Silvestre De Sousa and the great sporting Brazilians

At Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day, Silvestre De Sousa – born and raised in Brazil – is set to be crowned the 2015 Stobart Flat Jockeys’ Championship Champions

Here, we take a look at the other sporting greats to have ascended from the South American nation.

 

Pelé

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi gracing the beautiful game in the modern era, it is widely regarded that Pele is the greatest footballer to have ever lived.

Born in Três Corações, Brazil, in 1940, the Santos superstar made waves in the footballing world at the FIFA World Cup – winning three times in 1958, ’62 and ’70.

Pele scored 77 goals wearing the famous yellow shirt, a record that still stands to this day.

 

Ronaldo

Another footballing superstar. Ronaldo – no, not Cristiano (he’s Portuguese) – took the footballing world alight with his neat trickery and his ability to dominate sides with expert positioning and merciless finishing.

Winner of the World Cup in 1994 and 2002, Ronaldo showed what he is capable of at the Japan and South Korea-hosted World Cup by registering a staggering eight goals in the tournament.

The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker also had a successful club career based in Europe, winning numerous domestic titles and the UEFA Cup, now known as the Europa League.

 

Ayrton Senna

As is the case with the footballer’s above, Brazilians tend to have a natural flair on the sporting stage. The same can be said for Formula One driver Ayrton Senna.

Regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time, Senna was the winner of three World Championship titles and 41 races in an era when the sport was tarnished by dangerous driving conditions.

Sadly, Senna was to succumb to the sport’s danger when his car crashed into a concrete wall when racing in Imola, Italy. He passed away on Sunday 1 May 1994, but his legacy still lives on and he is widely regarded as the inspiration for many top racers today, including Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa. 

 

Éder Jofre

A native of São Paulo, Eder Jofre was a boxing hero that dominated the Bantamweight and featherweight classes.

With a record of 72 victories – 50 by knock-out, two losses and four draws, Jofre entered an exclusive club of professional boxers to have won more than 50 fights in their careers before the final bell.

On November 18 1960, the star became the undisputed World Bantamweight Champion, a title that he would hold on to for five years. Four years later, he would also become a double division world champion, after winning his World Featherweight Championship title fight against Cuban fighter, Jose Legra.

Jofre is commonly believed to be the first world champion to be a strict vegetarian – making his feat even more remarkable.

 

Maria Bueno

One of the greats of the game, Maria Bueno has won virtually everything that tennis has to offer.

Born in São Paulo, Maria won 20 Grand Slam titles in her career, including seven singles titles of which three of them were at the hallowed turf of SW19 – The Wimbledon Championships, England.

Bueno’s career lasted a remarkable 27 years. She is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.