Juliano Belletti

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Juliano Belletti
Juliano Haus Belletti 01.jpg
Personal information
Full name Juliano Haus Belletti
Date of birth (1976-06-20) 20 June 1976 (age 37)
Place of birth Cascavel, Brazil
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Right back / Midfielder
Youth career
1992–1994 Cruzeiro
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1996 Cruzeiro 22 (0)
1996–2002 São Paulo 54 (4)
1999 Atlético-MG (loan) 17 (5)
2002–2004 Villarreal 59 (6)
2004–2007 Barcelona 71 (0)
2007–2010 Chelsea 54 (5)
2010–2011 Fluminense 9 (0)
Total 286 (20)
National team
2001–2005 Brazil 23 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Juliano Haus Belletti (born 20 June 1976) is a Brazilian former footballer who mostly played as a right-back. He was awarded the Silver Ball by Placar for his consistently great performances for Atlético Mineiro during the 1999 Brazilian Série A.[1]

Club career[edit]

Born in Cascavel, Belletti started his career playing as a central midfielder in Brazil for the youth team of Cruzeiro in 1992. His professional debut happened in November 1994. In March 1996, he was involved in a deal that sent him and Serginho to São Paulo FC in exchange for five players: Aílton, Donizete, Gilmar, Palhinha and Vitor. Playing for São Paulo, he eventually became a right-back.

Belletti during a match against Levski Sofia.

In 1999, he was loaned to Atlético Mineiro. Playing as an attacking-midfielder, Belletti helped the club to finish second in the Brazilian League and managed to win a Silver Ball, award handed by Placar Magazine to the players nominated to the Brazilian League Squad of The Year (except for the best one, who takes a Golden Ball).

After returning to São Paulo, he became a regular in the Brazilian national team by playing in the right-back once again. Rumours linked him with a move to Spanish La Liga side Valencia CF in 2001, but the move fell apart at the last minute.[citation needed] In 2002, he finally moved to Europe with Villarreal CF. In 2004, after a successful spell at Villarreal, he signed for FC Barcelona where he became the first-choice right back and a key set-piece taker in the squad.

Barcelona[edit]

After winning the Spanish La Liga title in his first season, Belletti gradually fell out of favor both in Barcelona and in the national team. From being a regular in the 2004–05 season, he faced tough competition from the Catalan Oleguer Presas and spent his second season in-and-out of the first team.

Belletti's first and only goal with Barcelona was the winner in the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. On 17 May 2006 at the Stade de France in Paris, Barcelona played English club Arsenal in the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. Oleguer was preferred to start rather than Belletti, and he had to make do with a place on the substitute bench. But when manager Frank Rijkaard brought him on for Oleguer, he scored the second goal in a 2–1 come-from-behind win which gave them the 2006 Champions League crown.

His third season was marked by injuries, and competition from new rival Gianluca Zambrotta proved too much for him. He played very little in Barcelona's season that ended without silverware.

Chelsea[edit]

On 23 August 2007, Chelsea officially announced that Belletti had signed a three-year contract after the player agreed personal terms and passed a medical.[2] He made his Premier League debut for Chelsea on 25 August when he came on as a substitute for John Obi Mikel in the 64th minute of their home game against Portsmouth, the game ending 4–0 to Chelsea.[3]

Beletti playing for Chelsea.

He made his first start for Chelsea against Aston Villa at Villa Park. Despite a strong debut, Chelsea lost the game 2–0. Following the departure of José Mourinho, Belletti became a regular starter in the right-back position for Premier League, Champions League, and League Cup games, facing competition from Paulo Ferreira and Michael Essien for his place in the team. In his first season at Chelsea, Belletti scored two goals, both shots from long-range, the first away at Wigan Athletic in November 2007 and the second at Stamford Bridge against Tottenham Hotspur in January 2008. The latter was eventually voted by Chelsea supporters as "Chelsea Goal of the Season" in 2007–08. On 21 May 2008, in the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Belletti came on for Claude Makalele who had been booked on 120 minutes just before penalties. During the penalty shootout, Belletti scored Chelsea's second spot kick with his first touch in the game, but captain John Terry missed when he slipped on his backside and although his shot sent Edwin Van der Sar the wrong way it ended up hitting the outside of the post and therefore Manchester United went on to win the trophy.[4]

