Remember Rivaldo? That lanky brazilian midfielder with bowed legs? He played for handful of teams, Barcelona included, and was pretty good.
You know, like World Cup Champion good. This is him scoring against England in the Quarterfinals:
Yep, that’s him diving against Turkey in the Semifinals.
Yep, that’s him kissing the trophy along with Ronaldo (he’s the one with the non-ridiculous hair cut):
Can you guess how old he was when he pressed his lips against that eleven pound, eighteen carat gold trophy? If you said thirty, congratulations: he was thirty years old. Not bad for our fast and furious times. After that tournament, he moved from Barcelona –the team, one could argue, where he shone the most– to Southern Europe.
First Italy, then Greece. Last I heard of him, he had left Athens to play somewhere beyond the Black Sea. A quaint conclusion to an otherwise remarkable career, I thought.
Mogi Mirim Esporte Club is a modest club. Its nick name is “the Big Toad”. The big toads play in red or white, and are currently in the mid-table marshes of the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie C –the Brazilian third division. The stadium they call home, and where almost twenty thousand people can cheer on their amphibian heroes, was named after Pope John Paul II. However, when the new management took over in 2008, among other things, it decided to change the name to Estadio Romildo Gomes Ferreira. Among the merits of Mr. Gomes Ferreira, the most notable one is being the chairman’s father. Yep, Mogi Mirim’s chairman is Rivaldo.
Rivaldo invested in the team, and made headlines this week by playing an official league game in the same lineup with his eighteen year old son, Rivaldinho. He even received a pass from his youngling and missed his shot by just a few inches.
Rivaldo, it turns out, did not stop playing after leaving Uzbekistan. He returned to his home country, played thirty games for Sao Paulo. Then, twenty one games for an Angolan club. Then, seven games for Sao Caetano. And then, he signed himself as a player for the fifteenth team in his career. He’ll be 43 years old this coming April.