Brazil is a continental country; bigger than Western Europe, for example. Adding this information to the country’s football tradition, I have thought about an interesting question: how would the all time XI Brazilian States teams look like?

I will make the all time teams of the seven States which clubs have won the Brazilian League:  Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Pernambuco and Paraná. Furthermore, I will also choose the top 26 and the greatest player of the above States.

It is important to say that “greatest” does not mean necessarily “better”. Unfortunately, some local excellent players won’t make the list, while others, perhaps not as skillful, will join it because of greater national/international success (club and national team titles, national team call-ups, World Cup games, among other things). The only criteria will be the place of birth, regardless of where the players spent most of his life or career.

Before I begin, it is worthy mentioning the biggest star from other Brazilian States (every single player with games for the Brazilian National Team:  Zagallo (Alagoas); Jardel (Ceará); Kaká (Distrito Federal); Sávio (Espírito Santo); Túlio (Goiás); Canhoteiro (Maranhão); Müller, (Mato Grosso do Sul); Sócrates (Pará); Júnior (Paraíba); Marinho Chagas (Rio Grande do Norte); Falcão (Santa Catarina); and Clodoaldo (Sergipe).

Let’s begin!

RIO DE JANEIRO

Starting lineup (4-2-1-3): Castilho; Leandro, Carlos Alberto Torres, Domingos da Guia and Nilton Santos; Didi, Gérson and Zico; Garrincha, Romário and Ronaldo.

OBS: I’ve placed Carlos Alberto Torres as a centre-back, role he also excelled at, so that Leandro could also be in the team.

Greatest player: Garrincha.

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TOP 26 (alphabetical order here and in every other State):

Ademir da Guia, Amarildo, Britto, Carlos Alberto Torres, Castilho, Danilo, Didi, Domingos da Guia, EdinhoEvaristo de Macedo, Garrincha, Gérson, Jair Rosa Pinto, Jairzinho, Jorginho, Júlio CésarLeandro, Leônidas da Silva, Nilton Santos, Orlando, Paulo Cézar Caju, Roberto DinamiteRomário, Ronaldo, Zico and Zizinho.

SÃO PAULO

Starting lineup (4-1-2-3): Gylmar; Djalma Santos, Márcio Santos, Bellini and Roberto Carlos; Zito, Cafu and Rivellino; Julinho Botelho, Careca and Neymar.

Greatest player: Rivellino.

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OBS: I’ve placed Cafu as a right mifielder, where he played in the early 90’s, since I believe both Djalma and him deserve to start.

TOP 26:

Arthur Friedenreich, Barbosa, Bauer, Bellini, Cafu, Careca, Coutinho, De Sordi, Dino Sani, Djalma Santos, Edu, Félix, Gylmar, José Altafini (known in Brazil as Mazzola), Julinho Botelho, Leivinha, Leão, Márcio Santos, Marcos, Mauro Silva, Neymar, Pepe, Raí, Roberto Carlos, Roberto Rivellino and Zito.

MINAS GERAIS

Starting lineup (4-3-1-2): Gomes; Lima, Mauro, Oscar and Bigode; Piazza, Toninho Cerezo, Dirceu Lopes and Pelé; Tostão and Reinaldo.

Greatest player: Pelé.

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TOP 26:

Alemão, Bigode, Búfalo Gil, Dirceu Lopes, Éder Aleixo, Elzo, Fred, Gilberto Silva, Gomes, Heleno de Freitas, Joãozinho, Lima, Luizinho, Mauro Ramos de Oliveira, Oscar Bernardi, Palhinha (Jorge Ferreira da Silva), Palhinha (Vanderlei Eustáquio de Oliveira), Paulo Isidoro, Pelé, Procópio CardosoReinaldo, Rodrigues Neto, Roque Júnior, Toninho Cerezo, Tostão and Wilson Piazza.

RIO GRANDE DO SUL

Starting lineup (4-3-3): Taffarel; Maicon, Juvenal Amarijo, Mauro Galvão and Everaldo; Paulo Cesar Caperggiani, Dunga and Branco; Renato Portaluppi (Renato Gaúcho), Alcindo and Ronaldinho.

Greatest player: Ronaldinho.

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OBS: I’ve placed Branco as a left-midfielder, because I want both Everaldo and him in the starting lineup.

TOP 26:

Adãozinho, Airton Pavilhão, Alcindo, Ânderson Polga, Batista, Branco, Chico, Claudiomiro, Danrlei, Dunga, Emerson, EveraldoGilmar Rinaldi, Juvenal Amarijo, Luis Carlos Winck, Maicon, Martim Mércio da Silveira, Mauro Galvão, Nena, Noronha, Oreco, Paulo Cesar Carpegiani, Renato Portaluppi (Renato Gaúcho), Ronaldinho, Taffarel and Tesourinha.

BAHIA

Starting lineup (4-1-2-3): Dida; Daniel Alves, Luíz Pereira, Aldair and Júnior Nagata; Vampeta, Bobô and Maneca; Edilson, Liedson and Bebeto.

Greatest player: Bebeto.

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TOP 26:

Aldair, André Catimba, Baiaco, Bebeto, Beijoca, Bobô, Carlito, Charles, Daniel Alves, Dante, Dida, Edílson, Júnior Baiano, Júnior Nagata, LiédsonLuís Pereira, Léo Briglia, Maneca, Marito, Nadinho, Nunes, Oséas, Roberto Rebouças, Toninho Baiano, Vampeta and Zózimo.

PERNAMBUCO

Starting lineup (4-3-1-2, I’ve agreed with a team made by a Brazilian article): Manga; Russo, Ricardo Rocha, Rildo and Givaldo; Zequinha (José Ferreira Franco), Hernanes, Rivaldo and Juninho Pernambucano; Ademir de Menezes and Vavá.

Greatest player: Rivaldo.

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TOP 26:

Almir Pernambuquinho, Biro-Biro, Bita, Bodinho, Carlos Alberto Barbosa, Gena, Givaldo, Givanildo Oliveira, Hernanes, Josué, Juninho Pernambucano, Lula, Manga, Nado, Orlando Pingo de Ouro, Ricardo Rocha, Rildo, Rinaldo, Rivaldo, Russo, Simão, Vavá, Wendell, Zequinha (Jose Pereira Miná), Zequinha (José Ferreira Franco) and Zé do Carmo.

PARANÁ 

Starting lineup (4-2-1-3): Rogério Ceni; Belletti, Adilson Batista, Miranda and Adriano; Fernandinho, Kléberson and Alex; Dirceu, Teleco and Paraná.

Greatest player: Rogério Ceni.

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TOP 26:

Adriano, Adílson Batista, Alex, Alexandre Pato, Belletti, Bira, Caju, Dirceu, Dirceu Krüger, Duílio, Duílio Júnior, Fedatto, Fernandinho, HenriqueJadson, Kléberson, Miranda, Nilmar, Paraná, Paulo Rink, Rafinha, Raul Plassmann, Rodolpho Barteczko, Rogério Ceni, Teleco and Thiago Neves.

 

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