José Bosingwa's arrival at Chelsea at the start of the 2008–09 season caused Belletti to relinquish the right-back position at Stamford Bridge. However, Luiz Felipe Scolari instead deployed Belletti as a utility player, providing valuable back-up in the central midfield, defensive midfield and right wing positions. His long-range shots gave him cult status among Chelsea supporters. In October 2008, he added to his collection of spectacular goals with a powerful shot from 30 yards into the top corner against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, his fourth league goal for the club.[5] Belletti scored his third goal of the 2008–09 season against Stoke City, to draw the teams level before teammate Frank Lampard scored the winner in the dying seconds.[6]

A year later, in January 2010, Belletti was linked with a move to Flamengo in his home country Brazil, but the Blues rejected their offer.[7] In Chelsea's game against Preston North End in the FA Cup fourth round, Belletti hobbled off the ground with a knee injury just 20 minutes in and was replaced by Florent Malouda. On 27 February 2010, Belletti was sent off for a professional foul on Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry to give away a penalty, in a match which Manchester City went on to win 4–2 at Stamford Bridge. Belletti came on as a substitute in the final game of the 2009–10 Premier League season, where a Chelsea win ensured that they won the title. A week later, Belletti came on as a substitute for the injured Michael Ballack in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth. Despite committing a foul which earned Portsmouth a penalty, Belletti was ultimately on the winning team as Chelsea won 2–0.

On 9 June 2010, Chelsea announced that Belletti was one of three players whose contract would not be renewed upon their expiry in the summer, meaning that Belletti leaves Chelsea on a free transfer. He left Chelsea with a Premier League winners medal, 2 FA Cup winners medals and was considered a cult hero by Chelsea supporters for his long range goals and excellent work rate. He made a total of 94 appearances, scoring 5 goals.

Fluminense[edit]

Following his release from Chelsea F.C. he signed a two-year contract for Brazilian club Fluminense Football Club on 14 July 2010.[8]

Struggling with several injuries and being unable to find a spot in the starting line-up, Belletti had his contract ended on 15 March 2011. He played nine matches with Fluminense, starting only three.

Retirement[edit]

On 15 June 2011, Belletti signed a one-year contract with Ceará[9] but twelve days later, on 27 June, announced his retirement via Twitter.[10] He confessed that he had failed to recover from a serious achilles injury.

International career[edit]

Belletti was called up for the first time in 1995 by head coach Zagallo to serve the Brazilian national team. However, his debut would happen only in 2001, becoming the second choice for the right-back position behind Cafu. He was part of 2002 World Cup winning squad, playing the semi-final match against Turkey after replacing Kléberson in the second half.

International goals[edit]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Cruzeiro
São Paulo
Atlético Mineiro
Barcelona
Chelsea
Fluminense

International[edit]

Brazil

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bola de Prata 1999
  2. ^ Belletti Move Completed
  3. ^ Phillips, Owen (26 August 2007). "Chelsea 4 – 0 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 August 2007. 
  4. ^ Chelsea Player of the Year Awards
  5. ^ Hughes, Ian (18 October 2008). "Middlesbrough 0–5 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  6. ^ Dawkes, Phil (17 January 2009). "Chelsea 2 – 1 Stoke City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Blues block Belletti move". Sky Sports. 27 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Fluminense acerta com Belletti
  9. ^ "Belletti chega para reforçar o elenco alvinegro" (in Portuguese). Ceará. 15 June 2011. 
  10. ^ (in Portuguese). Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/julianobelletti/status/85438438668640256.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]