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Player profile: Anderson Polga

PolgaFull name: Anderson Correa Polga

Position: Defender

Date of Birth: 9 February 1979

Birthplace: Santiago, Brazil

Anderson Polga is a central defender who oozes class. His speed on the ground, finely-tuned sense of anticipation and strength in the air are defensive attributes which are complemented by superb passing ability.

Polga’s magnificent form this season is perhaps the major factor behind the statistic that Sporting had the defence that has conceded fewest goals in the whole of Europe in 2006/07 at the time of writing.

Polga came to prominence in his native Brazil playing for Gremio for whom he made his debut in 1999. He went on to make 94 appearances for the club, winning the Rio Grande do Sul Championship and the Brazilian Cup.

World Cup winner

So impressive was his form that he forced his way into one of the most powerful World Cup squads ever assembled as he joined Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and company in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.

Although only 23 at the time, Polga wasn’t there just to make up the numbers, and featured in two matches as Brazil fulfilled their hot favourites tag to lift the game’s greatest prize.

His considerable talent and new-found international pedigree made him a target for several European teams and it was something of a coup when Sporting secured the centre-back’s services in 2003/04.

Since than he has established himself has a mainstay in the Lisbon team, and has been one of the Lions’ most consistent performers over recent seasons. It came as no surprise when Sporting tied him down to an extended and improved contract until 2009.

Trophy hunting

Despite helping the club to the UEFA Cup final in 2004/05, Polga is yet to win silverware in Portugal. That could all change as what is undoubtedly Polga’s most impressive season nears its end with Sporting still in contention for a Portuguese league and cup double.

by Tom Kundert (14/04/2007)

Gremio Porto Alegre945
 * League only
** Up to 1 March 2009

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