Élber in 2010
|Full name||Élber de Souza|
|Date of birth||23 July 1972|
|Place of birth||Londrina, Brazil|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1991–1994||→ Grasshopper (loan)||69||(41)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
A prolific goalscorer in various clubs, Élber's career was mostly spent in Germany, where he represented most notably Bayern Munich (six full seasons), scoring a total of 133 league goals in 260 matches for three clubs.
Signed from hometown's Londrina Esporte Clube at the age of 18 by A.C. Milan in 1990, Élber went almost unnoticed during his one-year spell with the Serie A side. Subsequently, he moved to Switzerland with Grasshopper Club Zürich, initially on loan. He immediately started showing displays of offensive talent at his new club, namely in a 1992–93 UEFA Cup tie against Sporting Clube de Portugal where, after a 1–2 home loss, he was influential in the club's 4–3 aggregate win, scoring twice.
After more than 50 official goals for Grasshoppers, Élber signed with VfB Stuttgart of Germany in the 1994 summer. He scored in his Bundesliga debut, a 2–1 home win against Hamburger SV, and finished his debut season with eight goals, which would be the only campaign he netted in single digits for the following seven years.
In the 1996–97 season, Élber netted 20 official goals for Stuttgart, 17 in the league, and three in the cup, including both against FC Energie Cottbus in the final (2–0 win). At Stuttgart he formed the so-called magic triangle (German: Magisches Dreieck) with Krassimir Balakov and Fredi Bobic. The following summer, he moved to fellow league team FC Bayern Munich where, save for one year, he was always crowned the club's top scorer (Carsten Jancker prevented that honour); additionally, he was instrumental in the conquest of four leagues, the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League and the 2001 Intercontinental Cup, whilst winning the Torjägerkanone award for 2002–03 with 21 goals; the Bavarians won the double.
Thirty-one-year-old Élber then spent the vast majority of the 2003–04 campaign (played four matches with Bayern) in France with Olympique Lyonnais, replacing compatriot Sonny Anderson who had left for Spain. He helped the club to the third of its seven consecutive Ligue 1 accolades, but then suffered a severe fibula and tibia injury which put him out of action for more than one year. He made his comeback to professional football in Germany with Borussia Mönchengladbach, whom he joined in January 2005.
In January 2006, after nearly 15 years of absence, Élber returned to his country, finishing his career at Cruzeiro Esporte Clube. After an emotional announcement, he retired from the club three rounds before the end of the season on 9 September, after injuries and the loss of his father.
Due to stiff competition, Élber could not translate his club form to the Brazilian national team. In his first year of international play, 1998, he scored six goals in as many games, but would only collect nine more caps in the following three years.
- Scores and results lists Brazil's goal tally first.
|1.||8 February 1998||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles||El Salvador||3–0||4–0||1998 Gold Cup|
|3.||14 October 1998||Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington||Ecuador||2–0||5–1||Friendly|
|6.||18 November 1998||Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza||Russia||1–0||5–1||Friendly|
|7.||23 May 2000||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff||Wales||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Other||Total|
|Olympique Lyonnais||Ligue 1||2003–04||27||10||9||3||—||36||13|
- Bayern Munich
- Bundesliga: 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03
- DFB-Pokal: 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2002–03
- DFB-Ligapokal: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
- UEFA Champions League: 2000–01
- Intercontinental Cup: 2001
- FIFA World Youth Championship: Silver Ball 1991
- Swiss League: Top scorer 1993–94
- Swiss League: Best foreign player 1993–94
- Bundesliga Top scorer: 2002-03 (shared with Thomas Christiansen)
After retirement from active play
After announcing his retirement he then returned to Bayern, where he began working for the club as a scout, searching in his country for young talents.
He is mostly referred to as Giováne Élber (sometimes also mistakenly as Giovanni Élber), which is a German variation of his Italian nickname il giòvane Élber ("the young Élber").
- "Giovane Elber: "World Cup euphoria has intensified"". FIFA.com. 21 May 2002. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "Finale da non perdere" (in Italian). Rai Sport 1. 20 May 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "Fin de carrière pour Elber" [End of career for Elber] (in French). L'Équipe. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- Giovane Élber – FIFA competition record