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Rivellino Biography

Being known for his long mustache and left-foot kicks, Brazilian legend Rivellino has an essential role in many young players. Born on January 1, 1946, in São Paulo, Brazil, this legend had an incredible career in football, playing alongside other Ideals. He played for many clubs and the national team of Brazil.

In his distinguished journey, Rivellino attained numerous achievements and made an enduring impact on the sport. From his remarkable displays representing the Brazilian national squad to his extreme success with clubs in Brazil and abroad, Rivellino’s influence on the match can not be overemphasized.

At the age of 77, he is still working in the field of football as a football critic for Brazilian TV Cultura. This article discusses Rivellino Biography, early life, football career, honors and personal life.

Rivellino Biography – “The Little King of the Park”

Credit: Imago Images

Everything to know about Rivellino is in this article. So without a spare of time, let’s hit the article to learn more.

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Rivellino Information

Credit: Getty Images
  • Full Name: Roberto Rivellino
  • Nickname: Patada Atómica
  • Profession: Football Player

Physical Stats

  • Height: 169 cm, 5ft 7 in
  • Eye Color: Dark Brown
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Weight: 73 kg

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 1 January 1946
  • Birth Place: São Paulo, SP, Brazil
  • Nationality: Brazilian

Football Information

  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • Professional Debut: 1965
  • Jersey Number: 10 and 11

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Rivellino Early life


According to Rivellino Biography, He was born on January 1, 1946, in an Italian-based family. His parents had immigrated from Macchiagodena, Isernia, Italy, to São Paulo, Brazil, where he was born. Rivellino real name is Roberto Rivellino. He developed a passion for soccer as a child and began playing in local streets and fields. He honed his skills and quickly gained recognition for his exceptional talent.

His dedication to the sport marked Rivellino lifestyle, and he joined youth teams to further his development. During childhood, he started his career as an amateur at Clube Atlético Indiano in São Paulo and also played indoor soccer at EC Banespa. His exceptional dribbling ability, precise passing, and powerful shots caught the attention of local scouts and coaches.

His talent eventually led him to sign with the youth system of Corinthians, a prominent Brazilian club based in São Paulo. This action began his journey toward becoming one of the greatest footballers in Brazilian history.

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Rivellino Profile


Due to Rivellion Biography, he was an attacking midfielder who also played as a winger. He played in many clubs as a key player, which made him not only one of the legends of Brazilian football but also the World.

Before starting his professional football career, Rivellino played for many indoor football teams in the neighborhood. In his teen days, he joined the C.A. Barcelona Academy in 1962. Only a year later, he joined Corinthians Academy, where the most fabulous years of his football career were accomplished. The Corinthians Paulista signed him for his Team One squad in 1965, making it his first professional team.

After nine years of playing for the Corinthians, in 1975, he joined Fluminense, where he stayed for three years. In 1978, he signed his last contract with Al-Hilal, playing for three years and retired from playing professional football.

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Rivellino Professional Career


Playing football in the streets of Brazil inspired him to dream of being a football player. On this road, Corinthians was the team that let him shine on the professional stage. In this part of Rivellino Biography, we talk about the three clubs Rivellino played in.



Since his arrival at Corinthians, José Castelli, one of the greatest football players of the old time, got attracted to him. He was responsible for the club’s lower team and made the path for Rivellino’s appearance on the main team. Rivellino started his professional career at Corinthians, one of the prominent football clubs in Brazil. He debuted for Corinthians in 1965 and quickly became a talented and skillful player.

Rivellino showcased his exceptional dribbling ability, precise passing, and powerful shooting during his time at Corinthians. He became a fan favorite and was integral to the team’s midfield. His performances at Corinthians helped him gain recognition and paved the way for his future success at the club and international levels.

Rivellino appeared in many games and championships but only got Rio-São Tournament as the most important title. After playing for nine years in Corinthians, he decided to join another team.



In 1970, Rivellino transferred to Fluminense, another Brazilian club, where he continued to excel and solidify his status as a football legend. He first appeared for Fluminense on February 8, 1975, during a friendly match held on Carnival Saturday, where he faced his former club, Corinthians. The final score was 4-1 in favor of Fluminense, and Rivellino stood out as the game’s star player, netting three goals in an impressive display.

One of the most memorable moments of Rivellino’s career, as mentioned in Rivellino Biography, was at Fluminense when he helped the club win the prestigious Campeonato Carioca (Rio de Janeiro State Championship) in 1975. His performances during this period solidified his status as one of the greatest footballers in Brazil and a true icon of Fluminense.

Rivellino delivered numerous remarkable displays while playing for the Rio team; one of the notable ones was a match against Vasco da Gama. During this game, he executed his most renowned career goal, utilizing the “elastic dribble” maneuver to evade Vasco da Gama’s defensive midfielder Alcir and passing by two other Cruzmaltino players before making the tricolor-winning goal.

After three years of playing at Fluminense, he joined Al-Hilal for new adventures and achievements.



In 1978, he departed from Fluminense and moved to Arab football. During his time with Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia, he won the King’s Cup and consecutively secured the titles of Saudi Champion in 1979, 1980, and 1981. however, conflicts with Prince Khaled, the team’s owner, led Rivellino to end his career sooner than he would have liked in 1981, at 35 years. Before this, Rivellino had aspirations to continue playing until he reached 42.

