Denilson’s golden days


The 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup was, arguably, the most memorable tournament in the career of Brazilian winger Denilson. He was only 20 years old at the time in a squad laden with stars, yet Denilson came away with the adidas Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player.

Opponents simply could not deal with his rapid bursts down the flank, as the Brazilian consistently provided the attacking duo of Romario and Ronaldo with sublime service. He may have only scored one goal at the tournament, although it was certainly an important one in a tough 3-2 group-stage win over Mexico, while, the Ro-Ro partnership chipped in with 11. Nevertheless, Denilson was acknowledged as the standout performer at the 1997 Confederations Cup.

In the same year, Denilson also helped inspire A Seleção to victory at the Copa America. And five years later, he was part of the squad which won the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™.