Flamengo is the most popular football club in Brazil, with an estimated fan base of more than 30 million people. A survey done last year revealed that 23 percent of football fans in Brazil consider themselves to be fans of Flamengo. The areas in Brazil that showed the highest numbers of support were mainly in the North and Northeast, as well as Rio de Janeiro.
The fans have seen some of the greatest collection of players to play the game on their home soil. Some of these players are:
- Raul Plassman (also known as Raul)
He was the starting goalie for the team from the late 70s to the early-to-mid 80s. While playing for the club, he helped them win the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup, both in 1981. Before playing for Flamengo, ‘Raul’ spent majority of his career playing for Cruziero. There, he won the Copa Libertadores in 1976. Yet despite playing 17 games for the club, he never made the World Cup finals.
Leandro was one of Brazil’s best rightbacks during the 1980s. He played 31 games for Brazil and was also a member of the team that won the 1982 World Cup in Spain. He spent his entire football career playing for Flamengo, and along with Zico and Junior, helped the club win the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1981.
- Domingos da Guia
Da Guia is Brazil’s greatest defender. He was the game’s premier defender during the 1940s and was considered to be the first “real” defender in the game. Unsurprisingly, he was one of the greatest players and defenders to originate from Brazil. Da Guia played for several clubs, most notably with Flamengo and Corinthians locally and Boca Juniors internationally.
Junior, similar to Da Guia, is the best player from Brazil that plays his position. He played starting left-back for Brazil during the 1982 World Cup Finals. Besides this, he was a member of the Flamengo team that won the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1981. Having played in 857 matches, he is the club’s player with the most number of games played. He was also a World Cup winner in 1982.
During his prime, he was nearly unstoppable. So much so during the early 1980s, he was considered the best player in the world. He was eighth in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote. Century, not year, not a decade, but century. He played in three World Cup finals, but his performance in the 1982 finals will probably be the one where he will be remembered the most.
In addition to a being a World Cup winner, he won the Intercontinental Cup in 1981 with Flamengo. In 1984, he moved to Udinese and played there for two seasons and won Serie A Player of the Year.