Isaías Marques Soares
|Full name||Isaías Marques Soares|
|Date of birth||17 November 1963|
|Place of birth||Linhares, Brazil|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Linhares, Espírito Santo, Isaías started his career with Fluminense FC, where he had an unassuming spell. He then represented Friburguense Atlético Clube and Associação Desportiva Cabofriense, and moved to Portugal in 1987, gradually moving up the ranks: first with Rio Ave F.C. then Boavista FC, arriving at S.L. Benfica in 1990.
With Benfica, he quickly became a fan favourite at the Estádio da Luz, being also referred to as a "force of nature" due to his stamina and combativeness – he also scored regularly, being the owner of a powerful long-range shot. Arguably his greatest moment with the Lisbon side came on 6 November 1991, in the last round prior to the group stage of the season's European Cup: against Arsenal, at Highbury Park, he assisted once and netted twice in a 3–1 win (4–2 aggregate success).
However, Isaías would be left out of the Benfica squad in 1995 by coach Artur Jorge, who was proceeding to a team reshuffle that would result in the darkest period in the club's history – at that time, the veteran was still one of the squad's most influential players and top scorers.
Subsequently, Isaías moved to England with Coventry City for £500.000, signing a two-year contract and becoming the first Brazilian to ever play in the Premier League. He featured in just 14 competitive matches for the Sky Blues over a period of two seasons, due to differences with manager Gordon Strachan and his refusal to cancel his contract after no compensation would be paid.
In 1997, aged nearly 34, Isaías returned to Portugal with S.C. Campomaiorense, reaching the final of the Taça de Portugal in 1999. He retired in his country at almost 40 with Cabofriense, then appeared in a few games with the Portuguese beach soccer team courtesy of his previously obtained citizenship.
- "Pioneiro na Premier League e ídolo do Benfica: as histórias do anônimo Isaías" [Premier League pioneer and idol at Benfica: the stories of anonymous Isaías] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- "Ídolo do Benfica, Isaías vai a Portugal em busca de trabalho: "Arriscamos"" [Idol at Benfica, Isaías goes back to Portugal in search of work]. Globo Esporte (in Portuguese). 5 September 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- Malheiro, João (July 2006). Memorial Benfica 100 Glórias [Benfica Memorial, 100 glories] (in Portuguese) (Third ed.). QuidNovi. p. 74. ISBN 978-972-8998-26-4.
- "Arsenal 1–3 Benfica". UEFA.com. 6 November 1991. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- Club-by-club guide: The prospects, the players to watch, the arrivals and departures; The Independent, 13 August 1995