Gilberto Aparecido da Silva
(born October 7, 1976 in Lagoa da Prata
, Minas Gerais
), commonly known as Gilberto Silva
(Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒiwˈbɛʁtu ˈsiwvɐ]
), is a Brazilian footballer
. He currently plays for the Greek
, as a defensive midfielder
. Gilberto was raised in a poor family and as a child he balanced playing football with various labour jobs. He began his football career in 1997 with América Mineiro
, where good form earned him a move to Atlético Mineiro
in 2000. He became a star player for Atlético, playing for three years in the Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
. He came to particular prominence when he helped the Brazilian national team
win the 2002 FIFA World Cup
, playing in all seven of Brazil's matches.
In August 2002, for a fee of £4.5 million, he joined Arsenal, with whom he won the 2004 FA Premier League, and two FA Cup trophies. In his first five seasons with the club, he played 208 games and scored 23 goals. On 19 August 2006 he scored Arsenal's first competitive goal at the newly built Emirates Stadium. He was made vice-captain of Arsenal in 2006. In 2007, he was selected as Brazil captain for the Copa América tournament, which Brazil went on to win.