Football supporters the world over delight in debating the same
question: who is the world's greatest player. For many fans Vitor
Borba Ferreira, otherwise known as Rivaldo, is the only player
who merits this title.
medals are a deciding factor, there are numerous players with
better claims to the title.
But in terms
of pure footballing genius - the ability to astound opponents
and specatators with moments of spontaneous breathtaking skill,
to score and create wondrous goals from virtually anywhere on
the pitch - then Rivaldo is the only candidate.
in the face of adversity to the equation and the man who followed
such greats as Pele and Zico into Brazil's hallowed number 10
jersey becomes hard to overlook.
before him, Rivaldo found in football a game he loved and a hope
for salvation. Born into stark poverty, the hardship of his childhood
almost ruined Rivaldo's dream.
As a child
he lost teeth decayed by malnutrition, and his poor diet left
him dangerously thin, bow-legged and muscularly underdeveloped
for his height.
he maintained the determination to succeed as a major footballer,
despite the doubts of coaches at his first club Paulista who feared
that he would be too frail to withstand the rigours of the professional
Rivaldo's father Romildo was killed in a road accident in 1989.
always encouraged his son to pursue his footballing dream and
his death was a massive personal blow to Rivaldo at the time that
his career was just beginning. Nevertheless he overcame both personal
loss and his doubters to blossom very rapidly into one of the
world's most exciting footballing talents.
the complete package, and in the eyes of many, the world's best.