Name: Anderson Luis de Souza, Deco
Place of birth: Sao Bernardo (Brasil)
Anderson Luis de Souza, known in the world of football as 'Deco', began his professional career in Brazil with Nacional Sao Paulo (1995-96 and 1996-97). He spent a brief time with Corinthians (1997) before making the leap to European football.
He signed for Benfica for the 1997-98 season but was sent to their reserve team, Alverca, in the second division. He had a good first season and came to the attention of Porto. He spent the 1998-99 season playing for another small club, SC Salgueiros but then moved definitively to Porto on the recommendation of coach Fernando Castro. He had five successful seasons with Porto from 1999 to 2004.
He attracted the attention of some of Europe's biggest clubs and with José Mourinho at the helm won a Champions League medal in May 2004. In addition he was chosen as best player in the final against Monaco. He arrived in the summer of 2004 and made his debut for FC Barcelona in the first game of the 2004-05 season, away to Ràcing Santander on August 29. Soon won the fans over with his skilful and intelligent football. Rijkaard early on made him one of the pillars of the new Barca he was building and he figured in 35 of the league winning season's 38 games, contributing goals, determination and a winning mentality.
He took Portuguese nationality and made his international debut with his adopted country on 29th March 2003, curiously enough against his country of birth, Brazil. He scored the only goal of the match and gave Portugal their first win over Brazil for 37 years. In the summer of 2004, he took part in the European Championship with Portugal, losing in the final to Greece (1-0).
In the 2005-06 season, Deco was one of the stars of the double winning squad. The Portuguese midfielder played 29 league games and 11 in the Champions League, scoring 5 goals.
Deco is a versatile midfielder who gives his teams a variety of tactical options. He possesses good individual skills and is an excellent passer of the ball. He excels in creative duties and can play behind the striker or on the right or in the centre of midfield.
In addition to his skills as a playmaker, he is a tireless destroyer of the opposition's attacking moves. As such he combines perfectly with teammates who have a holding role in midfield.
Deco loves to run at opposing defenders and constantly looks for opportunities to shoot. He is an expert at free kicks near the box.
2006-07 Spanish Supercup
2005-06 Champions League
2005-06 Spanish Supercup
2003-04 Champions League
2002-03 UEFA Cup
2002-03 Portuguese Cup
2002-03 Portuguese Supercup
1999-00 Portuguese Cup
1998-99 Portuguese Supercup
Portugal National Team
2004 European runner-up
2003-04 Silver Ball