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|Full name||Antônio Carlos Cerezo|
|Date of birth||21 April 1955|
|Place of birth||Belo Horizonte, Brazil|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|1973–1974||→ Nacional (AM) (loan)||20||(3)|
|2008||Al Shabab (Dubai)|
|2010||Sport do Recife|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 September 2010|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 September 2010
Toninho Cerezo, real name Antônio Carlos Cerezo, (Brazilian Portuguese: [toˈniɲu sɛˈɾɛzu]; born 21 April 1955 in Belo Horizonte) is a Brazilian former footballer. Cerezo is commonly regarded as one of the finest Brazilian defensive midfielders of all time, most notably having played for his hometown's team Clube Atlético Mineiro; he also played for several other clubs in both Brazil and Italy throughout his career. At international level, Cerezo took part at the 1978 and 1982 FIFA World Cups – winning a bronze medal in the former edition of the tournament – and the 1979 Copa América, where Brazil finished in third place.
With São Paulo he was a two-time winner of the Intercontinental Cup, and also won the Copa Libertadores once. Cerezo was named the best player of the 1993 Intercontinental Cup final.(He scored the second goal and assisted Müller's game-winning goal in a 3–2 victory against A.C. Milan.)
In 1997, he retired as a player, and, after doing some studies and probations in Italy, he returned to Brazil, and start a career as a manager at Vitória, reaching the semifinals of the Brasileirão Série A. He also led Japanese powerhouse Kashima Antlers in the J.League for six years. He won five major titles in Japan, two league championships, one Emperor's Cup, and two league cups.
After his time in Japan, he coached Brazilian clubs Atlético Mineiro, and Guarani, as well as some Asian clubs, such as Al-Hilal, Al-Shabab, Al Ain; he later returned to Brazil once again as head manager of Sport do Recife, leaving the club just one month later.
Cerezo won 57 caps (full international games), between March 1977 and June 1985, with the Brazilian national team, scoring seven goals.
He played in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, where they finished in third place, and in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, where they were eliminateed in the second round in a group which contained defending champions and continental rivals Argentina, as well as the eventual champions Italy. He was also due to go to the 1986 tournament, but a hamstring injury in May ruled him out of the upcoming World Cup. He was a member of the Brazilian team that finished in third place at the 1979 Copa América.
At the 1982 FIFA World Cup one of his back passes was intercepted by Italian striker Paolo Rossi, who went on to score; the match ended in a 2–3 loss to Italy, which also saw Rossi score a hat-trick, and as a result, Brazil were knocked out of the tournament in a dramatic upset. For many years after the event, he was widely criticized for this error by many Brazilian fans and members of the press.
A tall midfielder with a slender frame, Cerezo is regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian defensive midfielders of all time, and was well known for his tireless work-rate and tactical awareness, as well as his dynamic, physical, and energetic style of play. Although he was usually deployed in a holding role, Cerezo was also an elegant and highly creative player, who was highly regarded in the media for his vision, ability to understand the game, and passing range, which enabled him to orchestrate attacking moves for his team and create chances for teammates, and he often functioned as a deep-lying playmaker in midfield.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Japan||League||Emperor's Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|1972||Atlético Mineiro||Série A||3||0|
|1974||Atlético Mineiro||Série A||5||0|
|1992||São Paulo||Série A|
|1995||São Paulo||Série A||8||0|
|1996||Atlético Mineiro||Série A|
|Brazil national team|
It was with undisguised glee that, once Leandro had appeared in photoshoots as Lea T, a Rio newspaper's gossip column revealed she was none other than the daughter of soccer hero Toninho Cerezo, the World Cup veteran and contemporary of legendary Brazil players like Falcão, Sócrates and Zico. He had not, the paper said, reacted well to its questions concerning his child's new existence. "We got in touch with the former star but, irritated, he limited himself to saying that he had four children, one of them called Leandro", the newspaper reported.