Title-winning Porto and Barca squads gather for Deco's testimonial
The Brazilian-born Portuguese playmaker retired last August on his birthday, bringing the curtain down on a football journey that saw him win an armful of personal and club honours including an UEFA Club Football Player award in 2004, as well as the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball.
The testimonial match in honour of the former Portugal international will feature the two teams he won UEFA Champions League titles with; Porto's Class of '04 and Barcelona's Class of '06.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho will return to coach the Porto side that swept all in Europe, as players like Ricardo Carvalho, Vitor Baia, Maniche and Benni McCarthy take to the field once again.
As for Barcelona, Frank Riijkaard makes a one-off appearance as he manages a star-studded team which includes the likes of Ronaldinho, Henrik Larsson, Samuel Eto'o and Carles Puyol, as well as current stars Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi who are still at the club.
"There were more than 500 games at clubs like Porto, Barcelona, Chelsea and Fluminese. I had the pleasure of representing Portugal for 75 times and throw in some of the best competitions in the world as the Champions League, Euro and World," the 37-year-old Deco said.
"After thousands of miles in the legs, numerous trips, joys and titles came time to return the affection of the fans. It's time to say goodbye to the pitch with the people of my heart's club. I'll celebrate at Dragon Stadium with my colleagues, family, friends and all dragons."
FC Porto: Vitor Baia, Nuno, Jorge Costa, Pedro Emanuel, Ricardo Carvalho, Ricardo Costa, Carlos Secretario, Nuno Valente, Paulo Ferreira, Mario Silva, Costinha, Sergio Conceicao, Dmitri Alenichev, Jose Bosingwa, Maniche. Carlos Alberto, Marco Ferreira, Pedro Mendes, Edgaras Jankauskas, Derlei, Cesar Peixoto, Benni McCarthy; Jose Mourinho
FC Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Albert Jorquera, Juliano Belletti, Rafael Marquez, Carles Puyol, Edmilson, Sylvinho, Oleguer, Thiago Motta, Xavi, Ronaldinho, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Mark van Bommel, Gabri, Andres Iniesta, Henrik Larsson, Ludovic Giuly, Samuel Eto'o, Maxi Lopez, Lionel Messi, Gianluca Zambrotta, Eric Abidal, Diego Milito, Demetrio Albertini; Frank Riijkaard
For more information on Deco and Tiger Street Football, visit www.uncagefootball.com.