Raí in 2009.
|Full name||Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira|
|Date of birth||15 May 1965|
|Place of birth||Ribeirão Preto, Brazil|
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|1980–1985||Botafogo de Ribeirão Preto|
|1984–1987||Botafogo de Ribeirão Preto|
|1986||→ Ponte Preta (loan)||10||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He spent the better part of his 15-year career with São Paulo 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 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 June 1993, Raí was acquired by Paris Saint-Germain F.C. of France for US$4.6 million, 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
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.
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. 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) as the national team went on to win the tournament.
|Season||Club||Division||League||Cup||League Cup||French Supercup||Europe||Uefa Supercup||Total|
|1993–94||Paris SG||Ligue 1||28||6||4||2||—||—||4||0||—||36||8|
|Brazil national team|
- São Paulo
- Intercontinental Cup: 1992
- Libertadores Cup: 1992, 1993
- Brazilian League: 1991
- São Paulo State League: 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1998
- Paris SG
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1995–96; Runner-up 1996–97
- French League: 1993–94
- French Cup: 1994–95, 1997–98
- French Supercup: 1995
- French League Cup: 1994–95
- Bola de Prata: 1989
- Intercontinental Cup Most Valuable Player of the Match Award: 1992
- South American Footballer of the Year: 1992
- South American Team of the Year: 1992
- ESM Team of the Year: 1995–96
- Laureus Sport for Good Award: 2012
After retiring, Raí became a social activist and justice campaigner, being involved in two separate philanthropic organisations.
- 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)
- "Where are they now? Rai". The Guardian. 22 June 2008.
- A match made in heaven; FIFA.com, 19 May 2010
- Copa América 1987; at RSSSF
- Raí – FIFA competition record
- "South American Team of the Year". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- Europe's surprising challenge to the latin game; The New York Times, 9 July 1994
- Where are they now? Rai; The Guardian, 22 June 2008
Man of the Match
|South American Footballer of the Year