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Rai em 2009 cropped.jpg
Raí in 2009.
Personal information
Full name Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira
Date of birth (1965-05-15) 15 May 1965 (age 54)
Place of birth Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1980–1985 Botafogo de Ribeirão Preto
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1987 Botafogo de Ribeirão Preto
1986Ponte Preta (loan) 10 (1)
1987–1993 São Paulo 110 (25)
1993–1998 Paris Saint-Germain 145 (51)
1998–2000 São Paulo 19 (1)
Total 284 (77)
National team
1987–1998 Brazil 49 (17)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira (born 15 May 1965), known as Raí (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁaˈi]), is a Brazilian retired footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He is the current General Manager for São Paulo.

He spent the better part of his 15-year career with São Paulo[1] and Paris Saint-Germain, winning 10 major titles with the two teams combined, and nearing the 100-goal mark. He is the younger brother of more famous Brazilian footballer Sócrates.

Raí played with Brazil for more than a decade, helping the country win the 1994 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Raí started his career with local Botafogo Futebol Clube (SP), signing in 1986 with Associação Atlética Ponte Preta, with which he made his Série A debuts.

São Paulo[edit]

Raí joined São Paulo FC for the 1987 season, only making his league debut on 18 October due to injury. He only scored once in his first year but, following the arrival of Telê Santana as coach, blossomed into a prolific scorer, scoring 28 overall in the 1991 campaign as the team won both the regional Campeonato Paulista and the National Championship.

In 1992, Raí was part of the São Paulo team that won the club's first ever Copa Libertadores, scoring the only goal of the final second-leg against Newell's Old Boys that took the match to a penalty shootout. Later that year, he was instrumental in the defeat of FC Barcelona in the 1992 Intercontinental Cup, netting both goals in a 2–1 win in Tokyo. This form saw Raí named South American Footballer of the Year for 1992.

In the 1993 season, São Paulo defended their Copa Libertadores title, with Raí again scoring in the final as CD Universidad Católica were beaten 5–1 at the Estádio do Morumbi.[2]

Paris Saint-Germain[edit]

In June 1993, Raí was acquired by Paris Saint-Germain F.C. of France for US$4.6 million,[3] remaining with São Paulo until the end of the year. He still managed to contribute with six goals in 28 Ligue 1 games as his new club won the national championship for the second time in its history; he helped PSG to the following season's French Cup, and was on target in the League Cup final against SC Bastia (2–0).

Raí once again proved essential as the capital outfit won the 1996 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, scoring twice in a 3–1 home win against Parma AC, after a 0–1 away loss. He also appeared in the final against SK Rapid Wien, and went on to score three seasons in double digits during his five-season spell.

Return to São Paulo[edit]

At the age of 33, Raí returned to São Paulo. He retired at the end of the 1999 season, after having appeared in only 15 games.

International career[edit]

Raí gained the first of his 49 caps for Brazil in 1987, whilst at São Paulo, being selected to that year's Copa América in Argentina, playing twice – including in the 0–4 group stage loss against Chile – in an eventual group stage exit.[4] His debut occurred on 19 May at the Rous Cup, playing 15 minutes in a 1–1 draw against England.

Raí was picked by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira for his 1994 FIFA World Cup squad. He captained the team in the group stage, and scored a penalty in the first match, a 2–0 win against Russia, after Romário was brought down in the box. Raí was subsequently dropped from the first team in the knockout stages, with Dunga taking over the captaincy. He was used as a substitute against the Netherlands (quarterfinals, ten minutes) and Sweden (semifinal, 45 minutes)[5] as the national team went on to win the tournament.

Personal life[edit]

Raí's older brother, Sócrates, was also a footballer and an attacking midfielder. He too represented Botafogo de São Paulo in his career, and was also a longtime Brazilian international.[6][7]

After retiring, Raí became a social activist and justice campaigner, being involved in two separate philanthropic organisations.[7]

Career statistics[edit]


Season Club Division League Cup League Cup French Supercup Europe Uefa Supercup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1993–94 Paris SG Ligue 1 28 6 4 2 4 0 36 8
1994–95 28 12 5 0 4 2 7 2 44 16
1995–96 27 14 3 1 1 0 1 0 6 2 38 17
1996–97 35 9 3 1 1 0 10 3 2 2 51 15
1997–98 29 10 6 3 5 1 8 4 48 18
Total 147 51 21 7 11 3 1 0 35 11 2 2 217 74


Brazil national team
Year Apps Goals
1987 11 3
1988 0 0
1989 0 0
1990 0 0
1991 5 3
1992 7 6
1993 16 2
1994 9 3
1995 0 0
1996 0 0
1997 0 0
1998 1 0
Total 49 17



São Paulo
Paris SG





  1. ^ Após 100º de Ceni, Raí eleva goleiro ao posto de ídolo máximo do Tricolor (After Ceni's 100th goal, Raí raises goalkeeper to biggest idol position at the Tricolor); Globo Esporte, 28 March 2011 (in Portuguese)
  2. ^ "Where are they now? Rai". The Guardian. 22 June 2008.
  3. ^ A match made in heaven; FIFA.com, 19 May 2010
  4. ^ Copa América 1987; at RSSSF
  5. ^ RaíFIFA competition record
  6. ^ Europe's surprising challenge to the latin game; The New York Times, 9 July 1994
  7. ^ a b Where are they now? Rai; The Guardian, 22 June 2008
  8. ^ "South American Team of the Year". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2015.

External links[edit]

  • Raí – French league stats at LFP
  • Raí at National-Football-Teams.com
  • Raí at Sambafoot
Preceded by
Vladimir Jugović
Intercontinental Cup
Man of the Match

Succeeded by
Toninho Cerezo
Preceded by
Oscar Ruggeri
South American Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by
Carlos Valderrama