Cláudio Taffarel

Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈklawdʒu tafaˈɾɛw]; born 8 May 1966) is a Brazilian retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and is the goalkeeping coach of Liverpool and the Brazil national team. During an 18-year career he played professionally for five different clubs in both Brazil and Europe. He began his senior career in 1985 with Brazilian side Internacional, whereas his latter clubs were Parma, Reggiana, Atlético Mineiro, and Galatasaray; he ended his career in 2003, after a second spell with Italian team Parma.

Cláudio Taffarel
Taffarel 2018.png
Taffarel with Brazil in 2018
Personal information
Full name Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel[1]
Date of birth (1966-05-08) 8 May 1966 (age 56)
Place of birth Santa Rosa, Brazil
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Liverpool (Goalkeeper coach)
Youth career
1984–1985 Internacional
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1990 Internacional 50 (0)
1990–1993 Parma 74 (0)
1993–1994 Reggiana 31 (0)
1995–1998 Atlético Mineiro 73 (0)
1998–2001 Galatasaray 89 (0)
2001–2003 Parma 6 (0)
Total 323 (0)
National team
1988–1998 Brazil 101 (0)
Teams managed
2014 Galatasaray (interim)
2015 Galatasaray (interim)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

The recipient of more than 100 caps for Brazil, Taffarel helped the national team win the 1994 World Cup, also appearing in other eight major international tournaments over the course of one full decade, most notably helping Brazil to a second place in the 1998 World Cup, and two Copa América titles in 1989 and 1997; he also won a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.

Club careerEdit

Born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Taffarel began his career playing for Internacional but only appeared in 14 Série A games during his five-year spell, being however awarded the Golden Ball award for the 1988 season. In 1990, he moved abroad and joined Parma in Italy, a club which had been freshly promoted to Serie A for the first time in its history; according to a 2003 article by Andrea Schianchi of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Taffarel's move to Parma was also carried out for commercial reasons, as at the time, Calisto Tanzi, the then–owner of Parmalat – the company that owned the club –, was looking to have the Brazilian goalkeeper become the face of the corporation's new advertising campaign following its recent expansion into Brazil. Taffarel became the first non–Italian goalkeeper to play in Serie A, and proceeded to appear in all 34 league games in the following campaign under manager Nevio Scala, as the Emilia-Romagna side finished in sixth position and qualified to the UEFA Cup. He won the Coppa Italia in 1992 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1993 during his first spell with the club, although following a series of unconvincing performances, and the regulations at the time that only allowed three non–Italian players in the team's starting XI (with Faustino Asprilla, Tomas Brolin, and Georges Grün usually being selected to start by Scala), he was relegated to the bench over the course of the next two seasons, initially behind Marco Ballotta and later Luca Bucci.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

In 1993, Taffarel, now only a back-up at Parma, signed for fellow Serie A team Reggiana, where he was first-choice throughout the following season in a narrow escape from relegation. However, he was subsequently dropped from the first team in 1994, and remained without a professional club in the run up to and following that year's World Cup in the United States, playing instead at amateur level with his local church team, and even featuring as a centre-forward on occasion. Afterwards, he returned to his home country in 1995 and played three years with Atlético Mineiro.[3][4][5][8][9][10]

On 24 June 1998, when still appearing for Seleçao at 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament in France, Taffarel signed a two-year deal with Galatasaray at Disneyland Paris.[11][12] Galatasaray paid a transfer fee of around $1.5 million to his former club Atlético Mineiro. At Galatasaray, he has won six major trophies during his three-year stint, most notably two Süper Lig titles and the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup and 2000 UEFA Super Cup; in the final of the latter competition – a 4–1 penalty shootout victory over Arsenal following a 0–0 draw after 120 minutes – he was chosen as Man of the match.[13][14] He closed out his career with former club Parma, joining the team in 2001;[7] he mainly featured as a second-choice keeper behind Sébastien Frey during his second spell with the club,[15] but started in both legs of the 2002 Coppa Italia Final, which saw Parma triumph over the newly crowned Serie A champions, Juventus.[16] He retired in 2003, after one-and-a-half seasons with the club, at the age of 37, and after having refused an offer from Empoli: his car broke while he was going to sign the contract, which he later described as a "sign of God".[17][18][19]

