Rivaldo Signs with Brazilian Club, but Can He Still Perform?

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterJanuary 17, 2013

Rivaldo, seen here playing for Brazil in 2003, was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999.
Rivaldo, seen here playing for Brazil in 2003, was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999.Stu Forster/Getty Images

Rivaldo is back, but is that really a good idea?

Second division Brazilian club Sao Caetano have announced the signing of Rivaldo, the former FIFA World Player of the Year and 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil. In his prime, Rivaldo was the best in the world, but at 40, the question remains whether he can perform at even a second-tier level.

FIFA.com reports:

(Rivaldo) will return from a spell with Angolan side Kabuscorp to play in the Sao Paulo state championship and the national second division.

Club president Nairo Ferreira de Souza told the club's website: "It is a significant reinforcement that will give a refined touch to our midfield. His technical quality is fantastic and he will greatly help the group with his experience and leadership."

Rivaldo terminated his contract with Kabuscorp in November 2012 (per ESPN FC). His spell in Angola included flashes of his former brilliance. 101 Great Goals reported on his hat-trick for the club in July (video here).

The better part of a decade has passed since Rivaldo played at the top level. After being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999, he moved from Barcelona to AC Milan in 2002 and left Milan in 2004.

Rivaldo's international career ended in 2003, one year after winning the World Cup with Brazil. Even so, he believes he can still play at a high enough level to deserve a contract.

The FIFA.com report included a translation of tweet from Rivaldo's official Twitter account. In it he claimed he had offers "from several clubs" and hit out at his critics.

"To critics I would like to say that this is only a result of my dedication and I will be working hard to do my best on the pitch. I hope to be an example for many," he wrote.

Time will tell whether the 40-year-old Rivaldo is right.