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Érika Cristiano dos Santos 2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Érika Cristiano dos Santos[1]
Date of birth (1988-02-04) 4 February 1988 (age 29)
Place of birth São Paulo, Brazil
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[2]
Playing position Defender / Forward
Club information
Current team
Paris Saint-Germain
Number 8
Youth career
Associação Sabesp
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2004 Juventus
2005–2008 Santos
2009 FC Gold Pride 7 (0)
2009 Santos
2010 Foz Cataratas
2011 Santos
2012–2015 Centro Olímpico
2015– Paris Saint-Germain 29 (8)
National team
Brazil U-20
2006– Brazil 49 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 December 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 June 2015

Érika Cristiano dos Santos (born 4 February 1988), commonly known as Érika, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazilian women's national team. Versatile Érika played as a forward for her clubs and Brazil's youth teams, but mainly as a central defender or "volante" (defensive midfielder) for the senior national team. She was part of Brazil's silver medal-winning team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also played at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.

At club level Érika enjoyed three successful spells with Santos and was hurt when the male parent club disbanded the female section in 2012. She also spent the 2009 season with American Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) franchise FC Gold Pride. After the demise of Santos, Érika and nine other former Santos players agreed to join Centro Olímpico.

Club career[edit]

At six years old, Érika became the first female pupil at Marcelinho Carioca's football school. She then played futebol de salão for Associação Sabesp, where the rules were changed to allow her to compete against adults at the age of 12. Érika's mother arranged a place at Clube Atlético Juventus, where she began playing outdoors and quickly came to the attention of national youth team selectors and leading women's club Santos.[3] With Santos Érika won the Campeonato Paulista in 2007 and the 2008 Copa do Brasil.

Érika was picked by FC Gold Pride, a team in the new Women's Professional Soccer from Santa Clara, California, in the 2008 WPS International Draft. The team's assistant coach was Sissi, Érika's compatriot and mentor. After appearing in seven FC Gold Pride games during 2009, Érika was made a free agent at the season's close by coach Albertin Montoya.[4]

She returned to Santos and was part of the club's 2009 Copa Libertadores Femenina-winning team in November 2009, scoring twice in the 9–0 final win over UAA. The following month Santos retained the Copa do Brasil, after beating Botucatu 3–0 in the final at Estádio do Pacaembu.[5]

In early 2012 Santos' board of directors scrapped the women's section, to save money after the club handed their male player Neymar a gigantic new contract. Érika was surprised and hurt by the development. She cried at the press conference announcement and publicly contemplated a contract offer from a South Korean club.[6]

With Neymar's assistance, Érika and the displaced Santos players secured around $1,500,000 in external sponsorship. But Santos' board refused to reverse their decision, claiming that the women's team cost $2,000,000 a year to run and provided no financial return. Instead ten of the players including Érika moved to Centro Olímpico.[7]

In late 2013, Érika suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury which kept her out of football for around ten months, until September 2014.[8] In August 2015 Érika and compatriot Cristiane made a double transfer to French UEFA Women's Champions League contenders Paris Saint-Germain Féminines.[9]

International career[edit]

Aged 15, Érika played for Brazil at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship. She also featured at the 2006 edition of the event, which had changed to under-20 from under-19, as Brazil came third. Still eligible in 2008, Érika scored two goal in Brazil's run to the quarter-finals and was named in the tournament all-star team. She had been joint top goal scorer with seven goals at the 2008 South American Under-20 Women's Football Championship, which served as the qualifying tournament.[10]

Érika at the 2012 Olympics

In November 2006 Érika made her senior international debut in Brazil's 6–1 South American Women's Football Championship win over Bolivia at Estadio José María Minella, Mar del Plata.[11] She was withdrawn from Brazil's 2007 Pan American Games squad two days before the tournament, with injured ankle ligaments.[3]

At the 2008 edition of the Olympic Football Tournament, Érika replaced Andréia Rosa in central defence after the first match. She remained in the team and collected a silver medal when Brazil lost the final 1–0 after extra time to the United States.

In November 2010, Érika scored Brazil's first goal in a 5–0 2010 South American Women's Football Championship win over Colombia which ensured qualification for the following year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.[12]

At the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Érika scored Brazil's opening goal in a 3–0 win over Equatorial Guinea. Brazil then lost a controversial quarter-final on penalties to the United States after a 2–2 draw. American players, supporters and media were unhappy that Érika appeared to exaggerate an injury during extra time to use up valuable seconds. Érika was shown the yellow card and then Abby Wambach equalised in time which the referee had added on for the contentious injury.[13]

Érika went to her second Olympic football tournament at London 2012. FIFA.com described her as one of the team's key players.[14] Amidst allegations of a broken down bus plot,[15] Brazil lost their final group E game 1–0 to hosts Great Britain before a record crowd of 70,584 at Wembley Stadium. That meant a quarter-final against World Cup holders Japan, who eliminated Brazil by winning 2–0 at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

