Taffarel with Galatasaray in 2012
|Full name||Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel|
|Date of birth||8 May 1966|
|Place of birth||Santa Rosa, Brazil|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
The recipient of more than 100 caps for Brazil, Taffarel helped the national team win the 1994 World Cup, also appearing in other eight major international tournaments over the course of one full decade.
Born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Taffarel began his career playing for Sport Club Internacional but only appeared in 14 top division games during his five-year spell, being however awarded the Golden Ball award for the 1988 season. In 1990 he moved abroad and joined Parma A.C. in Italy, freshly promoted to Serie A for the first time in the club's history; he proceeded to appear in all 34 league games in the following season as the Emilia-Romagna outfit overachieved for a final sixth position and qualified to the UEFA Cup.
In 1993 Taffarel, now only a backup at Parma, signed for another Serie A team A.C. Reggiana 1919 being first-choice as the club narrowly avoided relegation. After that campaign, he returned to his country and played three years with Clube Atlético Mineiro.
Aged 32, Taffarel returned to Europe and joined Galatasaray SK, winning six major trophies during his three-year stint, most notably two Süper Lig and the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup, a 4–1 penalty shootout defeat of Arsenal (0–0 after 120 minutes); he closed out his career at the age of 37 with former club Parma, after one 1/2 seasons as second-choice, and after having refused an offer from Empoli FC: his car broke while he was going to sign the contract, and he defined such event as a "sign of God".
Taffarel made his debut for Brazil on 7 July 1988 in the Australia Bicentenary Gold Cup, playing all four games and conceding two goals in an eventual win. He was also in goal for the following year's Copa América, in another international conquest (during his 10-year career, he appeared in five editions of the tournament).
Taffarel was the starter for Brazil during the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, only allowing one goal in the first round and two in the knock-out phases, excluding two penalty kicks in the final. Four years later, in France, he helped the national team finish second, notably saving two penalties in the 4–2 shootout win against the Netherlands in the semifinals.
Taffarel gained 101 caps with the national team. Upon his retirement in 2003, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira offered to arrange a farewell match but the player refused, stating that he was not interested in such fanfare. He did return to play alongside Romário in late 2004 against Mexico to commemorate the 1994 World Cup victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
|Brazil national team|
- UEFA Cup: 1999–2000
- UEFA Super Cup: 2000
- Turkish League: 1998–99, 1999–2000
- Turkish Cup: 1998–99, 1999–2000
- Atlético Mineiro
- FIFA World Cup: 1994; Runner-up 1998
- Copa América: 1989, 1997; Runner-up 1991, 1995
- Summer Olympic Games: Silver medal 1988
Post-retirement / Personal
During the 1998 World Cup, when the Brazilian national team was training at Trois-Sapins stadium in Ozoir-la-Ferrière, a suburb southeast of Paris, the town's mayor proposed renaming the stadium after him.
Taffarel is a born-again Christian who has actively shared his faith in numerous venues. He was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 1988, and had 17 children, 15 of them adopted.
- Andre Claudio Taffarel (1966–); Galatasaray official's website (Turkish)
- "Taffarel dice no all' Empoli Colpa di un guasto all' auto" [Taffarel says no to Empoli due to car malfunction] (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 25 September 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Football: God gave Taff a sign: The big interview; `You need to hit the darkest point to be able to appreciate the.". The Free Library. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- Claudio André Mergen Taffarel – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
- "Fledgling careers in safe hands". FIFA.com. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.[dead link]
- "Coach certain Brazil will rule". New York: New York Daily News. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- Clarey, Christopher (8 July 1998). "World Cup '98; Goalie has answers for Brazil fans". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- CBF data (Portuguese)
- Stats at Tutto Calciatori (Italian)
- Cláudio Taffarel at National-Football-Teams.com
- Cláudio Taffarel – FIFA competition record