CAFU RATING

NAME

Cafu

DATE OF BIRTH

7 June 1970

PLACE OF BIRTH

Itaquaquecetuba, Brazil

HEIGHT

176cm (5ft 9 1/2in)

WEIGHT

75kg

PEAK

1998-2002

POSITION

Right Back/Right Wing Back

SHIRT NUMBER

2

PREFERRED FOOT

Right

NICKNAME

The Express Train

80

OVERALL RATING - 'GENERATIONAL'


SUMMARY

Cafu is generally considered to be the more complete out of the famous brazillian wing-back duo of the late nineties and early noughties. An incomparable engine, which allowed him to attack ferociously one second and then the next, subdue his opponent with his defensive skills. Our analysis has determined that this assumption of Cafu was misguided and that defensively he wasn't as secure as has often been portrayed. During his prime, he was often caught out of position and at times, didn't bother tracking back in the knowledge that his team mates would cover for him. This is in stark contrast to Roberto Carlos, who was said to be lackadaisical in defence and yet in reality was very diligent if slightly vulnerable when marking elite dribblers. However Cafu was strong - was in the tackle... like Maldini, he had quick reactions and once he was one v one against a winger, he was very difficult to beat - the problem was he never tracked back enough to illustrate his defensive skills on a regular enough basis.

In terms of athleticism, it has hard to find more ideal wing-backs than Cafu. He was a sprinter, gymnast and lightweight boxer rolled into one. He was like grease lightening in his prime and could carry the ball at serious pace. His agility which is not often spoken about was exceptional, he could cut in and then go back round the outside with great shift of body weight in the blink of an eye. On the technical front, his close ball control was impressive (if a tad erratic). He took risks with the ball and was a master of knocking it through players legs and possessed good turning/chop skills, allowing him to come to a stop or change direction rapidly. Additional attributes of note included his first touch, which was outstanding (see his ball juggling vs Nedved as one such example) and his crossing, which was astonishing. He could whip the ball anywhere he wanted and had the vision to exploit the technique to its fullest and accompanied this stock cross, with good cut backs or drilling it across the 6 yard line. The multifaceted nature of his creative threat is what convinced top Italian sides to gamble on Cafu and permit him defensive leeway.

In conclusion Cafu was one of the best attacking full-backs of all time inspite of his goal contribution being pitiful. This is because his crossing threat was nigh on impossible to defend against - it was too varied a threat to set defensive plans against. Aside from his offensive contribution, Cafu was not as 'balanced' as he has been portrayed with substantial evidence that he was often caught too high up the pitch to help prevent counters and unwilling to track back. He was however a very difficult full-back to beat 1 v 1 due to his athleticism, reactions and eye for a tackle..


ATTRIBUTES

  • PHYSICAL
  • ATTACK
  • MIDFIELD
  • DEFENCE
  • MENTAL

PHYSICAL

Stamina 96%
Sprint Speed 93%
Acceleration 94%
Agility 95%
Strength 78%
Balance 85%
Jumping 76%
Flexibility 95%
Ambidexterity 68%
Injury 93%

ATTACK

Finishing 65%
Long Shot 65%
Shot Technique 75%
Aerial Threat 50%
Movement 70%
Hold/Link Up 50%
Dribbling 85%
Dribbling Speed 93%
Flair 86%
Elegance 81%

MIDFIELD

Possession 77%
Dictate Tempo 45%
Through Balls 60%
Pass Technique 77%
Crossing 95%
Positioning 70%
Long Passing 77%
First Touch 90%
Influence 70%
Set Pieces 45%

DEFENCE

Anticipation 85%
Man-Marking 80%
Intimidation 82%
Discipline 72%
Header 70%
Recovery Speed 90%
Blocks 80%
Tackling 94%
Overlaps 100%
Playing Out 73%

MENTAL

Intelligence 84%
Big Match 95%
Leadership 78%
Composure 93%
Ambition 95%
Consistency 95%
Versatiity 70%
Compatability 80%
Tenacity 95%
Reactions 96%