Player Profile: Helton PDF Print E-mail

HeltonFull name: Helton da Silva Arruda

Position: Goalkeeper

Date of Birth: 18 May 1978

Birthplace: Alcantara, Brazil


Many footballers play the game with little fanfare. These players show up for training, work hard and do their talking on the pitch. This is precisely the case of FC Porto’s number one goalkeeper, Helton da Silva Arruda.

Helton’s unflappability and superb elasticity has seen him establish himself as one of the Liga’s premier goalkeepers. Ever since taking over from Porto and Portugal legend Vitor Baia, the Brazilian has put in unerringly consistent performances, making an endless series of tremendous stops along the way.

Yet the keeper maintains his modest demeanour in all post-match interviews, no matter what the result, always citing the team’s effort rather than crediting his own goalkeeping exploits.

Brazilian championship

Helton’s rise to goalkeeping supremacy did not happen overnight. The mercurial net-minder started his career in his homeland of Brazil with Vasco da Gama in 1997. After spending most of his first three years as a professional on the bench, the 22-year-old keeper lifted the national championship in his first year as first-choice goalkeeper.

Helton then decided to try his luck in Europe, signing for Uniao de Leiria in 2002. The Brazilian impressed during three seasons at the club, before making the leap to one of Portugal’s biggest clubs, FC Porto. It seemed the keeper was again destined to spend a long time bench-warming as the legendary Vitor Baia barred his way into the first team.

However, Helton got his chance sooner than expected when Dutch coach Co Adriaanse summarily dropped Baia after a mistake against Estrela da Amadora cost Porto a goal and defeat. Initial criticism for what was seen as excessively harsh treatment meted out to the popular Baia by the coach was soon dissipated as a string of assured performances proved Helton was worthy of the number one spot.

He celebrated his first year at the club with the domestic double of Portuguese Championship and Cup.

International Career

Helton’s belated success at club level has earned its reward on the international arena. After having been overlooked by Brazilian national team coaches for years, Helton eventually got the nod in October 2006 as new head coach, Carlos Dunga, set about giving the national team a fresh look after their disappointing display in the 2006 World Cup.

Helton was selected to play against Kuwaiti club, Al-Kuwait, and one month later he finally earned his stripes in a full international when he started in a friendly match against Switzerland. Since then Helton has been an ever-present in the Brazil squad and added a further two caps to his collection.

by Marco Pereira (05/04/2007) 

Vasco da Gama520
Uniao de Leiria670
FC Porto**660

* League appearances only

** Up to 18 February 2009

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