By the Numbers: 2

Soccer lists are ubiquitous and come in all shapes and sizes, types and varieties. We at O87 never settle for just doing another list. “Just another list” isn’t even in our vocabulary. So, when one of us decided that it would behoove our blog to have it’s own take on the “Best Of” phenomenon of modern sports, we decided that we couldn’t just list the best players in order of their relative merits, by their decades or eras, or even by their positions. We would try something marginally novel (we won’t be so bold as to claim to be the first to come up with this idea): let’s rank players by the number they wore, not by their position. Now obviously, this throws in some wrinkles. Players who might not normally be compared to each other will needs be. For example, Makelele, Hargreaves, Koeman, Zanetti, and Fabregas have all iconically worn number 4. Who to choose? It doesn’t matter! We’re trying to approach this question from a different perspective. We hope you enjoy it.

For the number 2, we had lots of options, but only a few obvious ones. We present to you: Haiku for Cafu.

Haiku for Cafu

Sao Paulo’s finest
Just an average student
Except for soccer

Overlooked most often
Til Tele Santana said
Try this wingback thing

After that, the trophies
came in faster than daisies
in a spring garden

He conquered Brazil
then South America, then
won his first World Cup

Italy noticed
the denizens of Roma
hailed the Express Train

Eight years in Rome
They dubbed him The Commuter,
The tireless traveler

Captain courageous
in three straight World Cup finals
The only ever

Most capped Brazilian
recognized by Pele as
one of the great greats

The greatest wingback?
Perhaps, although certainly
the best number two.

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