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Member of the Brazil World Cup winning team in 2002. Losing fianalist in the Champions League 2002. Played for Brazil more than 25 times.

What is your most memorable sporting moment?

Winning the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 in Japan. The first highlight of my career was playing for Brazil for the first time.

Who are your sporting heroes?

Growing up in Brazil, my heroes were the Brazilian footballers, Pele, Zico and the rest.

Does believing in Jesus make a difference?

Believing in Jesus has brought a total change to my life. Before I knew Jesus I did not have a disciplined life. I had low self-esteem. I did not have confidence in the things that I did day by day. Today I want to walk with the Lord and have a purpose for my life. That gives me the discipline to persevere towards my goals.

What words of the Bible inspire you?

There is a passage in Psalm 1 that says:

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season.

I think this verse reflects my life, because everything has happened for me at the right moment. I’ve also known the presence of the Lord, and his guidance in keeping me from mocking God.

What motivates you?

I like to play football and I have a responsibility to my family. Other things that motivate me to keep going are my dream of getting the best for my life and for the club for which I am playing, and now for my country. Jesus also is a big motivation in my family and in my work.

How important is winning?

The most important thing in a game of football is to give your all and do things in a responsible way. For sure the victories will come, but there will also be defeats. At times in my career, I have been regarded as irresponsible or incompetent for leaving my defensive position in search of a goal. This is due to my strong desire and determination to help my team to win the game.

How do you cope with losing?

Anyone who steps onto the football field has to accept the result. When you lose there is a need to analyse why. That always happens in football. I don’t think there is any reason to lose hope just because you lose a football match. After all, in any game three results are possible – a win, a defeat or a draw. Anyone who plays football has to accept that and work to achieve the best possible result. Aside from the result, there are opportunities to grow in your profession.

When things don’t work out, I don’t understand it at the time, but after it is over, I regard it as a work of the Lord in my life guarding me, protecting me and keeping me for the big future blessings.

You seem to have everything. Why do you need Jesus?

Anyone who thinks that he has everything and doesn’t have Jesus doesn’t have anything. I think the person who has everything is the one who has Jesus. He has happiness and peace. With Jesus in your heart you need have no fear. That is the person who has everything in life.

I think it’s important in the life of a professional football player – and in other professions – to know that there is only one road that is secure. That road is Jesus.

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About this module

Do faith and sport mix? Which side is God on? Can praying help win a race, get a hole in one or score in a penalty shoot-out? In these pages we interview sporting heroes who have some of the answers.

All the interviews are by Stuart Weir

Categories: Lives, Interviews,


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