Julian Alvarez’s chance. 4 players who took the Champions League, World Cup and Copa Libertadores


A year and a half ago, Manchester City won the competition against Shakhtar and signed the talented River Plate striker Julián Alvarez. The English club paid a little more than 21 million euros for the graduate of the “millionaires”, and many in Foggy Albion considered this personnel move by the leadership of the “citizens” to be a regular job for the future – they say, they signed another prospectus that has prospects to become successful in Europe. However, how many of these were there before Alvarez? And how many really managed to declare themselves at the top of their voices?

Immediately after the official announcement of the transfer, Julian Alvarez returned to River Plate on a leaseback basis to play in his native team until the summer, and only then move to Foggy Albion.

Predictably, Alvarez did not immediately become a key striker for Manchester City, but the Argentine gets a stable playing practice, often coming on as a substitute and sometimes being announced in the first team of the “citizens”. Josep Guardiola, a 23-year-old Argentine, is also involved in the Champions League matches, where City made it to the final, and Alvarez scored 3 goals in 10 meetings (4 in the starting lineup).

On June 10, Alvarez will get a chance to do what his star compatriots Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona have not been able to do before – to become the owner of three top football trophies, which in club football of the UEFA zone is the Champions League, the CONMEBOL zone is the Copa Libertadores, and at the level of the national teams speech definitely worth the news about the World Cup.

Back in 2018, young Alvarez won the Copa Libertadores with River Plate, in 2022 Julián became world champion with Argentina at the tournament in Qatar, and now with Manchester City he will try to do his best to join chosen cohort.

By the way, at the moment in the history of football there are only four footballers whose careers include victories in the Champions League, Copa Libertadores and the World Cup …

Roque Junior

Champions League victory: 2003, Milan

Victory in KL: 1999, Palmeiras

World Cup victory: 2002, Brazil

Roque Junior began playing football in the little-known Brazilian teams Santarritense and Sao Jose. At the beginning of 1995, the central defender ended up in Palmeiras, where only a few years later he got a real chance to make himself known in the first team. His Roque Junior was provided by the eminent Luis Felipe Scolari, whom the defender may well consider his second father.

In the summer of 1999, Roque Junior won his first top trophy in his career. They became the Copa Libertadores, and in the final, Palmeiras had a hard time. At first, the Brazilians lost on the road to the Colombian Deportivo from Cali (0:1), but in the second leg they took revenge (2:1), which is why it was necessary to find out the strongest in the penalty shootout. There, Palmeiras turned out to be more successful and more accurate than their opponent (4:3), and Roque Junior became the author of one of the goals scored.

In the summer of 2000, Roque Junior moved to Milan for 8.5 million euros, where he played 75 matches in three years. In 2003, the Rossoneri reached the final of the Champions League, where they beat their compatriots from Juventus, and again in a penalty shootout. It is true that this time Roque Junior, who appeared on the field as a substitute in the 66th minute instead of Alessandro Costacurta, did not have to hit the 11-meter kick – the decisive blow from the “point” in that series was performed by Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko (3:2).

A year before the triumph in the Champions League, Roque Junior was lucky as part of the Brazilian national team to win the 2002 World Cup, which took place on the fields of Japan and South Korea. At that World Cup, the center back played 6 matches as part of the Selesao, including playing all 90 minutes in the final battle with Germany (2: 0).

Since the summer of 2002, Roque Junior, due to an injury, gradually began to lose his position in Milan. Already in 2003, the Rossoneri loaned the Brazilian for six months, first to Leeds and then to Siena. In 2004, Roque Junior went on a free transfer to Bayer Leverkusen, where he also did not show the level of football that was expected of him. Then in the career of the Brazilian there were Duisburg, Er Rayyan, Palmeiras, and Roque Junior completed his performances in 2010 in the ranks of the Brazilian Ituano.

After the end of his playing career, Roque Junior tried to work as a coach. In particular, he tried his hand at the Brazilian club November XV from Piracicaba, and from 2016 to 2018 he worked as a coach with the youth of Lazio. Roque Junior left the Roman club for the position of sports director of Ferroviaria, where he managed to spend only a year and a half. Since December 2019, Roque Junior has not had a permanent job in professional football.


Champions League victory: 2003 and 2007 Milan

Victory in KL: 1997, Cruzeiro

World Cup victory: 2002, Brazil

Dida began his professional career as a football player in Vitoria from Salvador, but became recognizable in Brazil thanks to the transfer to Cruzeiro that followed in 1994. It was with the Foxes that Dida won the Copa Libertadores in 1997, when the Brazilians were stronger than the Peruvian Sporting Cristal (0:0, 1:0) in the sum of two matches. The future long-term goalkeeper of the Brazilian national team, who made his debut for the Selesao in 1995, then played both matches and his merit in winning the title was enormous.

What is true, Dida’s parting with Cruzeiro turned out, to put it mildly, ugly. The goalkeeper sued his club, hoping to get his contract terminated and an immediate transfer to AC Milan, but the process dragged on for five months. For this period, FIFA allowed Dida to continue training in the Swiss Lugano on a conditional loan, for which the Brazilian never played a single official match. In the summer of 1999, Milan and Cruzeiro finally agreed on the transfer of Dida, and he became a full-fledged Rossoneri player.

