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By Camila Moreira

Written by: Staff

SAO PAULO, May 16 (Reuters) Brazil's second-round exit at the 1990 World Cup led to a backlash against foreign-based players who were accused of lacking dedication and effort.

So for their first game after the finals, a friendly against Spain, coach Falcao opted for a bold experiment of fielding only local players.

The experiment went badly wrong and a frightened-looking bunch of inexperienced youngsters were outclassed 3-0.

Most of those who played quickly slipped back into obscurity and all have now retired -- with one exception.

Cafu, who made his debut that day at the age of 20 and played out of position at left back, went on to make history by becoming the first player to appear in three successive World Cup finals and lifted the trophy as captain in 2002.

Marcos Evangelista Morais, to give him his full name, is 36 next month and will again lead his country into battle in Germany as they attempt to win an unprecedented sixth world title.

''Of course I think about it (breaking records), it's one of my big goals,'' he told Reuters in a telephone interview from Milan, where he plays his club football.

''First, I want to go to the World Cup, then beat these records and get to the final. It will be marvellous for me if we can reach these three targets.'' SIX CHILDREN He has come a long way from his humble upbringing in Jardim Irene, a rough working-class district on the outskirts of Sao Paulo where he now runs the Cafu foundation aimed at keeping teenagers off the streets.

One of six children, all of whose names began with M, Cafu was born during Brazil's 1970 World Cup match against England.

He began his professional career with Sao Paulo in 1988 though he had to try hard to get in.

As a boy, he went for a number of trials and was rejected at them all. So he tried his luck elsewhere.

He went to a training school set up by former Uruguayan player Pedro Rocha, then the youth divisions of Nacional, followed by Portuguesa and Itaquaquecetuba, where he was discovered by Sao Paulo talent spotters.

He stayed at Sao Paulo until 1995, blossoming under coach Tele Santana and playing in the team which won two successive Libertadores Cup titles.

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