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Branco (footballer)

Personal information
Full nameCláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal
Height1.80 m
Playing positionLeft Back (retired)

     Home | Football | Branco (footballer)

Branco, real name Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal, (born April 4, 1964 in Bagé, Brazil) is former Brazilian footballer who played as a left back. A member of the triumphant Brazilian team in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Branco was a renowned free kick specialist (as was his international successor, Roberto Carlos) known for the habit of placing the valve of the ball in the direction that he wanted the free kick to go.

On the club level, Branco played for Internacional (1980 81), Fluminense (1981 86)(94)(99), Brescia (1986 88), FC Porto (1988 91), Genoa (1991 93), Grêmio (1992 94), Flamengo (1995), Corinthians (1995), Middlesbrough (1996), and MetroStars (1997). Branco's late career in England and the United States was marred by weight problems.

During his spell at Middlesbrough he scored twice, both goals coming against Hereford in the League Cup second round, once at home in the first leg and once away in the second. However, he played just nine times in the FA Premier League and by Christmas 1996 he had left the club on a free transfer after less than a year.

Branco appeared 72 times for Brazil, between April 1985 and February 1995, and scored nine goals. After sitting out the first four games at the 1994 World Cup, he scored with a memorable late free kick from 35 metres to eliminate the Netherlands in the quarter-finals, and took one of Brazil’s penalties in the shootout when they beat Italy in the final. He played in a total of twelve matches in three World Cup tournaments.

As of 2006, he was the general manager overseeing Brazil national youth teams.

From 2007 to December 2009, he worked as general manager of Fluminense youth teams.

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