Taffarel with Galatasaray in 2012
|Full name||Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel|
|Date of birth||8 May 1966|
|Place of birth||Santa Rosa, Brazil|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈklawdʒu tafaˈɾɛw]; born 8 May 1966) is a Brazilian retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and the goalkeeping coach of the Brazilian national team.
The recipient of more than 100 caps for Brazil, Taffarel helped the national team win the 1994 World Cup, also appearing in other eight major international tournaments over the course of one full decade.
Born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Taffarel began his career playing for Sport Club Internacional but only appeared in 14 Série A games during his five-year spell, being however awarded the Golden Ball award for the 1988 season. In 1990 he moved abroad and joined Parma A.C. in Italy, freshly promoted to Serie A for the first time in its history; he proceeded to appear in all 34 league games in the following season as the Emilia-Romagna club finished in sixth position and qualified to the UEFA Cup.
In 1993 Taffarel, now only a backup at Parma, signed for another Serie A team A.C. Reggiana 1919 being first-choice as they narrowly avoided relegation. After that campaign, he returned to his country and played three years with Clube Atlético Mineiro.
At 32, Taffarel returned to Europe and joined Galatasaray SK, winning six major trophies during his three-year stint, most notably two Süper Lig titles and the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup, in which Taffarel was chosen Man of the Match of the Final against Arsenal, by making numerous saves to keep the score 0–0 until the penalty shootout where Galatasaray won 4-1. He closed out his career at the age of 37 by returning to Parma as second choice for a season and a half, after having previously refused an offer from Empoli F.C.; his car broke down while he was en route to the contract signing, which Taffarel later described as a "sign of God".
Taffarel made his debut for Brazil on 7 July 1988 in the Australia Bicentenary Gold Cup, playing all four games and conceding two goals in an eventual win. He was also in goal for the following year's Copa América, in another international conquest (during his ten-year career, he appeared in five editions of the tournament).
Taffarel was the starter for Brazil during the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, only allowing one goal in the first round and two in the knock-out phases, excluding two penalty kicks in the final. Four years later, in France, he helped the national team finish second, notably saving two penalties in the 4–2 shootout win against the Netherlands in the semifinals.
Taffarel gained 101 caps with the national team. Upon his retirement in 2003, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira offered to arrange a farewell match but the player refused, stating that he was not interested in such fanfare. He did return to play alongside Romário in late 2004 against Mexico to commemorate the 1994 World Cup victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Post-retirement / Personal
During the 1998 World Cup, when the Brazilian national team was training at Trois-Sapins stadium in Ozoir-la-Ferrière, a suburb southeast of Paris, the town's mayor proposed renaming the stadium after him.
Taffarel is a born-again Christian who has actively shared his faith in numerous venues. He was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 1988, and has seventeen children, fifteen of them adopted.
- UEFA Cup: 1999–2000
- UEFA Super Cup: 2000
- Süper Lig: 1998–99, 1999–2000
- Turkish Cup: 1998–99, 1999–2000
- Atlético Mineiro
- FIFA World Cup: 1994; Runner-up 1998
- Copa América: 1989, 1997; Runner-up 1991, 1995
- Summer Olympic Games: Silver medal 1988
- FIFA World Youth Championship: 1985
- Bola de Ouro: 1988
- Bola de Prata: 1988
- IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper: Bronze ball 1991, 1994
- FIFA XI: 1998
- Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame
- Andre Claudio Taffarel (1966–); Galatasaray's official website (Turkish)
- "Press pack – Galatasaray – Arsenal". UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). CollectSoccer. 17 May 2000. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Taffarel dice no all' Empoli Colpa di un guasto all' auto" [Taffarel says no to Empoli due to car malfunction] (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 25 September 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Football: God gave Taff a sign: The big interview; `You need to hit the darkest point to be able to appreciate the.". The Free Library. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- Claudio André Mergen Taffarel – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
- "Fledgling careers in safe hands". FIFA.com. 16 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "Coach certain Brazil will rule". New York: New York Daily News. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- Clarey, Christopher (8 July 1998). "World Cup '98; Goalie has answers for Brazil fans". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1991; at RSSSF
- IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1994; at RSSSF
- FIFA XI´s Matches – Full Info; at RSSSF
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