International careerEdit

Taffarel made his debut for Brazil on 7 July 1988 in the Australia Bicentenary Gold Cup, playing all four games and conceding two goals as his team won the tournament. He was also in goal for the following year's Copa América, which Brazil also won (during his ten-year international career, he appeared in five editions of the latter tournament, winning the title for a second time in 1997, and collecting runners-up medals in 1991 and 1995). At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, he won a silver medal, saving three penalties against West Germany in the semi-finals of the tournament: one in regulation time, and two in Brazil's successful shoot-out.[3][8] He was also a member of the Brazilian team that took part at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, where Brazil were eliminated in the round of 16 following a 1–0 defeat to rivals and defending champions Argentina, with Taffarel conceding only two goals in total throughout the tournament.[20][21]

Taffarel was the starter for the nation during the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, only allowing one goal in the first round and two in the knock-out phases, excluding two penalty kicks in the final shootout victory against Italy.[3][4][9] Four years later, in France, he helped his national team to a second consecutive World Cup final, which proved to be his final international appearance; on this occasion, however, Brazil lost out 3–0 to the hosts.[22] In the run-up to the final, Taffarel had notably saved two penalties in the team's 4–2 shootout victory over the Netherlands in the semi-finals.[3][23][24] He was also a member of the Brazilian side that finished in third place at the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In total, Taffarel played 101 times with the Seleção, making him Brazil's most capped goalkeeper of all time, and one of the few Brazilian players to have made at least 100 caps for the national side.[9][25][26] Upon his retirement in 2003, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira offered to arrange a farewell match but the player refused, stating that he was not interested in such fanfare; he did return to play alongside Romário in late 2004 against Mexico, to commemorate the 1994 World Cup victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Style of playEdit

Regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian goalkeepers of all time,[27][28][29] Taffarel was known to be a rational, effective, and generally consistent keeper, with good fundamental goalkeeping technique, who favoured an efficient rather than spectacular playing style.[30][31][32] His main attributes were his explosive reflexes, positional sense, and calm composure in goal, as well as his penalty-stopping abilities; due to the muscle power in his legs that he developed while playing beach volleyball in his youth, he was known for his surprising spring and elevation from a standstill position, despite his modest stature, which gave him significant hang time and aided him in stopping penalties.[3][4][30][31][32] Furthermore, he was known to be quick when coming off his line, and was also highly regarded for his flair and skill with the ball at his feet, having played as a forward in his youth.[3][4][5][8][31][33] Due to his lack of height, however, as well as his poor handling and decision-making, he struggled at times when dealing with crosses, and was not particularly confident or decisive when coming off his line to catch high balls;[5][34] as such, critical reception of Taffarel was often divided throughout his career. While he drew praise from the Brazilian fans and media for his decisive performances with the Brazilian national team, which even earned him the nickname "Saint Taffarel" in the Brazilian media, he also drew criticism at times from Italian pundits over the mental aspect of his game, and his lack of development during his time in Serie A, which made him unreliable and prone to technical errors on occasion, despite his shot-stopping ability and generally high-quality gameplay, as well as his capacity to produce excellent saves. Moreover, his struggles to cope with his nerves are thought to have impeded him from succeeding consistently at the highest level with top European clubs throughout his career, despite his success and reputation. Ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final, Mike Penner of the Los Angeles Times speculated that Taffarel, and the goalkeeping position more broadly, was the "weak link" of an otherwise world class Brazilian national side, due to the lack of top goalkeepers in Brazilian football at the time; indeed, prior to the tournament, Reuters had dismissed Taffarel as: "One of around a dozen goalkeepers in Brazil of roughly the same standard."[3][4][9][8][35][36]


Taffarel with Galatasaray in 2012

Taffarel and his former Atlético Mineiro teammate Paulo Roberto started up a player agency, with the focus mainly on promising youngsters.[37]

