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Taffarel

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Taffarel

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Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel (born May 8, 1966 in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul) is a Brazilian former football goalkeeper. He is of German and Italian descent, and played for Brazil in their victory at the 1994 World Cup.

He conceded only one goal in the first round and two in the knock-out phases (excluding two penalty kicks in the final). In addition to USA 1994, Taffarel helped lead Brazil to second place in the 1998 World Cup in France. In the semifinals against Netherlands, he played a central role in the 4-2 penalty kick victory, saving the last two attempts. Upon his retirement in 2003, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira offered to arrange a farewell match. Taffarel refused, stating that he was not interested in such fanfare. He did return to play alongside Romário in late 2004 against Mexico to commemorate the 1994 World Cup victory in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

At club level, Taffarel played for Internacional (1984-90), Parma (1990-93 and 2001-02), Reggiana (1993-94), Atlético Mineiro (1994-97), and Galatasaray (1998-2001). For the Brazilian national team, Taffarel is the most capped goalkeeper in their history, with 106 appearances. Other than the 1994 triumph, he also played in the 1990 and 1998 World Cup tournaments. Taffarel was also Brazil's keeper at their Copa America success in 1989 and 1997.

He had a key role in Galatasaray's UEFA Cup triumph over Arsenal F.C. in 2000, and was named the man of the match in the final. He also helped Galatasaray defeat Real Madrid 2-1 to win the UEFA Super Cup in 2000 and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2001, performing at the top of his game in victories against clubs such as A.C. Milan and Real Madrid. While with Parma he won the Italian Cup.

Taffarel signed in April 2004 with his old club Galatasaray as assistent of headcoach and also old teammate Gheorghe Hagi. After a short time he returned to Brazil.

Taffarel and his former Atlético Mineiro team-mate Paolo Roberto started up a player agency, with the focus mainly on promising youngsters.

 

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