Derlei in 2005
|Full name||Vanderlei Fernandes Silva|
|Date of birth||14 July 1975|
|Place of birth||São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2007||→ Benfica (loan)||12||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
He spent most of his 16-year professional career in Portugal (one full decade), having represented all three most important clubs in the country and amassing top division totals of 187 games and 70 goals.
Born in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Derlei started playing in the lower levels of football in Brazil, but joined Portugal's U.D. Leiria in 1999, going on to appear in 91 top division games with the club and score 42 goals. In his last season, as Leiria overachieved for a final seventh place led by young manager José Mourinho, he netted 21 times.
Derlei joined F.C. Porto in the summer of 2002, playing an important part in a successful squad that was also managed by Mourinho. He was one of the top scorers in a side that conquered the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League in consecutive seasons – he scored twice in the 2003 UEFA Cup final against Celtic (adding another brace in the 4–1 semifinal win over S.S. Lazio) – being nicknamed "Ninja" while playing for the northern side; the following campaign, as he was leading the domestic goalscoring chart, he suffered a severe knee injury, which rendered him unavailable for the remainder of the season.
In January 2005, after disciplinary problems related to his lateness in arriving from the winter break, Derlei was sold to FC Dynamo Moscow for €7 million, being granted Portuguese citizenship shortly thereafter. After two years of Russian football where he was always one of the top five best goalscorers, Derlei joined S.L. Benfica on loan in January 2007; on 2 February he played his first league match for the Reds, a 0–0 home draw against Boavista FC.
In June 2007 Derlei left Benfica for Lisbon rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, signing a contract until 2009 after being freed from his two-year contract with Dynamo Moscow – he was, therefore, one of the few players to have represented the Big Three of Portugal. He would, however, spend most of 2007–08 on the sidelines, with another serious knee injury.
Derlei made a fantastic comeback to competition when, on 16 April 2008, he entered the field for Leandro Romagnoli in the 61st minute during the semi-final of the Portuguese Cup against previous team Benfica, managing to score only 18 minutes later to make it 3–2 to Sporting, in a match which eventually ended with a 5–3 win as the Lions went on to win the tournament against another former club of the player, Porto.
In his second season Derlei fought with Hélder Postiga for a chance to play alongside Liédson, and scored some goals, including an important one in a 1–0 home triumph over FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, which sealed Sporting's group stage qualification on 4 November 2008. At the end of the campaign he refused to accept the club's offer to renew the link, on the grounds the figures offered were not convincing, thus being made a free agent.
After some consideration, 34-year-old Derlei joined Esporte Clube Vitória on 27 August 2009, in a one-year deal. He made his club debut on 13 September in a match against league leader Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras: having taken the pitch in the second half, he scored the 3–2 winner. Shortly after he switched to modest Madureira Esporte Clube, returning to a team he had represented more than one decade ago.
- UEFA Champions League: 2003–04
- UEFA Cup: 2002–03
- Intercontinental Cup: 2004
- Primeira Liga: 2002–03, 2003–04
- Taça de Portugal: 2002–03
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2003, 2004
- Taça de Portugal: 2007–08
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2007, 2008
- Taça da Liga: Runner-up 2007–08, 2008–09
- Derlei puts Porto first; UEFA.com, 16 September 2003
- Porto stun lacklustre Lazio; UEFA.com, 11 April 2003
- Derlei dealt Christmas blow; UEFA.com, 24 December 2003
- Derlei leads Dynamo influx; UEFA.com, 10 January 2005
- Benfica seal Derlei and Fernandes deals; UEFA.com, 29 January 2007
- Dire outcome for Sporting's Derlei; UEFA.com, 9 September 2007
- Derlei sparks Sporting celebrations; UEFA.com, 4 November 2008