Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira, called Rivaldo, is a Brazilian football player who plays as an attacking midfielder or forward. Between 1995-2002 Rivaldo was among the best and most prolific midfielders in the world. He was also a member of the Brazilian national team that won the 2002 World Cup.
His sporting achievements were reflected in the choice of European Footballer of the Year and World Footballer of the Year in 1999.
Rivaldo was born on the 19th of April 1972 in Paulista, Brazil. He grew up in great poverty and his malnutrition had an impact on his physical appearance, including being bowlegged and the loss of some teeth.
A successful career as a professional athlete appeared unlikely at first, but he could not be dissuaded from his way and began his professional career at 19 in his hometown Paulista.
During his career Rivaldo has played at Paulistano Pernambuco (1990-1992), Santa Cruz FC (1/1992-1/1993), Mogi-Mirim (1/1993-1993), Corinthians (1993-1994) Palmeiras Sao Paulo (1994-1996) Deportivo La Coruña (1996-1997), FC Barcelona (1997-2002), AC Milan (2002-November 2003), and Cruzeiro (January-February 2004).
In 2004/05, he played at the Greek football club Olympiacos Piraeus. On the 12th of May 2007 Rivaldo broke his contract with Piraeus with immediate effect because they had offered him a new contract with drastic pay cuts.
In May 2007, Rivaldo joined AEK Athens and in August 2008, he moved to Bunjodkor Tashkent.
In January 2011, Rivaldo joined the Brazilian second division club Mogi Mirim EC, and became the president of the association. From there he was sold to Sao Paulo in the same month with a contract until the end of the year.
After his contract had expired at Mogi Mirim EC in January 2012, Rivaldo negotiated with the Angolan club FC Kabuscorp do Palanca. After the sports medical examination on the 13th of January 2012 Rivaldo signed a one-year contract with the club Girabola-Kabuscorp.
In the 2012 season he was third best scorer and was voted the best foreign player with eleven goals in 21 league games.
Rivaldo announced in early November 2012 not to renew his contract with Kabuscorp. However, he tried to become a permanent resident of Angola to continue to support his social projects for children.
In January 2013, the Brazilian second division side, AD São Caetano announced that he was signing Rivaldo for the 2013 season until the end of December 2013.
In 1993, he played his first match for the Selecao. He scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Mexico.
For the 1994 World Cup in the United States, he was not selected but then went to the Olympics two years later in the United States.
He won the bronze medal with the team. Rivaldo was made the scapegoat for the semi-final defeat to Nigeria, was removed from the national team by coach Mario Zagallo.
However, Rivaldo returned to the national team just a year later and won the 1997 Confederations Cup. He also took part at the World Cup 1998 in France. There, he scored three goals, including two goals in the quarter-final against Denmark.
At the Copa America 1999 Rivaldo was one of the top performers. Although he played in midfield, with five goals, he was selected top scorer of the tournament and the Most Valuable Player.
Brazil won the tournament.
The 2002 World Cup was the highlight of his career.
Brazil won every game and won their fifth World Cup title. Rivaldo was one of the best players of the tournament.
In the first game against Turkey, Rivaldo however he was heavily fined for bad conduct when he faked a spectacular head injury, which provoked a sending off of his Turkish opponent Hakan Ünsal.
All four were elected to the tournament All-Star team of the World Cup. Rivaldo scored five times and prepared both goals in the final against Germany.