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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 26 September 2007.2 National team caps and goals correctas of 7 February 2007.* Appearances (Goals)

Anderson Luis de Souza, OIH (born August 27, 1977 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil) is a professional Portuguese Brazilian footballer widely known as Deco . He plays internationally for Portugal and for FC Barcelona at club level.

Despite good showings in training, Benfica decided to loan the player to the Portuguese Liga de Honra side FC Alverca where he played for a season. Deco performed well and was close to renewing his contract with Benfica and joining the main squad. However, the Lisbon club and the player's representative did not reach an agreement, as the then manager Graeme Souness did not believe that he would develop into a player worth keeping. Subsequently Deco was traded to Oporto side S.C. Salgueiros in the 1998-99 season, playing 12 games and scoring two goals. His performances caught the eye of FC Porto's staff, and during the winter transfer window, he was sold to Porto.

On June 17, 2004, Deco told a Portuguese radio station that he would almost certainly join English side Chelsea (then coached by Mourinho) following Euro 2004. He said that a transfer deal between Porto and Chelsea had been all but finalized, and that the only remaining steps were passing a physical examination and signing a formal contract with Chelsea.

However, on June 26, 2004 he told the Portuguese sports daily O Jogo that he would rather move to Barcelona rather than following Mourinho, his former coach, to Chelsea. While Bayern Munich gave up on Deco after the Chelsea deal seemed to have been concluded, it was still uncertain whether the German side would make a new bid. The best offer at that time was a €21m bid from Barça, but this figure was still €4m short of the request by Porto's board. Portuguese newspapers then reported that Barça would try to offer Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma as part of the exchange in order to ease the deal.

In Barcelona some suggested Deco would be completely eclipsed by Brazilian star Ronaldinho (a duo that according to Luiz Felipe Scolari "can make rain fall"). Indeed, many Barcelona fans met the transfer with raised eyebrows, as Deco was considered an attacking midfielder - a department which was already well covered. Instead, Frank Rijkaard used him in a pure central midfield position, where his tactical knowledge, defensive abilities and enormous work rate surprised many. In December 2004, he came second in France Football's Ballon D'Or 2004 award, losing to Andriy Shevchenko and beating team mate Ronaldinho by six votes.Deco in 2005

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he also scored the first goal in Portugal's second group match against Iran. During the first knockout stage of the competition Deco received two yellow cards in the game against the Netherlands, one for a really rash tackle on Johnny Heitinga. That put him out of the quarter finals against England.

When Deco started his European career in 1997 his first wife Cila, who he had met three years earlier, moved to Portugal with him. Deco and Cila have two sons, João Henrique and Pedro Gabriel, who now live in Brazil with their mother.


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