She returned to the national team for the 2014 Torneio Internacional de Brasília de Futebol Feminino, after almost two years away with injuries. She recalled playing in every outfield position for the national team, except on the wings, and was happy to keep fitting in where required.[16] On the eve of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Érika sustained a knee injury and was replaced in the squad by Rafinha.[17]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 12 February 2016.[11][18][19]

Brazil national team
Year Apps Goals
2006 5 0
2007 0 0
2008 10 1
2009 6 2
2010 8 1
2011 9 5
2012 11 1
2013 0 0
2014 0 0
2015 5 1
2016 0 0
Total 54 10

International goals[edit]

Location Opponent # Score Result Competition
1.goal 1 2008-06-15 South Korea Suwon  Italy 1.1

5250.02005 1–0

5450.04005 2–1

2008 Peace Queen Cup
2.goal 2 2009-12-13 Brazil São Paulo  Mexico 1.1

5250.02005 2–0

5450.04005 3–2

Torneio Internacional 2009
3.goal 3 2010-11-19 Ecuador Latacunga  Colombia 1.1

5250.02005 1–0

5450.04005 5–0

Copa America 2010
4.goal 4 2011-07-06 Germany Frankfurt  Equatorial Guinea 1.1

5250.02005 1–0

5450.04005 3–0

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup
5.goal 5 2011-12-08 Brazil São Paulo  Italy 1.1

5250.02005 1–1

5450.04005 5–1

Torneio Internacional 2011
6.goal 6 2011-12-11 Brazil São Paulo  Chile 1.1

5250.02005 1–0

5450.04005 4–0

Torneio Internacional 2011
7.goal 7 2011-12-18 Brazil São Paulo  Denmark 2.1

5250.02005 1–1

5450.04005 2–1

Torneio Internacional 2011
8.goal 8 2.2

5350.03005 2–1

9.goal 9 2011-12-16 Brazil São Paulo  Denmark 1.1

5250.02005 1–0

5450.04005 2–1

Torneio Internacional 2012
10.goal 10 2015-12-01 Brazil Cuiabá  New Zealand 1.1

5250.02005 2–1

5450.04005 5–1

Friendly game

Personal life[edit]

Érika is an outspoken advocate of women's football in Brazil. When Brazil lost 5–1 to Germany at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, she rejected misleading comparisons to the wealthy male team's recent 7–1 defeat by Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In a damning open letter, signed by 100 female athletes, she branded Brazil "a sexist and bigoted country that never believed in, accepted, or invested properly in women's football".[20]

One of Érika's coaches at youth level was Marcinha, a pioneering veteran of EC Radar and Brazil's 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup squad.[21]


  1. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012 – List of Players Brazil" (PDF). FIFA. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  2. ^ 2015 World Cup
  3. ^ a b "Craque e beldade da Seleção Brasileira Feminina de Futebol manda recado à massa vascaína" (in Portuguese). Super Vasco. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Pride Makes More Offseason Moves". FC Gold Pride. 22 September 2009. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Santos bate Botucatu e conquista a Copa do Brasil feminina" (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo. November 1, 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ Peres, Thiago (14 March 2012). "Em novo time, Érika, Maurine e Gabi confiam em projeto para o ouro" (in Portuguese). Terra Networks. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Velasco, Clara; Brenha, Heloisa (19 June 2013). "Considerado amador, futebol feminino leva atletas da seleção a jogar sem salário" (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Galeano, Marina (12 September 2014). "Após trocar o salto alto pela chuteira, Erika se destaca nos gramados" (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Erika and Cristiane sign for Paris". Paris Saint-Germain F.C. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Atletas - Erika" (in Portuguese). Brazilian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Leme de Arruda, Marcelo (9 December 2012). "Seleção Brasileira Feminina (Brazilian National Women's Team) 2006-2007" (in Portuguese). Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Brazil seal place in Germany". FIFA.com. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Longman, Jeré (11 July 2011). "At the Women's World Cup, Drama Without All the Dramatics". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Brazil". FIFA.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Magnay, Jacquelin (31 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Brazilian women's football team allege plot after five hour wait for bus". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Érika ressalta a importância do Torneio Internacional de Brasília" (in Portuguese). Brazilian Football Confederation. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Lauletta, Dan (5 June 2015). "Breakers Rafinha added to Brazil’s World Cup squad". The Equalizer. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  18. ^ Leme de Arruda, Marcelo (24 August 2014). "Seleção Brasileira Feminina (Brazilian National Women's Team) 2008-2010" (in Portuguese). Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Leme de Arruda, Marcelo (5 March 2014). "Seleção Brasileira Feminina (Brazilian National Women's Team) 2011-2013" (in Portuguese). Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Zagueira vê falta de apoio ao feminino e critica comparações com o 7 a 1" (in Portuguese). Brasil Online. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014. Em um país machista e preconceituoso que nunca acreditou, aceitou ou investiu de verdade no futebol feminino 
  21. ^ "Marcinha é destaque do Jornal Gazeta do Tatuapé" (in Portuguese). Clube Atlético Juventus. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 

External links[edit]