Anderson Luis Da Souza, Deco

Sporting Director, FC Barcelona

Speaker Bio

The first team player between 2004 and 2008 is currently the sporting director of FC Barcelona for the next three seasons.

Deco will be in charge of setting the sporting philosophy of FC Barcelona and creating the squad together with the coach and the coaching staff and becoming the most responsible for the football section.

Born 45 years ago under the name of Anderson Luis de Souza, everyone began to know him with the nickname Deco that an uncle of his gave him when he was just a baby, and Deco has stuck with him. With these four letters on his back he had a brilliant career as a professional footballer.

After training in clubs such as Nacional and Corinthians, both from the city where he was born, Sao Paulo, at the age of 20 he made the jump to Europe with Benfica. In Portugal, he developed most of his club career, and also with the national team, since after becoming a national, he defended the Portuguese colors up to 75 times.

But despite having mentioned Benfica, it was at their great rival, Porto, where he became a star, winning, for example, a UEFA Cup, three leagues and a Champions League. It was just after being European champion with Os Dragões that Barça signed him in 2004, and he spent four seasons in the club.

At 27, he wore the Barça shirt as one of the best midfielders in the world. Alongside Xavi Hernández, they formed a high-quality central midfield axis. In his first year as a blaugrana, he already lifted the league title. However, the most successful season was the following one, 2005-2006, when he reached the pinnacle of Europe again, this time in Paris, and once again winning the league title.

Deco played 161 games for Barça and scored 20 goals in the four seasons he was in Barcelona. In the summer of 2008, with Frank Rijkaard's departure, the Portuguese went to London to sign for Chelsea. With the English team, he lifted the Premier League trophy in 2010. He spent his last three professional years at Brazilian club Fluminense. In 2013, he finally hung up his boots.