Little-known story: Dida

We remember him as a Milan legend. However, few know how Dida broke down the walls of racism he destroyed in his goalkeeping career, which began with his dreams of becoming a volleyball player.
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Little-known story: Dida
Cited as the 6th best goalkeeper of the 21st century, milan legend Dida's true story was overshadowed by his achievements.

Nelson de Jesus Silva was very different from many footballers. His dream wasn't to be a football player, he was playing volleyball. His goal was to become a professional volleyball player. Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense how much goalkeeping skills feed off volleyball...

Here is the hand-playing, move towards the ball and reflex skills that volleyball brought him, and he passed it to the goal in the futsal, where he started to spend time with his friends. And he became more and more interested in football.

He didn't have the technical capacity to play ball with his feet, the only possible position for him was the wicket, he was very good. But he had a gigantic problem, racism in Brazil...

From here, we don't realize it, but Brazil is one of the countries in the world that has fought racism and all kinds of discrimination the most, especially in the previous century. And goalkeeping was almost impossible for a black man. In the 1940s, Moacyr Barbosa was the only example in Brazil that made it to the castle, and you had to have a very unusual ability to find form.

He started playing for Flamengo's youth team. This was going to be his first real experience. At Flamengo, dida was in charge of the youth teams at the time, he was the club's legendary striker in the 1950s. Nelson was named after Dida; he became the goalkeeper named after the striker.

It was obvious what a great talent Dida was, but it always took a little more courage to play her in the next age category. At the age of 17, he left for Arapiraca, two years later to Vitoria, and by the age of 20 he was receiving the "Goalkeeper of the Year" award at the end of the season, when Palmeiras finished second in Serie A.

Dida took the shot out of racism and discrimination.

He went to Cruzeiro, won the Copa Libertodores. There was Taffarel in the Brazilian fortress at the time and he had to prove himself in order to get to the goal after that. He wanted to go to Milan in 1999. He asked Cruzeiro to terminate his contract. The matter was brought to court, the trial was to last five months. FIFA allowed the goalkeeper to be sent on loan to FC Lugano in Switzerland until the case is concluded. In fact, that day Dida thought the Milan transfer was over. However, the management of the Italian team were aware of the ore they found. They paid the price for cruzeiro's request.

Dida's football career was always a problem-solving, never going in a straight line. The wonders he created on the goal line, on the other hand, became his greatest legacy.

His tackles on the goal line have always been "reflexive", he has been one of the most successful figures in removing short-range shots thanks to his ability to learn from volleyball and calculate which angle the ball came from. While many of Dida's saves were described as "impossible," they were actually the sum total of intelligence and athleticism.

Using a penalty against him was something few footballers would dare to do when their Champions League final match against Juventus came on penalties, with manager Lippi admitting he was struggling to find a player to move to the white spot.

Of course every goalkeeper makes mistakes, misses the ball or can pick the wrong place. Dida also had his faults and was such a good goalkeeper that the list of mistakes he made was kept.



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