It’s not often you see a referee outshine a playmaker when it comes to ingenuity on the pitch, but that’s exactly what happened during Alex de Souza’s recent testimonial match.
In a wonderfully sentimental moment which grabbed the headlines, the referee used his vanishing spray to write the name ‘Alex’ on the pitch after awarding a free-kick during the former Brazil international’s testimonial – Friends of Alex v Palmeiras 1999 (his Copa Libertadores winning side).
Alexsandro de Souza, simply known as Alex throughout his career, retired from football in December after 19-years which saw him star for Coritiba, Flamengo, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro, as well as a brief stint with Italian side Parma.
Outside of his homeland however, the Number 10 is perhaps best remembered for his time in Turkey with Fenerbahçe, where he starred as their chief playmaker; bewitching opponents with his trickery and guile, whilst scoring an amazing 136 goals in just 245 matches.
Alex also represented Brazil with aplomb on 48 occasions, winning the Copa America in 1999 and 2004 as well as captaining his country.