Rivaldo returned to action at the age of 43 yesterday in a bid to kick-start Mogi Mirim’s campaign in Brazil’s second division, but it was only after the former World Player of the Year went off that his team were able to claim their first win.
Rivaldo, who is club president, said last month he only planned to help out occasionally but the 2002 World Cup winner started Tuesday’s game against Nautico in Serie B.
He missed a chance to give his side the lead when he shot wide midway through the first half and also had a free kick saved by goalkeeper Julio Cesar during the second half.
Rivaldo was substituted in the 68th minute with his side trailing 1-0, and two minutes later Mogi Mirim were level.
Serginho grabbed the equalizer and then went on to score the winner two minutes before time, giving Mogi Mirim their first win in 11 outings.
“After one year and three months, I started training back again and went out to play at a match after just 20 days and that inspires any younger player,” said Rivaldo.
“I helped the team get out of this predicament. We are still in a difficult situation and we are doing our best to get out of it.”
Despite the win, Mogi Mirim remains bottom of the table, level on six points with Ceara.
Top Brazilian players are often able to play into their late 30s and early 40s in their homeland, helped by the modest standards.
Romario played for first division side Vasco da Gama at 41 and goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is still playing for Sao Paulo, also in the first division, at 42.