The Swope Park Rangers welcomed a special guest to Kansas City on Tuesday with the arrival of César Sampaio, a former member of the Brazilian Men's National Team.
Sampaio won three of the sport's most prestigious tournaments during his illustrious playing career, lifting the Copa America (1997), FIFA Confederations Cup (1997) and Copa Libertadores (1999) trophies. In addition, he scored three goals at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and started in the final against France.
After retiring, Sampaio remained active in the game and met Marc Dos Santos while the Swope Park Rangers manager was coaching with the Montreal Impact (2007-2011). Sampaio became a director at SE Palmeiras in November 2011 and proved influential in bringing Dos Santos to Brazil the following month, first with FC Primeira Camisa before he too joined SE Palmeiras shortly thereafter.
A São Paulo native, Sampaio played for the four major clubs -- SE Palmeiras, Santos FC, Corinthians, São Paulo FC -- in his hometown. Swope Park Rangers midfielders Ayrton and Ualefi were both born and raised in São Paulo, as was Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura.