Rivaldo – the Brazilian Magician

Soccer is hardly a new game – in its modern form, it has been present for decades, entertaining us and giving us reasons to cheer our favorite team on. Likewise, every few decades, a new generation of star players steps up and steals the show, breaking all previous records, in the terms of their stats and the amounts of money they get paid. Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germaine was the most expensive in the history of soccer. However, that is not an excuse to forget some of the older players, who, in their own time, moved the boundaries of soccer. One of these legends is most certainly the Brazilian legend Rivaldo.

Who is Rivaldo?

Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira is a Brazillian soccer player, who dominated the field from 1991 to 2015, with his best achievements happening between 1996 and 2002. If we think about the phrase “from rags to riches”, he is definitely one of the people we need to remember. Born in the favelas of the city of Recife in Brazil, he struggled with poverty from a young age, which left a physical mark on him: his legs became bowed, and he lost several teeth. However, he did not let this stop him from achieving his dream, and against all odds, he became one of the world’s best football players.

Professional career

His first professional engagement was with Santa Cruz in 1991. After that, he transferred to Palmeiras, but he made his breakthrough when he signed for the Spanish club Deportivo from La Coruña. There he scored 21 goals in a single season, with an average of one goal per two games, which helped Deportivo earn third place in the league. This performance of his caught Barcelona’s eye, and in 1997, he moved to Catalonia. From there onwards, he started listing achievements, crowned by the title of the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1999. His greatest success with Brazil’s national team was the 2002 World Cup, when Rivaldo, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho helped Brazil win the Cup for the fifth time.

Style of playing

When the ball was concerned, Rivaldo was nothing short of a wizard, he was an outstanding dribbler who was strong enough to fend off defense players with ease. Aside from that, he was also a prolific shooter, being able to score goals from great distances. Rivaldo was no less dangerous in close quarters; he was very fond of scoring goals with bicycle kicks, which became one of his signature moves.


Even though there are numerous players who do wonders in the field, we definitely should not forget the legends that made today’s soccer possible. Rivaldo is, undoubtedly, one of those people, as there was no match for the technique, strength, and enthusiasm that he possessed on the field. We also need to be aware of the fact it was precisely players like Rivaldo that many of today’s soccer stars looked up to when they were young.