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Personal information
Full name Cenira Sampaio Pereira do Prado
Date of birth (1965-02-12) 12 February 1965 (age 53)
Place of birth Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height 1.56 m (5 ft 1 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
CR Flamengo
EC Radar
CR Vasco da Gama
National team
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:52, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:52, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Cenira Sampaio Pereira do Prado (born 12 February 1965), commonly known as Cenira, is a Brazilian former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder or playmaker for the Brazil women's national football team.

Playing career[edit]

Cenira was a leading player at EC Radar when she was a teenager.[1] After beginning her career at Madureira and spending a brief spell with Flamengo, she moved to Radar and scored 34 goals in 1984.[2] In 1987 Cenira returned from the birth of her first child, Guilherme, to sign a professional contract for the new Vasco da Gama women's team.[3] She missed Radar's trip to the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament in Guangdong, where they represented Brazil and finished in third place.[4]

In the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup Cenira featured in all three group games; as a substitute in the 1–0 win over Japan and playing the full 80 minutes in defeats to the United States (0–5) and Sweden (0–2).[5]

The Brazilian women's national team did not play another match for over three years, until a sponsorship from Maizena corn starch allowed them to play in the 1995 South American Women's Football Championship. Cenira was captain of the team and as the only married player, was seen as the team's mother figure.[6][7] She retained the captaincy at the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden.

After Cenira was left out of the Brazil squad for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, she gave an explosive interview to Placar magazine which lifted the lid on the team's internal politics. Excoriating the Brazilian Football Confederation's (CBF) women's football chief, she claimed, variously, that players still close to Radar boss Eurico Lira had been frozen out, players were being bullied into moving to certain clubs, and that certain players were only picked to keep other players happy.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Cenira married Sérgio Luís, the massage therapist of the Brazil women's national team. She had two children during her playing career and was the proprietor of a sandwich trailer in Rio.[8]


  1. ^ "O Charme da Conquista". Placar (in Portuguese) (718): 44. 24 February 1984. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Araújo, Maria Helena (1 February 1985). "As Invenciveis". Placar (in Portuguese) (767): 27. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dura Missão". Placar (in Portuguese) (895): 6. 27 July 1987. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Fernandes, Andréa Karl. "A história do futebol feminino" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Sindicato dos Treinsdores de Futebol Profissional do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup China '91 – Technical Report & Statistics" (PDF). FIFA. p. 79. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Garin, Erik; Pierrend, José Luis (28 January 2001). "South-American Women's Championship 1995". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Bertolotto, Rodrigo (10 January 1995). "Capitã brasileira é a 'mãe' do time" (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "O Caso Cenira". Placar (in Portuguese) (1119): 48. September 1996. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 

External links[edit]