During the 1998 World Cup, when the Brazilian national team was training at Trois-Sapins stadium in Ozoir-la-Ferrière, a suburb southeast of Paris, the town's mayor proposed renaming the stadium after him.[38]

In 2004, Taffarel rejoined Galatasaray as goalkeeper coach – under former teammate Gheorghe Hagi – returning to the club for the 2011–12 season, again with Fatih Terim as manager.[39] Taffarel had two short spells as interim manager before leaving the Turkish side in 2019.[40]

He currently works as a goalkeeper coach for both Liverpool, having joined in 2021,[41] and the Brazilian national team, having taken up the role in 2014.[39]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Taffarel is of German and Italian descent.[8]

Taffarel is a born-again Christian who has actively shared his faith in numerous venues. He was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 1988,[42] and has 17 children, 15 of them adopted.[18]

Career statisticsEdit


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
League National Cup Continental Total
Internacional 1985 Série A 1 0 1 0
1986 2 0 2 0
1987 10 0 10 0
1988 14 0 14 0
1989 12 0 12 0
1990 11 0 11 0
Total 50 0 50 0
Parma 1990–91 Serie A 34 0 2 0 36 0
1991–92 34 0 3 0 1 0 38 0
1992–93 6 0 1 0 1 0 8 0
Total 74 0 6 0 2 0 82 0
Reggiana 1993–94 Série A 31 0 2 0 33 0
Total 31 0 2 0 33 0
Atlético Mineiro 1995 Série A 22 0 22 0
1996 27 0 27 0
1997 24 0 24 0
1998 24 0
Total 73 0 73 0
Galatasaray 1998–99 1.Lig 32 0 8 0 8 0 48 0
1999–00 30 0 3 0 16 0 49 0
2000–01 27 0 3 0 14 0 44 0
Total 89 0 14 0 38 0 141 0
Parma 2001–02 Serie A 6 0 8 0 14 0
2002–03 0 0 2 0 2 0
Total 6 0 10 0 16 0
Career total 323 0 32 0 40 0 395 0


Year Apps Goals
1988 7 0
1989 16 0
1990 7 0
1991 10 0
1992 2 0
1993 15 0
1994 9 0
1995 5 0
1996 0 0
1997 15 0
1998 15 0
Total 101 0



