The cruel irony of history is the one that falls on characters who almost became the most important of their time, but were prevented by circumstances. The most dramatic example is that of President Tancredo Neves (1910-1985), who on the day he took over the New Brazilian Republic that he helped so much to create, went to the hospital where he did not emerge alive.
The “Tancredo” of the Atletico centenary is the defender and full-back Marcão. The right man to be the great captain of Brazil’s two-time championship and the Copa Libertadores, he saw the cups slip away due to circumstances beyond his control. Marcão did his part, leading the fantastic group of 2004 and the surprising group of 2005 with race and versatility. If he had lifted both cups, what would be his place in this story? And how would the club be?
Marcão was already well rounded when he arrived in 2004. Within the athletic tradition, no one gave anything for him. But it was only when he established himself as a left defender that the team began an 18-game unbeaten run. With outstanding performances, he gained the respect of the fans. Born in Curitiba, an authentic Pole from Barreirinha, Marcão said he couldn’t sleep when he lost.
But he slept well during the Brazilian Championship campaign, until the last rounds, at least. If he was great in the Brazilian Championship, Marcão was a giant in the 2005 Libertadores, a pillar of necessary solidity in the chaotic campaign, scoring goals and providing assists in the most important games until the final.
Before, he won the only title for CAP: the Paraná title against the local rival while Athletico played decisive matches in the continental tournament. In an interview with the club’s official website in 2016, Marcão revealed that he had played a sacrifice, but that raising his hat after Dénis Marques’ goal and the penalty shootout was worth it.
Marcão worked in the club’s youth categories between 2014 and 2019, when he left the club. As a player, more than honoring the shirt, he gave a new dimension to his position in the 3-5-2 formation and was the best winger who scored and the best defender who came out for the game in history. Strength, race and technique in the right measure of a great captain. This title no one can take away from him.