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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. 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.
|Full name||Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal|
|Date of birth||4 April 1964|
|Place of birth||Bagé, Brazil|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|1986–1988||→ Brescia (loan)||50||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
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.
- Campeonato Gaúcho: 1981
- FC Porto
- Campeonato Gaúcho: 1993
- Branco Statistics FIFA. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Moore, Glenn (5 April 1997). "Leicester rely on heart to counter international art". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- Profile – Branco
- Branco at National-Football-Teams.com