Legendary Football Players: Amarildo


071 Amarildo

Brazilian striker Amarildo Tavares de Silveira Junior, better known as simply Amarildo, is one of the best examples in the history of world football of being in the right place at the right time. He had been a relatively successful player in Brazil before going to the 1962 World Cup as a reserve, but an injury to star player Pelé gave Amarildo the chance to take centre stage.

His playing career started at Flamengo, but it was after joining Botafogo in 1960 that he started to come to national attention. Botafogo took the Rio State Championship in both 1961 and 1962, and it was on the back of this success that Amarildo established himself in the Brazilian squad to defend the World Cup in Chile in 1962. He had only travelled to the finals as a back-up to the first team, but when Pelé was injured in the second group game Amarildo took his chance.

His World Cup debut came in the final group game against Spain, where he scored twice to help Brazil come from behind to win. He played in all of Brazil's remaining games, and scored his third goal of the tournament to equalise in the final against Czechoslovakia as Brazil again came from behind to win 3-1.

After his World Cup success, Amarildo was rewarded with a move to Italy to play for AC Milan, where he spent five years before moving on to Fiorentina. It was with Fiorentina that he won his only domestic honour in Italy, the 1969 Serie A Championship. After a short spell with AS Roma, Amarildo's playing career ended in 1974, back in Brazil with Vasco da Gama.

He returned to football in 1984 to coach Espérance Sportive in Tunisia, and in a three year reign won the Tunisian Championship in 1985 and the Tunisian Cup a year later. Moving on to the United Arab Emirates to coach Al Ain, Amarildo won another league championship in the United Arab Emirates in 1993. His most recent coaching job was also in the U.A.E. with Al Shabab.
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