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Forgotten football stars: Lucio

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Did you know that Lucio, the Brazilian defender who won the 2002 FIFA World Cup with the Selecao is still playing football professionally, at the age of 41?

Lucio is a long forgotten football player now, but surprisingly he is playing professionally, representing Brasiliense in Serie D – the fourth tier of Bralizian football.

The 41-year old defender left Europe in December 2012 after terminating his contract with Juventus due to lack of playing time. His move to Turin earlier in 2012, turned out a bad choice for the Brazilian, as he only played four games for the Old Lady.

It wasn’t going to be that bad, hadn’t he represented Inter during the past three years – where he almost reached a status of a legend, helping the Nerazzurri win the Treble in 2010.

Lucio started his career at Internacional in 1998 and moved to Europe two years later, signing for Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. He was part of Leverkusen’s team that reached the Champions League Final in 2002, alongside Ze Roberto and Michael Ballack.

Both Ze Roberto and Ballack switched Leverkusen for Munich during the summer of 2002, while Lucio joined them two years later. At Bayern, the defender spent five seasons and won three domestic doubles, lifting the Bundesliga and the German Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

In 2009 Lucio moved to Milano signing a three-year contract with the Serie A champions, Inter. The defender showed excellent performances for the Nerazzurri, quickly establishing himself as a fan favorite at the Guiseppe Meazza stadium. However, Lucio disappointed his supporters in July 2012, when he signed for Inter’s bitter rivals, Juventus FC.

The Brazilian left Juventus a few months after joining the club and returned to his homeland, signing for Sao Paulo on a free transfer. In 2015 he moved to India and finished as runners-up in the Super League with his new club – FC Goa.

His second season at the club was completely opposite, as he made only five appearances, while Goa finished at the bottom of the Super League table. In 2018 Lucio returned to Brazil again and now he represents Brasiliense in fourth tier of Brazilian football.

At an international level, the defender made his debut for the Brazil National Team in 2000 and went on to make 105 appearances for the Selecao. He won the FIFA World Cup in 2002, as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2005 and 2009 – where he won the Fair Play award.

Is Lucio one of the best ever defenders in Brazilian football? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.