As an Arsenal fan, it is hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia when thinking about former left-back Sylvinho and recently I got to thinking, where is he now?
The Brazilian, who played for the Gunners between 1999 and 2001, was a classy defender with great technical ability and an eye for goal, scoring five goals, with seven assists, in 79 appearances for Arsenal.
After leaving the club in 2001, Sylvinho went on to play for several top clubs, including Celta Vigo, Manchester City and, of course, FC Barcelona, where he won two Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles, and a Spanish cup.
He also won 41 caps for Brazil, playing in the 2002 World Cup-winning team.
After retiring from playing in 2010, Sylvinho turned to coaching, spending time as the head coach of the Bordeaux women’s team. He has also had stints coaching at Inter Milan and Lyon, where he was briefly in charge of the men’s team.
Now, he finds himself as the manager of Albania, a post he was appointed to at the start of the year with Pablo Zabaleta and Doriva joining him as assistant coaches. He signed an 18-month contract with the aim of qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2024 championship.
Albania are in Group E with Poland, the Czech Republic, Moldova and the Faroe Islands in Euro 2024 qualifying.
While Sylvinho’s coaching career has not been without its ups and downs, it is clear that he has a wealth of experience to draw upon and it is always heartening to see one of our former players moving up in the world of coaching.
In an era where former players often move into punditry or other non-football related fields, it is refreshing to see Sylvinho using his knowledge and expertise to shape the future of the sport.
Sylvinho may not have been the most high-profile player during his time at Arsenal, but he was a reliable and consistent performer who played his part in one of the club’s most successful teams.
As Arsenal fans, we wish him all the best in his coaching career and hope that he can continue to make a positive impact on the sport that we all love.