Edmundo – The Animal

Edmundo was a modern day Brazilian footballing hell-raiser. Starting with Vasco da Gama in 1990 he would leave & return to his first club five times, ending his career there in 2008. He suffered the ultimate high of winning The Brazilian National Championship there & the low of suffering relegation there.

For all that Edmundo was a gifted & talented footballer, the antics, stories & myths that surrounded the man known as ‘The Animal’. His career would not just be intertwined with Vasco but also with fellow striker & bad boy Romario. They fell out & made up more times than Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton. In one famous story Romario put up a cartoon of Edmundo sitting on a burst ball outside the toilets. The fact they could actually form a devastating partnership, they took apart Man Utd’s Champions League winning team in 2000, was always ruined by their ego’s. Romario would crow that he was the king & Edmundo would take a huge huff & walk off!

In 1995, Edmundo would be involved in a car accident that would result in the death of three people. Edmundo would be found guilty of drink driving & manslaughter. He was given a sentence which meant he only had to spend nights in jail & free to play football during the day. Edmundo would never spend more than a few days inside & continues to fight the sentence.

In 1997, ‘The Animal’ flew in to Florence where he caused havoc both on & off the field. On it he managed 12 goals in 37 games for Fiorentina & embarking in a strangely fruitful partnership with Gabriel Batistuta. But like most of Edmundo’s career off the field stories would become more interesting during his time with ‘The Viola’. When the club needed Edmundo most he took a flight to Rio to visit the carnival as his contract stated he could. An injured Batistuta was fuming, he later said¬†“He was the right man if anyone wanted to have fun, but to win something was not right. He left his team without having any physical problem, but only to go to party”. Another time after being told he was being benched against Juventus he again threatened to fly back to Brazil.

Edmundo would cause outrage in 99′ by hiring a circus to entertain in his back garden. Photos such as the one above showed Edmundo fuelling a chimp with alcohol. Edmundo would deny any wrong doing. On the field he could be majestic, scoring six in one game but he could also spark two team brawls. He racially abused a linesman, received seven red cards in one year & continually falling out with coaches including Vanderlei Luxemburgo & Napoli’s Emiliano Mondonico.

For Brazil Edmundo would be selected 39 times scoring ten goals. But even with the national team he would be remember for being unprofessional during the 1998 World Cup. He moaned throughout the tournament telling everyone & anyone he deserved more game time. He was in fact named as a starter for the Final against France but was then replaced by the supposedly fit again Ronaldo. He was a used sub.

Edmundo was a terrific player, a second striker he could create & score at will at his peak. Small but powerful his bad boy reputation & lifestyle let him down. As well as playing for Vasco five times Edmundo played for twelve ¬†other clubs, he never last long in one place. Since retiring the 40 year old tried to become a police officer & is now a TV pundit… Now thats a show I would love to see!

4 Responses to “Edmundo – The Animal”

  1. Have you ever seen his goal against Manchester United? One of the best I’ve ever seen…. astonishing.

    RCM

  2. Yeah I do, very much like Bergkamps vs Newcastle. What I remember is SAF watch from BBC studio as he was banned from touchline.

    Here are all the goals here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adc7trqYxS4

  3. A true footballing genius. A wonderful talent who could and should have become one of the all-time greats.

  4. He was a phenomenally gifted player, one of the best ever. If he had been used properly in the ’98 World Cup Final i.e. playing from the start as he was supposed to, instead of Ronaldo, who was having some kind of melt-down, the game might have had a different result

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