Atlético Mineiro




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Cláudio Taffarel: Profile". HEIM:SPIEL. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Cláudio Taffarel". Parma F.C. Archived from the original on 7 February 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Franco, Melli (9 July 1998). "Taffarel, la mano di Dio che para i rigori". Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian). p. 43. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Taffarel docet, te lo do' io il portiere brasiliano" [Taffarel docet, I'll give you the Brazilian goalkeeper]. La Repubblica. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d "TAFFAREL, IN ALTO LE MANI" [Taffarel, Hands Up]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 17 July 1994. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  6. ^ Schianchi, Andrea (29 December 2003). "Così prese Taffarel per vendere il latte" [And so he acquired Taffarel to sell milk]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b Schianchi, Andrea; Cecchini, Massimo; Curino, Luca; Agus, Giampietro; Ghisleni, Sergio; Stella, Silvano (6 July 2001). "Parma, non solo Nakata" [Parma, not only Nakata]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Setyon, Ricardo (1 August 2000). "Claudio Taffarel: "One mistake and I get all the blame"". FIFA. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Eve, James (2 November 2003). "Highway to heaven". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  10. ^ Ferrara, Benedetto (4 July 1993). "Stoichkov è libero, un obiettivo Samp" [Stoichkov is free, a Samp target]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Taffarel imzayı attı". Hü Hürriyet. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Les histoires secrètes du Mondial". Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  13. ^ Andre Claudio Taffarel (1966–); at Galatasaray S.K. (in Turkish)
  14. ^ "Penalty heartbreak for Arsenal". BBC Sport. 17 May 2000. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Riecco Taffarel, un tuffo nel passato Risuona la filastrocca della memoria" [Here comes Taffarel again, a dive into the past The memory's nursery rhyme resounds]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 7 July 2001. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  16. ^ "La Juventus non fa il bis la Coppa Italia al Parma" [Juveneuts does not make it two the Coppa Italia goes to Parma]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 10 May 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Taffarel dice no all' Empoli Colpa di un guasto all' auto" [Taffarel says no to Empoli due to car malfunction]. Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 25 September 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Football: God gave Taff a sign: The big interview; 'You need to hit the darkest point to be able to appreciate the". The Free Library. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  19. ^ "World Cup winner Taffarel retires". CNN. 26 September 2003. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  20. ^ Moore, Nick (4 June 2014). "Why World Cup 1990 was the tournament of the great goalkeeper". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  21. ^ "WATCH: 1990 World Cup flashback replay - Brazil v Argentina". The World Game. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  22. ^ "France Triumph". BBC Sport. 13 July 1998. Archived from the original on 10 November 1999. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Greatness without glory: the story of Holland at France 98". These Football Times. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Strepitoso Taffarel Il Brasile è in finale" [Exceptional Taffarel Brazil are in the final]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 7 July 1998. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  25. ^ a b Claudio André Mergen Taffarel – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
  26. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (30 December 2019). "Brazil - Record International Players: Appearances for Brazil National Team". Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Brazil's greatest goalkeepers". Sky Sports. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  28. ^ Atkins, Christopher (10 January 2013). "Ranking Brazil's 10 Best Goalkeepers of All Time". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  29. ^ Martini, Davide (9 December 2015). "I 10 migliori portieri brasiliani della storia" [The 10 greatest Brazilian goalkeepers in history] (in Italian). Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Pastorin, Darwin (2002). "TAFFAREL, Cláudio André". Treccani: Enciclopedia dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  31. ^ a b c Martini, Davide (9 December 2015). "I 10 migliori portieri brasiliani della storia" [The 10 greatest goalkeepers of all time] (in Italian). Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  32. ^ a b c d Radogna, Fiorenzo (2 November 2016). "Portieri stranieri, ma perché? Quei campioni che in Italia hanno fallito dal '90 ad oggi – 2: Taffarel, il disoccupato che vinse un Mondiale (ai rigori)" [Foreign goalkeepers, but why? Those champions who failed in Italy from 1990 until today – 2: Taffarel, the unemployed who won a World Cup (on penalties)]. Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  33. ^ Bernabei, Simone (8 May 2017). "Claudio Taffarel, dal Mondiale col Brasile alle esperienze con Parma e Reggiana" [Claudio Taffarel, from the World Cup with Brazil to his spells with Parma and Reggiana] (in Italian). Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  34. ^ Hughes, Rob (13 July 1994). "Chance of a Lifetime Is in Their Hands". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  35. ^ Penner, Mike (10 July 1998). "Keeping the Faith". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  36. ^ Pratesi, Riccardo (30 April 2007). "Brasiliani, portieri d'Italia" [Brazilians, goalkeepers of Italy]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  37. ^ "Fledgling careers in safe hands". FIFA. 16 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  38. ^ "Coach certain Brazil will rule". New York Daily News. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 12 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ a b "Taffarel leads Galatasaray to victory". 1 December 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Liverpool appoint Brazil legend Taffarel as goalkeeping coach to work alongside Alisson". Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  41. ^ "Liverpool appoint Brazil legend Taffarel as goalkeeping coach to work alongside Alisson". Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  42. ^ Clarey, Christopher (8 July 1998). "World Cup '98; Goalie has answers for Brazil fans". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  43. ^ The Greatest Ever (2014). Greatest Ever Footballers. Headline. pp. 2058–2059. ISBN 978-1-4722-2705-8.
  44. ^ "Galatasaray 0–0 Beşiktaş" (in Turkish). Mackolik. 14 April 1999. Archived from the original on 9 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  45. ^ "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1989". 3 August 2001.
  46. ^ "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1990". 3 August 2001.
  47. ^ IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1991; at RSSSF
  48. ^ IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1994; at RSSSF
  49. ^ "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1997". 25 January 2000.
  50. ^ "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1998". 25 January 2000.
  51. ^ "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 2000". 11 April 2001.
  52. ^ FIFA XI´s Matches – Full Info Archived 17 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine; at RSSSF

External linksEdit