Nelinho in 2014
Personal information
Full name Manoel Rezende de Mattos Cabral
Date of birth (1950-07-26) July 26, 1950 (age 71)
Place of birth Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Position(s) Right back
Youth career
1965 Olaria
1965–1970 América (RJ)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970 América (RJ)
1970–1971 Barreirense 6 (0)
1971 Anzoátegui
1972 Bonsucesso
1972 Remo 10 (0)
1973–1980 Cruzeiro 410 (43)
1980–1981 Grêmio 2 (1)
1981–1982 Cruzeiro 17 (4)
1982–1987 Atlético Mineiro 274 (52)
Total 755 (100)
National team
1974–1980 Brazil 21 (6)
Teams managed
1993 Atlético Mineiro
1994 Cruzeiro
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Manoel Rezende de Mattos Cabral (born July 26, 1950), known as Nelinho, is a former Brazilian association footballer who played as right back.[1] He played for several clubs in his home country and abroad, most notably Belo Horizonte rivals Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro. Nelinho also represented the Brazilian national team in two FIFA World Cups.

Club career

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Nelinho started his career at local club Olaria, but signed his first professional contract with América. After a recommendation by Otto Glória, then manager of the team, he moved to Portugal to play for Barreirense. A brief stint with Venezuela's Deportivo Anzoátegui followed, before returning to Rio de Janeiro to play for Bonsucesso, which then loaned him to Remo. After good performances in the 1972 Brasileirão, Nelinho was signed by Cruzeiro for the following season.[2]

At the Belo Horizonte-based club, Nelinho won the Campeonato Mineiro four times between 1973 and 1977, and one Copa Libertadores in 1976, scoring in two matches of the finals against River Plate. While at the club, he was also selected for the Bola de Prata (Campeonato Brasileiro team of the year) three times, in 1975, 1979 and 1980. In total, he had 411 appearances with Cruzeiro, and scored 105 goals.[3] Nelinho managed Cruzeiro in 1994.

After a brief spell at Grêmio, where he won a Campeonato Gaúcho, Nelinho returned to Belo Horizonte to play for Cruzeiro's rivals Atlético Mineiro in 1982. He spent the rest of his career at the club, where he won four more Campeonato Mineiros and was awarded with the Bola de Prata once more in 1983. He also coached the club in 1993.[4]

International career

Nelinho was capped 21 times by Brazil, between April 1974 and June 1980, and scored six international goals.[5] He won a Taça do Atlântico with the Seleção, and was part of the squad in two Copa Américas.

Nelinho played three matches in the 1974 FIFA World Cup and four in the 1978 FIFA World Cup,[5] and scored one of the most stunning goals in World Cup history, in the third place match against Italy in 1978: from the right side of the pitch, he struck the ball into the far corner of the goal with the outside of his right foot, bending it around the sprawling Dino Zoff.[1]

Later life

After retiring from football, Nelinho joined Brazil's Democratic Labour Party and was elected State Deputy of Minas Gerais in 1987. After a period of involvement with politics, he returned briefly to football and managed Atlético Mineiro in 1993 and Cruzeiro in 1994. In 2005, Nelinho worked as pundit for TV Globo and SporTV, and currently owns a health club in Belo Horizonte.[6]





Atlético Mineiro





  1. ^ a b Enciclopédia do Futebol Brasileiro Lance. 2. Rio de Janeiro: Aretê Editorial S/A. 2001. pp. 307–309. ISBN 85-88651-01-7.
  2. ^ "O craque disse e eu anotei: Nelinho". Futebol de Todos os Tempos (in Portuguese). March 22, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  3. ^ "Manoel Rezende de Mattos Cabral". Cruzeiropedia (in Portuguese). April 23, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "Manoel Rezende de Matos Cabral". Galo Digital (in Portuguese). August 4, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Napoleão, Antônio Carlos; Assaf, Roberto (2006). Seleção Brasileira 1914–2006. São Paulo: Mauad X. p. 281. ISBN 85-7478-186-X.
  6. ^ "Futebol, Memória e Patrimônio | Nelinho | CPDOC". Fundação Getúlio Vargas (in Portuguese). October 1, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2015.