In Milan, Dida did not manage to become the key goalkeeper of the first team at all immediately, but since the 2002/03 season, he actually did not give his competitors any chance. In 2003 and 2007, Milan won the Champions League twice with Dida in goal, first defeating Juventus on penalties and then beating Liverpool in regular time (2:1). In addition, in 2004, Dida with the Rossoneri also became the champion of Italy.

Dida, like Roque Junior, won the World Championship in 2002. What is true, unlike his partner in the club team, the goalkeeper has not played a single match for the national team in Japan and South Korea. All 7 fights at the 2002 World Cup in the ranks of the Selesao were held by the then representative of Palmeiras Marcos, and Dida, who did not yet have a stable playing practice in Milan and went to the World Cup in the status of a Corinthians player (where he spent a season – 2001/02 on loan), like Rogerio Ceni from Sao Paulo, he sat behind his partner, although he received the gold medal of the champion.

In 2010, Dida’s contract with Milan expired, and he left the Italian team, de facto ending his career. But two years later, the veteran returned to the field to play at home for Portuguesa Desportos, Gremio and Internacional. At the beginning of 2016, Dida finally announced that he was hanging gloves on a nail.

After retiring from professional football, Dida began his coaching career. He was an assistant coach in the Chinese “Shenzhen”, the Egyptian “Pyramidze”, and in 2019 he returned to Milan. In the camp of the Rossoneri, Dida first worked as a goalkeeping coach in the U-17 team, and after that he joined the headquarters of Stefano Pioli in the first team, from where he left last summer. Now 49-year-old Dida has no job in football.


Champions League victory: 2007, Milan

Victory in KL: 1992 and 1993, Sao Paulo

World Cup victory: 1994 and 2002, Brazil

Cafu, who played as a right-back, is a living legend in Brazilian football. It is he who is the leader of the Selesao in terms of the number of fights held for the team – 142.

The São Paulo graduate has had a great career at the club level. With his native team, he won the Copa Libertadores twice – in 1992, when the Tricolors defeated the Newells Old Boys in the final, and Cafu scored one of the goals in the post-match penalty shootout, and also in 1993, when the San Paulo defeated the Chilean club Universidad Católica.

Career in Europe from the first attempt at Cafu did not work out. At the beginning of 1995, he moved to the Spanish Zaragoza for 1.5 million euros, with which he managed to win the Cup Winners’ Cup, but after six months he returned back to Brazil, where he played for Juventude and Palmeiras. In the summer of 1997, Cafu moved to Europe for the second time, becoming a Roma player. For the Romans, the Brazilian played six seasons, including becoming the champion of Italy at the end of the 2000/01 season. And in the summer of 2003, Milan, who barely won the Champions League, signed Cafu as a free agent. And with the Rossoneri, the right-back not only won Serie A again (in the 2003/04 season), but also in 2007, as mentioned above, defeated Liverpool in the final, becoming the Champions League triumph, although in that match Cafu was on the bench for the full 90 minutes, with Massimo Oddo acting in his position.

As for the international career, here Cafu, in addition to the record number of matches for the Brazilian national team, won the world championships twice with the Selesao. The triumphs of the Brazilians took place in 1994 in the United States, and in 2002, which has already been repeatedly mentioned above, in Japan and South Korea.

Kafu completed his football career in 2008, after which he often takes part in various representative events, but he obviously has no desire to go to work as a coach at his almost 53 years old.


Champions League victory: 2006, Barcelona

Victory in KL: 2013, Atlético Mineiro

World Cup victory: 2002, Brazil

The sequence of victories in various tournaments of Ronaldinho differs from the path of his ex-colleagues in the Brazilian national team, which we talked about above. Ronaldinho won his first high-profile title in his career in 2002, when he became the world champion with the national team at a tournament in Japan and South Korea. At that World Cup, Ronnie played 5 matches, in which he scored 2 goals scored, and was already listed as a Paris Saint-Germain player, to which he moved from his native Gremio for 5 million euros back in 2001, when he was 21 years old.

In 2003, Barcelona agreed to pay 32 million euros for Ronaldinho, with which the Brazilian won the Champions League in 2006. In that tournament, Ronaldinho scored 7 goals, becoming the second scorer after Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, who managed to score 9 goals against opponents. And it was Ronnie who was named the best player of the season in the 2005/06 Champions League victory for Barca.

In 2008, Ronaldinho moved to Italy, becoming a Milan player, and with the Rossoneri three years later he became a Serie A triumph, although even during that championship (in January) he returned back to Brazil – to Flamengo. And it was after returning to his homeland that Ronaldinho won the Libertadores Cup. This happened already in 2013, when Ronnie played for Atlético Mineiro, and the “petushki” in the final beat the Paraguayan Olimpia (0:2, 2:0, 4:3 on penalties) not without problems.

Ronaldinho de facto completed his football career in the fall of 2015, after leaving Fluminense. At that time, the outstanding football player was 35 years old. Since then, Ronaldinho has repeatedly catered to various scandals, and even ended up in prison, and now Ronnie will obviously try to do everything to help his son, 17-year-old Joao Mendes, who signed a professional contract with Barcelona in February, achieve success in football. .

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2023-05-25 12:42:00

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