Branco (footballer)

Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal (born 4 April 1964 in Bagé, Brazil), better known as Branco, is Brazilian former footballer who played as a left back.[1] 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 his accuracy of placing the ball in the direction that he wanted the free kick to go.[2]

Branco - Brescia Calcio 1986-87.jpg
Brescia Calcio 1986-87
Personal information
Full name Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal
Date of birth (1964-04-04) 4 April 1964 (age 58)
Place of birth Bagé, Brazil
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Left back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1982 Internacional 15 (2)
1983–1986 Fluminense 46 (21)
1986–1988Brescia (loan) 50 (12)
1988–1991 Porto 60 (17)
1991–1993 Genoa 71 (18)
1993 Grêmio 6 (1)
1994 Fluminense
1994 Corinthians 20 (4)
1995 Flamengo 35 (9)
1995 Internacional
1996 Middlesbrough 9 (0)
1997 Mogi Mirim
1997 NY/NJ MetroStars 11 (6)
1998 Fluminense ? (?)
Total 323 (80)
National team
1985–1995 Brazil 72 (9)
Teams managed
2012 Figueirense
2013 Sobradinho
2013 Guarani
Men's Football
Representing  Brazil
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1994 USA
Copa América
Winner 1989 Brazil
Runner-up 1991 Chile
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Club careerEdit

At club level, Branco played for Internacional (1980–81), Fluminense (1981–86, 1994 and 1998), 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.[citation needed]

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.[3] However, he played just nine times in the Premier League and by Christmas 1996 he had left the club on a free transfer after less than a year.

International careerEdit

Branco appeared 72 times for Brazil, between April 1985 and February 1995, and scored nine goals.[citation needed] After sitting out the first four games at the 1994 World Cup, he replaced Leonardo on the left after Leonardo was banned for a deliberate elbow on Tab Ramos in the second round game against the USA. Branco scored with a memorable late free kick from 35 metres to eliminate the Netherlands in the quarter-finals,[4] 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.[citation needed]


As of 2006, Branco was the general manager overseeing Brazil national youth teams.[citation needed]

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










  1. ^ da Cunha, Pedro Jorge. "Branco: "O Artur Jorge apanhou-me a imitá-lo e foi o fim do mundo"" [Branco: "Artur Jorge caught me imitating him and it was the end of the world"]. Mais Futebol (in Portuguese). Media Capital. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  2. ^ Branco Statistics Archived 23 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine FIFA; Retrieved 22 January 2010
  3. ^ Moore, Glenn (5 April 1997). "Leicester rely on heart to counter international art". The Independent. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  4. ^ [ Branco bullet wins Cotton Bowl thriller] FIFA; Retrieved 26 May 2021
  5. ^ a b c d e Profile – Branco Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Sambafoot

External linksEdit

  • Branco at