|Full name||Antônio de Oliveira Filho|
|Date of birth||5 October 1960|
|Place of birth||Araraquara, Brazil|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1999||São José (RS)||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Antônio de Oliveira Filho (born 5 October 1960), better known as Careca (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈɾɛkɐ]), is a Brazilian former footballer, who was deployed as a forward. During his career Careca played for several clubs, he is most famous for his time with Italian side Napoli and also his contributions to the Brazilian national football team.
Careca began his footballing career in his home state of São Paulo with local side Guarani in 1978. With his finishing ability and devastating pace quickly established himself as one of his country's best young strikers. With Guarani, he won the Brazilian Championship during his first season and the Brazilian Second Division in 1981.
By 1983 he had been signed by São Paulo, he continued to gather notoriety because of his impressive goals to games ratio and by 1986, Careca led São Paulo to the Brazilian Championship, beating his former club Guarani in the final. He was awarded Bola de Ouro the same year, which is the Brazilian equivalent of Footballer of the Year.
Move to Napoli
In the summer of 1987 Careca moved to Italian Serie A champions Napoli, where he was part of the "Ma-Gi-Ca" forward lineup with Bruno Giordano and Diego Maradona. Careca's first season at Napoli was an unsuccessful one, despite his 13 goals: the team were knocked out in the first round of the European Cup by Real Madrid and they lost the title in the final games of the season.
However, his second season was far more successful. The team won the UEFA Cup, with Careca scoring a goal in each leg of the final, one a memorable lobbed goal, and finished second in Serie A, also reaching the Coppa Italia final that season. In 1990, Careca finally won the Scudetto with Napoli, following the success up with the first ever Supercoppa Italiana later that year. Careca would spend a further three years with Napoli, establishing a partnership with Gianfranco Zola, during which Napoli failed to win any silverware.
Later stages of playing career
In 1993 Careca left Italy to play for new Japanese J. League team Kashiwa Reysol. Careca spent three years with the team, during which time he helped them to promotion to the J1 league in 1994. He returned to Brazil in 1997 with Santos, he spent a year with the club before joining the lower-league team São José (RS), where he finished his career in 1999.
Careca retired having played 64 games for Brazil, and scored 30 goals.
The word careca is Portuguese for 'bald'. It was a nickname given to Careca as a child because of his admiration for a famous Brazilian clown of the same name.
Careca first broke into the national side of Brazil during 1982, but was forced to miss the 1982 World Cup in Spain due to a thigh injury suffered in practice three days before Brazil's debut in that tournament. His place in the squad for that tournament was taken by Roberto Dinamite. He was also part of the Brazilian squad that came in second in the 1983 Copa América.
It was during the 1986 World Cup, in Mexico, that Careca really established himself in world football. He ended the tournament, during which Brazil were memorably eliminated on penalties by France at the quarter-final stage, with five goals which placed him second in the Golden Boot rankings behind England’s Gary Lineker. In 1990, Careca was part of the Brazilian team that was defeated by Argentina in the second round. He scored two goals in the tournament. His last cap was earned in August 1993.
Style of play
Careca is regarded as one of the greatest strikers in the history of Brazilian football. He was a prolific, fast, opportunistic, and powerful striker, with excellent technique and great striking ability. Despite being right footed, he was also capable of scoring with his left foot, and he was known for his ability to score goals off-balance from angled shots even when running with the ball. Careca was also good in the air, and he had an excellent positional sense, which along with his intelligence, sense of space, and attacking movement, made him known for frequently being in the right position at the right time in the penalty area. Although he was usually deployed as a striker, he was also capable of playing in deeper positions, as a creative forward, due to his ability to play off of his team-mates and provide them with assists, as well as his tendency to make attacking runs starting from outside the area in order to create space for other players.
- São Paulo
- Bola de Prata: 1982, 1985
- Campeonato Paulista Top Scorer: 1985
- Bola de Ouro: 1986
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Top Scorer: 1986
- FIFA World Cup Silver Boot: 1986
- South American Team of the Year: 1986
- Richardson, James (3 April 2007). "Serie A's comeback kid eyes another miracle". The Guardian. UK.
- "Shooting from the hip - Careca joins Brazil's coaching staff". Goal.com. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- "Careca" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "ANTONIO FILHO DE OLIVEIRA 'CARECA'" (in Italian). Pianeta Azzurro. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "CARECA (Antonio de Oliveira Filho)" (in Italian). Treccani: Enciclopedia dello Sport (2002). Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Marco Caiazzo (5 December 2015). "Careca vede un solo avversario: "Napoli stai attento alla Juve"" [Careca sees only one opponent: "Napoli beware of Juve"] (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Careca: The Napoli striker who was better than Neymar". La Gazzetta dello Sport. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "Careca". Eurosport. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "South American Team of the Year". RSSSF. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
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