Player Profile: Luisao PDF Print E-mail

LuisaoFull name: Anderson Luis da Silva

Position: Defender

Date of Birth: 13 February 1981

Birthplace: Amparo, Brazil

Standing 1.93 metres tall Luisao is practically unbeatable in the air. With fine positional sense and excellent timing in the tackle he is also no mug on the ground.

Add to these qualities a happy knack of popping up with vital goals and it's hardly suprising that the Benfica centre-back has pushed his way into the Brazilian national team as well as setting clubs all across Europe buzzing as they try to land his signature.

It was with Cruzeiro that the beanpole defender honed his talents in the art of defence and got his first taste of silverware. Although the player only featured in three games in his debut season, the club managed to win the Brazilian Cup.

The trophies kept coming in the following three seasons and it was only a matter of time before someone from the other side of the pond took notice. That is exactly what happened in August of 2003.

Benfica were in search of a defender with the transfer window closing, and when Luisao’s name popped up the club watched a series of tapes of the player’s performances and signed him straight away. The defender’s arrival took the press by storm, as well as the then coach, Jose Antonio Camacho, who quipped: “I asked the club for a central defender and I get a basketball player.”

Championship triumph

His first season did not go to plan as Luisao took time to settle and managed to force his way into the line-up just 15 times, scoring three goals. The following season would be very different as Luisao helped Benfica win their first Portuguese Championship in 11 years. Luisao contributed with 29 appearances and 2 goals, including the crucial winner in what was effectively the championship decider against Sporting at the Estadio da Luz.

The following year Benfica lost the title to FC Porto but the historical club enjoyed its best year in Europe for years, reaching the last eight of the Champions League, knocking out Manchester United and Liverpool along the way. Luisao played a starring role, scoring the winning goal in the first leg versus Liverpool.

Despite making only 17 appearances in an injury-hit 2006/07 season, Juventus, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Chelsea were all rumoured to be preparing a bid for the defender’s services.

International Career

Despite not being the squad’s first choice central defender, the player has donned the Brazil national shirt 29 times, scoring twice, winning the Copa America in 2004, and the Confederations Cup in 2005.

by Marco Pereira (04/06/2007)

CA Juventus181

* League appearances only

** Up to 31 March 2009

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