A wizard in the midfield, the Brazil, Barcelona and Milan legend retires with a laundry list of accomplishments that would make all but a select group of footballers blush. Consider his achievements:
– 2002 World Cup winner
– Eight World Cup goals
– UEFA Champions League win with Milan
– 1999 FIFA World Player of the Year
– 1999 Ballon d’Or
– UEFA Super Cup winners with Milan and Barcelona
– Copa America and Confederations Cup winner
– League titles in La Liga, Greece, Brazil
– Cup titles in La Liga, Serie A, Greece
– Thirty-four international goals in 74 caps
– 380 goals in 813 club appearances
After playing a handful of matches alongside his son Rivaldinho for Mogi Mirim this season in Brazil’s Série C — they were in Serie A as a 20-year-old in 1992 — he’s decided to step away.
“With tears in my eyes today I would like to thank God, my family and all the support, the affection that I received during those 24 years as a player,” he said in a statement on social networking site Instagram.
“I have to thank the lovely career I have built over these years. There were many obstacles, challenges, waivers, longings, disappointments, but there were much greater joys, achievements, growth, change.”
His rags-to-riches story has been an inspiration to many, escaping a malnourished childhood to achieve, well, all listed above.
He’s also part of one of the best commercials of all-time:
League leaders Chelsea weren’t in action on Saturday, but things couldn’t have possibly gone any better for the Blues.
With Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United all dropping points in their respective matches, Antonio Conte‘s men have the opportunity to widen the gap atop the Premier League on Sunday as Chelsea faces Hull City.
The Citizens will surely feel disappointed in referee Andre Mariner’s lack of a penalty decision, and more so both sides are feeling the affects after finishing level at the Etihad Stadium. Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris had a rough go of it early in the second stanza after two goals to Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne just four minutes apart. Luckily for the visitors, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son each netted for Tottenham to give Mauricio Pochettino‘s side a share of the points.
It was bound to end some time but Liverpool certainly wasn’t expecting a fight from the Swans on Saturday. Unfortunately for them, that’s exactly what they got. And more. Swansea picked up its first ever top-flight win at Anfield, and the victory couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Fernando Llorente netted twice for the visitors, while Gylfi Sigurdsson played hero on the day for the Swans. The loss for the Reds snapped a 25-match unbeaten streak at home, while also opening the door for Chelsea to extend its lead at the top of the PL.
Wayne Rooney was the star of the show, but the veteran attacker’s moment of achievement was overshadowed by his side’s failure to pick up three points. Rooney’s 250th goal was surely the day’s biggest talking point, but Juan Mata‘s earlier own goal ensured United that a draw was their fate on the day. The Red Devils currently sit 11 points out of the top spot in the PL, while the draw keeps Stoke in ninth.
The Toffees have found new life a recent string of victories but it’s Palace that has become the bigger story on Saturday after falling into the depths of the relegation zone. Seamus Coleman sealed the victory for Everton after Tom Davies picked out the veteran Toffee for the match’s lone finish. Outside of Crystal Palace’s FA Cup victory over Bolton, the Eagles have lost eight consecutive PL fixtures, prompting the team’s fall into 18th place.
Goals from Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt kept the Baggies on the top half of the table as Sunderland continues its relegation woes. The Black Cats now sit three points buried at the bottom of the PL following Saturday’s defeat.
The Hammers moved into the top half of the PL courtesy of goals from Andy Carroll and Jonathan Calleri, while the Boro couldn’t keep up with Slaven Bilic‘s surging side. West Ham has now moved up to 10th place after winning five of its last seven league matches. Christian Stuani managed Middlesbrough’s lone tally on the day, however, the club now sits just four points above the bottom three.
Four straight draws between the two sides have left very little between the mid table clubs but Saturday’s encounter surely had its share of entertaining moments. The Hornets led twice on the day with goals from Christian Kabasele and Troy Deeney, however, Bournemouth managed to fight back on both occasions to record the draw. The Cherries currently have a two-point advantage over Watford in the table, with the two clubs sitting 11th and 14th, respectively.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola was furious, and went off on the fourth official. Walker, it seems, knows he was guilty.
“I wasn’t going to get him otherwise,” Walker said. “You just have to try to put him off as much as possible.”
Then there’s Pep, who tried to avoid speaking about the penalty.
“We made an outstanding performance. It’s a pity what happened. … We’re upset, sad at what happened, but I am so, so proud of what we did.”
Later he was told that Walker admitting to pushing Sterling, and said with a smirk, “In this country you appreciate honesty. Thank you to Walker for being honest.”
Finally, Pochettino seems to think there wasn’t a problem at all, except when City was allowed to score when Hugo Lloris headed a ball off Leroy Sane’s hand before Sane scored.
“The first goal we conceded was handball. We can’t start to see every single detail, in England it’s different. It wasn’t a penalty. From my side, there’s no complaint about from me about the referee.”