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Player Profile: Cesar Peixoto

Cesar Peixoto

Full name: Paulo Cesar Silva Peixoto

Position: Defender

Date of Birth: 12 May 1980

Birthplace: Guimaraes, Portugal

Few doubt the talent of the tall, elegant and speedy Cesar Peixoto, blessed with a cultured left foot, who is equally adept playing in any position along the left flank – as a defender, midfielder or winger.

Should Braga’s 2007 summer signing prove a success at the ambitious northern club, it will be a triumph to the perseverance and determination of a footballer who simply refused to give in to a horrendous series of serious injuries that would have broken a lesser man.

Mourinho impressed

In 2002 none other than Jose Mourinho was so taken by the Belenenses player that the coach made him one of his first and most expensive signings upon being appointed at FC Porto. In his first season for the Dragons the team won the Portuguese Championship, Portuguese Cup and Uefa Cup, but Peixoto played only a bit-part role as injuries restricted him to 15 appearances and 3 goals.

Nevertheless, Mourinho was still convinced of his abilities and refused to release him. And as quite possibly FC Porto’s best ever team began to take shape en route to Champions League glory, Peioxoto at last began to show his true worth, taking his place alongside the likes of Ricardo Carvalho, Maniche, Deco and Benni McCarthy.

Double blow

His good progress was then brought to an abrupt halt in the Champions League encounter against Olympique Marseille as a ruptured cruciate knee ligament forced him to miss most of the season. Months later, he was lucky to escape relatively unscathed from his mangled car after crashing it while speeding. The incident landed him in hot water with the Porto hierarchy, and the next season he was loaned out to Guimaraes.

At the start of 2005/06 his luck seemed to have changed. New Porto coach Co Adriaanse decided to try converting the midfielder come winger into a full-back, and the experiment was an overwhelming success. Several exuberant goalscoring performances seemed to have at last cemented his place in Porto’s team and also led to a clamour for an international call-up.

To Peixoto’s dismay, he then suffered another major injury that would keep him away from the pitch for the rest of the season, ending his legitimate aspirations of making Portugal’s Germany World Cup squad. Upon recovering from his injury he was then summarily dismissed from FC Porto in May 2006 by Adriaanse, in what many saw as a callous act.

Next stop was a loan to Spanish side Espanyol at the start of the 2006/07 season, yet his atrocious injury jinx struck again as yet more serious knee ligament damage forced him to sit out the whole season without making a single appearance for the Barcelona based club.

Braga ambition

In May 2007 he returned to Portugal, signing a three-year contract with Sporting Braga. “I’ve come to a club that has grown non-stop in recent years and has an extremely ambitious project. It is a pleasure to be part of it,” said Peixoto upon being presented to the press.

After spending the summer working hard to recuperate his fitness, Peixoto started the season in fine form as he aims to consolidate Braga’s valiant attempt to break the traditional Portuguese triumvirate and improve on last year’s run to the last 16 of the Uefa Cup.

by Tom Kundert (12/09/2007)

FC Porto359
Vitoria Guimaraes131

* League appearances only

** Up to 20 March 2009


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