At the age of 35 year, and having suffered from several injuries at Fluminense (BR), Deco decided to end his extraordinary career this Monday.
Few can argue that Deco is one of a kind. Not many players can boast the same amount of trophies as he has. In his career he amassed two Champions Leagues, one Premier League, two La Ligas, two Brazilian Championships and one Europa League title.
He started his career in his native country, Brazil, but at 20-years-old he moved to Portugal to play for Benfica. After a rough start, Deco moved to FC Porto where he shined under José Mourinho, and was one of Porto's best players during their run to Champions League glory. It was not long before Europe's big guns came calling for him, and in 2004 he moved to Barcelona.
Playing alongside legends, Deco displayed all his potential. He was the whole package. Intelligent, superb passing and great vision of the game, in Spain, Deco's skill was on show for the world.
Although he is Brazilian, he decided to play for Portugal and was a key-player in the national team, managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari. Their friendship still lasts today, and was one of the reasons why Deco decided to move to Chelsea in 2008.
After two years in London, Deco decided to go back to his homeland.
The creative midfielder scored more than 90 goals in his career, and played more than 500 matches. No surprise that he was named UEFA's Best Player in 2003-2004 and was considered the second best player in Europe in 2004.
There is no doubt whatsoever that football will miss one of its legends. Seldom have I seen a midfielder that can play with the same ability as Deco. He is unique, and was considered one of the best playmakers in the world at the height of his powers.
Perhaps most important to flag, is Deco's behaviour off the field. He takes care of an institute that help less fortunate children in Brazil and is considered a shining example among his colleagues.
He may have called time on his career, but his legacy will remain.
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