Athletico 100 years: Roberto Costa, Mão de Anjo

Athletico 100 years: Roberto Costa, Mão de Anjo


In May 1983, wearing his black and gray striped shirt, Roberto had the greatest performance by an Atletico goalkeeper since the Caju era. But only because, with eight difficult saves, Roberto stopped a powerful São Paulo attack led by Careca and put Athletico in an unprecedented semi-final of the Brazilian Championship. We needed a draw and we won 1-0, a goal from Assisi.

I saw the game on television and I can say that at that time Roberto was the most trustworthy institution in the world: courage of fire soldiers and solidity of Swiss banks. At the age of five, I had already taken to the field with him twice in Baixada – a greater emotion – and if you asked me what I wanted to be in life, I would say I wanted to be Roberto.

He arrived at Athletico in 1978. Revealed at Santos, he was a contemporary of Pelé’s last days. Here, he was coached by Sicupira and saw from the bench Ziquita’s day of fury and the infamous penalty shootout that year. After a quick departure, he returned to Furacão in 1981. At “only” 1.85, he was cold and bold. Safe and spectacular, he was the starting archer in winning the sunny Paraná title, even under the shadow of the great Rafael.

In 1983, the peak. In the Brasileirão in which the greatest stars of a brilliant generation still played in Brazil, he was chosen as the best player with an average of 8.41 in the “Golden Ball”, an award from Revista Placar.

The following year, Roberto went to Vasco, started using his surname, won another Ballon d’Or and played for the national team. In 1987, he returned to Furacão and ended his career three years later.

What remains, however, are the magical days of the “angel hand” on our bow, he who always says that he has, like us, an athletic heart. And when I finally grow up I still want to be Roberto Costa.

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