LUCIO PROFILE

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One of the great paradoxes of the World Cup could be the presence of Lucio, a player who is simultaneously ungainly and elegant.

At times the Bayern Munich defender can look awkward but then, a mazy run up field and his place of origin becomes all so apparent.

"He's a good player. We've played together frequently for Brazil. He's a dangerous player.'' Emerson

Lucio is a player who loves, like all Brazilians, to play the game with a certain style but in a defence that also contains the rampaging runs of Roberto Carlos and Cafu on either flank, he knows his primary job is to defend.

Lucimar Ferreira da Silva was born in Planaltina on August 8, 1978, and with an imposing presence and deft touch he was soon invited to train with Internacional, the club were he learnt his craft between 1997 and 2000.

His assured performances in the tough surrounds of Brazil's domestic league soon caught the attention of Europe's scouts, each spying the next big South American import.

Lucio fitted the bill and when Bayer Leverkusen came calling in 2000 it would prove to a match made in heaven. Under the astute guidance of Klaus Toppmoller, Leverkusen were the surprise package of the UEFA Champions League in 2001.

To everyone's amazement, Bayer reached the final as the familiar sight of Lucio's forward forays illuminated that year's competition. In the final Real Madrid eventually came out winners courtesy of a 2-1 victory, but it was Lucio that grabbed his side's goal and it was the same player that attracted admiring glances from Bayern Munich.

Lucio made the switch to Bayer's Bundesliga rivals in 2004, where he has since established himself as a mainstay, winning the German league and cup double in his debut campaign.

Heading in to the World Cup Lucio has enjoyed another impressive campaign, as Bayern close on the title safe in the knowledge they have already secured the German Cup.

Lucio's was handed his international head for Brazil's Under-23 side at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, where his appetite was whetted for the gold of Brazil despite seeing just 45 minutes of action.

It was Emerson Leao that handed Lucio his senior debut in 2000 in a World Cup qualifier, but the arrival of Luiz Felipe Scolari saw the player reduced to the bench as 'Big Phil' made no secret of his misgivings.

Scolari would, though, eventually be convinced and in the World Cup winning side of 2002 Lucio was an ever present, proving an instrumental figure in Brazil's securing of a record fifth title.

Current incumbent Carlos Alberto Parreira is a tactician firmly in the Lucio camp, handing him the captain's armband for the 2004 Copa America in Peru.

Lucio has all the potential to be one of the finals' most outstanding defenders but whether his fellow defenders will allow him opportunity to demonstrate his own skills going forward remains a question yet to be answered.