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International Career

Credit: fifamuseum,com

According to Rivellino Biography, He called to be a member of the Brazilian National Team in 1965. Since then, he has made a memorable appearance on the pitch, but the most important one was at the FIFA World Cup 1970.

World Cup 1970

During the 1970 World Cup held in Mexico, he stood out as a notable figure within the Brazilian squad. The team that triumphed in Mexico in 1970 is widely regarded by numerous experts as the finest collective ever assembled for a World Cup, including talents such as Pelé, Tostão, Carlos Alberto Torres, Gérson, Jairzinho, and Rivellino himself, who played with the number 11 jersey in this World Cup.

Wearing the number 11 in the squad, Rivellino was positioned on the left side of the midfield and managed to score three goals; the notable one was the remarkable curling free-kick against Czechoslovakia, a feat that led Mexican fans to affectionately call him the “Atomic Kick” due to its explosive impact.

After the 1970 World Cup, the Brazilian National Team became a champion of the Independence Cup, also known as the “Mini-Copa” Tournament, which was held in Brazil, with the participation of several national teams in 1972 attended by Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and others.

World Cup 1974

The 1974 World Cup occurred in West Germany, and Rivellino earned his second World Cup selection. Alongside Jairzinho and with more experience, he was part of the Brazil National Team. Rivellino’s performance was remarkable, characterized by unique goals. One notable instance was during the match against East Germany, where he expertly executed a precise free kick, directing the ball through a gap in the defensive wall created by Jairzinho’s well-timed evasion.

World Cup 1978

Rivellino was also selected for the World Cup 1978, hosted in Argentina, marking his third and final appearance in the global tournament. Unfortunately, Rivellino spent much of the competition on the sidelines due to an injury, finding himself as a substitute behind Zico. Ultimately, the Brazilian team secured third place in the tournament.

Rivellino Biography is full of significant events but without a dough; the Golden time of this legend was when he represented his country in the World Cups.

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Rivellino’s Playing style


In This part of Rivellino Biography, we talk about this legend’s playing style. Rivellino’s approach to the game on the field was characterized by creativity and remarkable ball control. His playing style was a fusion of artistry and skill, marked by his ability to effortlessly maneuver the ball through tight spaces, leaving defenders in shock.

Rivellino was a master of the unexpected, often employing unpredictable dribbles. His vision and precise passing allowed him to control the game and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. Additionally, his prowess in delivering accurate and powerful shots, especially from long distances, made him a threat in front of the goal.

Rivellino’s playing style was a harmonious blend of elegance and effectiveness, earning him a well-deserved place among the football legends.

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Rivellino’s Honor


Playing in the most incredible National team brings many honors for him. So in this part of Rivellino Biography, we read about the honors he achieved during 16 years of a professional and international career.

During his career at Corinthians, he achieved The Torneio Rio – São Paulo, a traditional Brazilian Football competition between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro teams. In Fluminense, he won twice in The Campeonato Carioca, the football championship of Rio de Janeiro. In his last years of football at Al-hilal, he reached the King Cup as the last championship in his club career. 

As a player in Brazil’s national team, he achieved the FIFA World Cup in 1970. After The World Cup, many individual honors were made by him. Some of the important ones are FIFA World Cup All-Star Team player, Bola de Prata Brazilian Championship All-Star Team, FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers, and many other honors, which are listed in the honors summary part below. 

Talking about Rivellino stats, in his 16 years of professional football career, he appeared in 338 games and scored 105 goals for his club teams. Internationally, he played in 92 games and scored 26 essential goals for his national team for 13 years.

Honors Summary



  • Torneio Rio – São Paulo (1966)


  • Campeonato Carioca (1975) and (1976)

Al Hilal

  • King Cup  (1980)


  • FIFA World Cup (1970)


  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team player (1970)
  • Bola de Prata Brazilian Championship All-Star Team (1971)
  • CONMEBOL All-Star Team (1973)
  • Bronze ball South American Footballer of the Year (1973) and (1976)
  • Silver ball South American Footballer of the Year (1977)
  • FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers (2004)
  • Premio Golden Foot Award (2005)
  • The Best of The Best – Player of the Century (Top 50)
  • World Soccer: 38th Greatest Player of the 20th Century
  • IFFHS Brazilian Player of the 20th Century (12th place)
  • Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame

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Rivellino’s Personal Life


According to Rivellino Biography, He was born in an Italian-based family. His father was Nicolino Rivellino, and his mother was Olanda Rivellino. He has a brother named Abílio Rivellino. Born in Brazil, it was hard to escape from the attraction of football.

But in Rivellino’s family, everything was different. Nicolino Rivellino was not happy with his son’s Rivellino decision. At that time, playing football was a third-class profession. As a result, he tried to keep his son away from football many times, but his love for playing was extreme.

Rivellino does not like to speak much about his personal life, but as far as we know, he is married and got three children. He lives with them happily and enjoys speaking and being a pundit in football.

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Aslik Jacobs
Aslik Jacobs
Being a football fan since she was born, Aslik has a great passion for exploring and writing football-related articles.


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