect, and on-the-ball ability. He believes in his ability to make this pass to the left flank while being under pressure, and it pays off when he succeeds in doing so while passing to a teammate who has more space than him.

Dante is a key player for Nice in the build-up, with a lot of the team's build-up relying on his mobility, intelligence, and calmness on the ball.

The 38-year-old Brazilian's ball-carrying ability and deep-lying playmaking ability, as well as other mental and physical abilities, clearly play a role in Vieira's tactics on the ball.

Some quick facts about Dante:

At the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, Dante was part of the Brazilian squad for the first time in a major tournament.

In his hometown of Salvador da Bahia, he scored his first international goal on June 22, 2013 in the third group game, the 4-2 win over Italy, 13 minutes after his substitution for

David Luiz

with the opening goal to make it 1-0.

He was also used in the semifinals against Uruguay and won his first title with the national team after beating world and European champions Spain 3-0 in the final.

On May 8, 2014, the Brazilian national coach

Luiz Felipe Scolari

appointed him to the squad of the Brazilian national team for the 2014 World Cup. Dante's only appearance at the World Cup in his own country was when Brazil lost 7-1 in the semi-final to Germany on July 8, 2014, when he started for the yellow-banned team captain Thiago Silva.

Dante’s favorite team while growing up was Barcelona, “I used to like Barcelona a lot, because they played so well it was amazing to watch. And they had several Brazilian players there, like Rivaldo and Romário.”

Dante believes that the hardest player to defend against is Messi, “Undoubtedly

Lionel Messi

. He is so fast and changes direction so quickly, he is simply incredible.”

Dante’s favorite player is Neymar, “I love Neymar, he is impressive. He is technically brilliant – when he has the ball you never know what can happen. He is a really special player.”

Dante social media

Regarding

Dante social media

, it should be mentioned that he has a Twitter account (

@dante_bonfim

) with 1.7 million followers. He often posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Dante body measurements

Speaking about

Dante body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the player is 188 cm and 85 kg.

Dante net worth and salary

Dante is a player for OGC Nice and earns £27,000 per week and £1,404,000 per year.

Dante net worth

is estimated to be around £23,868,000. His current deal runs out on June 30, 2022.

 

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