Leônidas da Silva was Brazil’s greatest player before Pelé. He dominated the national scene between the 1930s and 40s, and more: he was the top 1938 World Cup scorer, with seven goals. In 1942, he was hired by São Paulo FC from Flamengo, in the most expensive South American football transaction at the time, totaling 200,000 Cruzeiros. Leônidas had not played for months due to army and military service issues, arriving at São Paulo FC on a low, while rivals teased by saying that Tricolor had bought a train wreck for 200,000.
The arrival and future success of Leônidas can be considered a true landmark in São Paulo FC’s consolidation as a major football club. Leônidas led the team towards winning five Paulista championships in seven years. He was popularly known as the inventory of the bicycle kick and nicknamed Rubber Man and Black Diamond.
Matches played for the club: 211
Last match: 12/03/1950
Goals scored for the club: 144
Date of birth: 09/06/1913, Rio de Janeiro (RJ)
- Paulista championships of 1943, 1945, 1946, 1948 and 1949