Sports Nicknames - Cafu, Il Pendolino

The modern full-back has become one of the most crucial parts in modern football. Part of that is thanks to the effort of a certain Marcos Evangelista de Morais, more commonly known as Cafu. Just how Cafu came by this name is unknown. However, it would go on to be known by football fans around the globe, but especially in Brazil and Italy.

How Cafu came by his nickname is unknown.  What is known is that he is one of the best full-backs to ever play the game.  Marcos Evangelista de Morais.  Portrait / illustration / drawing.

Cafu started his career with the youth team of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He would then move up to the first team before going on a string of personal and team victories. Sao Paulo won back-to-back Copa Libertadores and World Championships in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, Cafu was named the South American Footballer of the Year.

This success brought attention from Europe, with his first notable move going to Roma in 1997, where he won Serie A in 2001. During his time at Roma, Cafu earned the nickname Il Pendolino, which means "The Commuter" or "The Express Train". This was thanks to his playing style, as he would run up and down the right wing all game, seemingly without losing energy. Cafu would go on to transfer to AC Milan, winning another league title and Champions League with Il Rossoneri.

On the international front, Cafu is the most-capped Brazilian player of all time, making 142 appearances for the football giants. He won the 1994 and 2002 World Cup with his country, as well as 2 Copa Americas.

Thanks to Cafu, the modern full-back is now more than a defender. They must also be able to get forward and act as a playmaker. Due to this, Cafu is often listed as the greatest right-back to ever play the game.


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