Country: Portugal (Brazilian born)
Club: Porto, Barcelona
History: Deco arrived at Portugal in 1997 at the age of 19 from Brazilian club Corinthians to play for Lisbon side SL Benfica, along with fellow Brazilian player Caju. Despite good showings in training, Benfica decided to loan the player to the Portuguese Liga de Honra side Alverca where he played for a season. Deco performed well and was close to renewing his contract with Benfica and join the main squad. However, the Lisbon club and the player’s representant did not reach an agreement as manager Graeme Souness did not think that he would develop into a player worth keeping. Subsequently Deco was traded to Porto side Salgueiros in the 98-99 season, playing 12 games and scoring two goals by December. His performances caught the eye of FC Porto’s staff, and during the winter transfer window he was sold to Porto, where he played six more games that season.
"Deco doesn’t talk a lot but when he does everybody listens" – Lionel Messi on Deco.
"World class" – José Mourinho on Deco.