Player Profile: Liedson PDF Print E-mail

Liedson
Full name: Liedson da Silva Muniz

Position: Forward

Date of Birth: 17 December 1977

Birthplace: Cairu, Brazil

 

The career of Liedson da Silva Muniz, known simply as Liedson, is one of those remarkable stories in which football is so fertile.

At 20 years of age Liedson was scratching out a living stacking supermarket shelves in his native Brazil. Two years on and the sleight striker, 1.75m tall and weighing just 63kg, took his first tentative steps on the footballing ladder, playing for his local club side Coritiba.

Liedson’s ability to hit the net on a regular basis eventually earned him a loan to top-flight team Corinthians, where 10 goals in 18 matches persuaded Sporting to pay two million euros to bring him to Lisbon in the summer of 2003.

It was in Portugal where his career would really take off. After 15 goals in his first season, he finished top scorer in 2004/05 with 25 goals in the championship. A further 9 in the UEFA Cup helped Sporting to their first European final in 41 years, which ended in a heartbreaking defeat to CSKA Moscow in their own stadium.

Liedson continued to hit the net on a consistent basis the following season, and Sporting fans breathed a huge sigh of relief when transfer speculation was quashed as the Brazilian put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the Alvalade.
 

Strength and skill

The quicksilver striker is known as “levezinho” (the light one) to Sporting fans, but his seemingly fragile frame masks a surprising strength which he combines with superb skill and a clinical streak.

As if these assets were not enough to make Liedson a formidable opponent, he also has a tremendous work rate, with opposition defenders unable to rest for a second if he is in the vicinity. A bemused expression on a defender’s face as the Brazilian seemingly comes from nowhere to whip the ball away is a common sight on Portuguese football pitches.

Liedson has also shown a particular fondness for scoring against fierce city rivals Benfica, further endearing him to the Sporting faithful.

Despite his personal success, Liedson yearns for the one thing to elude him since crossing the Atlantic: “I want titles, titles and more titles,” he said upon signing his contract extension at Sporting.

Portugal call-up

An already remarkable path was further embellished in 2009 as Liedson was selected for the Portugal national team after obtaining citizenship. He made an immediate impact, scoring what proved to be a decisive goal to earn the Seleccao a draw in Denmark.

Liedson’s call-up by Carlos Queiroz gave a faltering World Cup qualification campaign a much needed boost, and the striker is likely to play a key role for his adopted national team in South Africa.

by Tom Kundert

Club Appearances* Goals
Coritiba 9 5
Flamengo 24 14
Corinthians 14 10
Sporting** 197 111

* League appearances only

** Up to April 2010
 

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