Deco Announces Retirement
By Juan Arango
One of the most dynamic midfielders of the past decade announced his retirement from football a day before his 36th birthday. Anderson Luis de Souza, better known as Deco, decided to hang it up after a tumultuous 2013 that saw him suffer through injuries and also endure a failed drug test that has him out of action than on the pitch the past couple of seasons.
Deco attributed his retirement to the injuries that he's endured and limited his playing time with the Laranjeiras side ever since his arrival from Europe three years ago. His physical form was not the only thing that was on his docket this past season, he was also suspended for failing a drug test earlier this year. The former Portuguese international was accused of doping after he turned up positive for a diuretic, Furosemide. Deco awaited a decision on his case as prosecutors appealed the previous decision by the Rio sports tribunal and if they were to succeed in overturning this decision his suspension could be up to two years.
On Monday he released the following statement:
"It's with a great deal of sadness that I announce the end of my career as an athlete. The final minutes that I played on Wednesday with Fluminense were the final minutes of my 17-year career. on the football pitch. I would have liked to until the end of the season and helped put Fluminense back in Copa Libertadores. But I am not able to do that.
I would like to thank Fluminense, Celso Barros and everyone that I have worked with during these past three years and gave me the opportunity to play in Brazilian football. In addition to that, I was also able to help with two Brazilian league titles and a Carioca state championship. I was very happy during my time with this club. I would have liked to have helped Fluminense out more, but my body didn't allow it. I want to make it clear that I dedicated and made an effort to continue until the end of the season. Physically I could play, but my muscles couldn't take it anymore.
Thank you all for the confidence and all the affection".
Deco began his career with Corinthians and years and was then sold to Portuguese side Benfica where he was immediately loand out to Alverca and then Salgueiros where he started to shine and capture the attention of many, including Porto, who later on signed him and his career would begin to take off at that point.
O Magico (The Magician) began to impress for both club and (adopted) country as he became a vital part of the Brazilian national team during the early part of the 2000's. After winning the UEFA Champions league under the tutelage of José Mourinho, Deco was one of the most dynamic creative midfielders in the game and would have the chance to share the stage with the best player in the world when he moved to Barcelona in the summer of 2004.
He and Ronaldinho were one of the most exciting midfields in world football. Both Brazilians dazzled and immediately made Barcelona a club that was once again a contender at the international level. Upon his arrival, Deco helped end a six-year trophyless drought for the Culés and the club would also win their second Champions League.
After a tempetuous end to the Frank Rijkaard era, Deco moved to Chelsea and was able to win a league title as well as an FA Cup and a Community Shield.
On August 7, 2010 Deco announced his move to Fluminense and thus his return to his native Brazil. There he was part of a side that won two Brasileirão titles as well as a Taça Guanabara and a Rio state crown. Although he was there on paper, his performances were limited due to recurring muscle injuries that eventually became one of the main reasons for his evetual retirement.
Eight league titles
FC Porto 1998-99, 2002-03, 2003-04
FC Barcelona 2004-05, 2005-06
Fluminense 2010, 2012
Two Champions Leagues
FC Porto 2003-04
FC Barcelona 2005-06
3 Taça de Portugal- 1998-99, 2002-03, 2003-04
3 Portuguese Supercups 1999, 2001, 2003
2 FA Cups 2009, 2010
Taça Guanabara 2012
1 Community Shield
2 Spanish Super Cups