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Raí

Personal information
Full nameRaí Souza Vieira de Oliveira
Date of birthMay 15, 1965(age 51)
Place of birthRibeirão Preto, Brazil
Height1.88 m
Playing positionAttacking Midfielder
Playmaker

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Raí, full name Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira (born May 15, 1965 in Ribeirão Preto) is a former Brazilian football midfielder. He was part of the Brazil team which won 1994 FIFA World Cup. He also played for São Paulo FC when he had the most glorious time of his career, and Paris Saint-Germain. Raí was a classic playmaker with a precise passing, fine ball possession and incredible capability of reading the game. Raí is also the younger brother of another legendary player, Sócrates.

In the first round match against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, he scored a penalty kick when Romário was knocked down in the goal area. Afterwards however, having struggled to impose himself on the tournament, he had to relinquish his captain role to the more influential Dunga and did not feature in the tournament from the quarter finals onwards.

He is arguably São Paulo FC's best player of all time, having won every kind of championship for the team during his tenure.

His position as a player in the team was as a withdrawn striker/offensive midfielder. He was the captain and the leader of

the team. Raí (and coach Telê Santana ) are considered to have played a leading role

in São Paulo being the Brazilian team with the most international awards, surpassing even Santos.

However Raí never managed to make his mark at an international level as he did at club level. He was always slow in adapting himself to the team, except when he returned to São Paulo.

After playing for Paris Saint-Germain he came back to São Paulo in 1998 announcing that it was the place where he would end his career. The team was completely renewed, with new stars such as Denílson and França. The only remaining player from the 1992 1993 winning team was goalkeeper Rogério Ceni (who would still later help São Paulo to the 2005 Club World Championship). Once again, he led São Paulo to another regional championship although he

played only in the finals, as he came back through the season..

The feat was repeated for the last time in 2000, with his last award, the same regional championship.


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