Deco, the former Chelsea, Barcelona, and Porto playmaker, has retired from football after a career spanning 17 years.
Despite being born in Brazil, the pint-sized man moved to Portugal aged 20, and joined his first professional club, S.C.Salgueiros, in 1998. He played just 12 times, before making a move to Portuguese giants FC Porto, where he played under Jose Mourinho.
He enjoyed a quiet few years at the Dragões, before rising to fame in the 2002-03 season, where he helped his team to a UEFA Cup triumph, and the treble, as well as receiving a call-up to the national team in the same year.
The following season was one better, where Mourinho's side captured the UEFA Champions League trophy.
Deco, scoring in the 3-0 triumph over AS Monaco, collected the Man of the Match award before being named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, and UEFA Best Midfielder.
The 5ft 8 midfielder went on to join Barcelona, snubbing a move to join Mourinho at Chelsea, and went on to capture Europe's most prestigious trophy for a second time - one of the few players to do so with different clubs. He became the first - and only - player to win the UEFA Best Midfielder award with different clubs too.
Deco finally got his move to Chelsea - under the stewardship of Luiz Felipe Scolari, who had previously managed him at national level. His time at Stamford Bridge wasn't quite what he planned though, he found himself on the end of much scrutiny during his first season, and was dropped from the team as the 08/09 season concluded.
He stayed at Chelsea until 2010, where his performances improved significantly, before making a move back to Brazil, with Fluminense, on a free-transfer.
"I would have loved to continue until the end of the Brasileiro and help the team get back in the Libertadores but my body wouldn't let me."
His admission came just a day before his 36th birthday, calling time on a fabulous career where he managed over 350 club appearances and 54 goals. He also managed 75 caps for Portugal, appearing in two World Cups, and two European Championships.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.