For many football fans it only seems like yesterday that he was starring in Jose Mourinho’s Porto side en-route to an unlikely UEFA Championns League success, but Brazil-born maestro Deco on Saturday celebrates his 39th birthday.
Far from being as athletic and powerful as many of his teammates, Deco possessed wonderous ability with his favoured right-foot—his low centre of gravity helping him glide between defenders with astonishing ease.
Having won the UEFA Cup a year earlier, Deco’s finest hour came in the final of the 2003-04 Champions League when he put in a Man of the Match display in victory over Monaco, scoring his side’s second of the night. A super year was then capped with an outing in the final of the 2004 European Championship with his adopted nation Portugal.
Success followed with Barcelona, where he repeated his Europe-conquering antics in 2006, before a move to Chelsea also brought a Premier League title.
Deco rounded off his career in style with two Brasileirao titles in the colours of Fluminense alongside midfield partner-in-crime Dario Conca.
1973: Dietmar Hamann, former Germany, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder (43)
1976: Carlos Moya, ex-French Open champion and former world number one in 1999 (40)
1976: Mark Webber, former Red Bull F1 driver, currently driving in the FIA World Endurance Championship (40)
Know more about Sport360 Application