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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.[1]

Personal information
Full name Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal
Date of birth (1964-04-04) 4 April 1964 (age 55)
Place of birth Bagé, Brazil
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1982 Internacional 15 (2)
1983–1986 Fluminense 46 (1)
1986–1988Brescia (loan) 50 (2)
1988–1991 Porto 60 (7)
1991–1993 Genoa 71 (8)
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 (1)
1998 Fluminense ? (?)
Total 323 (35)
National team
1985–1995 Brazil 72 (9)
Teams managed
2012 Figueirense
2013 Sobradinho
2013 Guarani
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Club careerEdit

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.[2] 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.

International careerEdit

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.



  1. ^ Branco Statistics FIFA. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  2. ^ Moore, Glenn (5 April 1997). "Leicester rely on heart to counter international art". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e Profile – Branco

External linksEdit

  • Branco at