Roberto Dinamite, CR Vasco da Gama’s Record Holder
First Steps in Football
Carlos Roberto de Oliveira was born on April 13, 1954, in the city of Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the São Bento neighborhood where he lived, he was known as Calu, and since he was a little boy he showed a unique intimacy with the round.
Calu started playing in floodplain football (futebol de várzea) for his neighborhood team, Esporte Clube São Bento, at the age of 12 he was already considered one of the main players in the squad and absolute starter. Already at that time, he showed himself to be a technical leader and demanded a lot from his teammates to give him the ball, which they did, even though they knew that it was unlikely to return.
After a few years playing for his neighborhood club, Roberto was evaluated by Gradim, a scout for Vasco da Gama, who invited Calu to train in the Rio de Janeiro club’s youth teams. Just a month after his arrival in the youth team, he was already part of the youth squad, in just over 1 year in he scored more than 45 times and gained more than 15 kilos, thus becoming one of the most promising boys of the Cruzmaltino club.
Proof of its evolution and good football played in the base categories, are the artillery in the Rio de Janeiro youth championships of 1970 with 10 goals and 1971 with 13 goals.
Therefore, in 1971 he was called up to Vasco’s main team, commanded by the legendary coach Mário Travaglini, for the dispute of the Brazilian Championship of 1971.
Season One As a Pro and the Rise of “Dinamite”
At just 17 years old, the striker made his debut as a professional player on November 14, 1971 in the 1971 Brazilian Championship against Bahia, entered in the second half and was unable to prevent the 1-0 defeat against the baiana squad.
In the next game, already in the second phase of the Brazilian Championship against the future champion Atlético Mineiro, Roberto, for having highlighted out in the training sessions that preceded the match, was chosen as a starter. A day before his debut as a starter, Jornal dos Sports printed in its headline “Vasco escala Garôto-dinamite” (Vasco put dynamite-guy in the start lineup), a nickname created by two journalists from Jornal dos Sports, Eliomário Valente and Aparício Pires.
Even with all the expectations Roberto Dinamite did not manage to perform well and was substituted.
However, in the next game against Internacional from Porto Alegre, Roberto Dinamite showed what he came for and consolidated his new and legendary nickname, in this game he left the bench in the second half to confirm Vasco’s 2-0 victory with an anthological goal, in one of his first moves, he dribbled past four Colorado players and from the entrance to the penalty area he released a bomb in the left corner of the goalkeeper.
After the victory against Internacional, the crowd only talked about Garoto Dinamite (Dynamite Boy) and the power of the shot he gave in his beautiful goal. The following day, Jornal dos Sports printed the following headline “GARÔTO-DINAMITE EXPLODIU” (DYNAMITE-BOY EXPLODED), thus sealing Roberto’s fate with the nickname that accompanied him throughout his life: Dinamite (Dynamite).
At the end of the 1971 Brazilian Championship, Roberto Dinamite won the Player Revelation award.
From Garoto-Dinamite to Idol of Vasco da Gama
After his anthological first goal as a professional, Roberto Dinamite took off, started to score goal after goal, becoming the darling of the Cruzmaltina crowd as the main player in the squad.
His style of play was complete, at 1.86m tall he was an aerial threat, but he was skilled, fast and strong, in addition to being commonly known for his powerfull shots that lived up to his nickname, he was a specialist in free kicks, in addition to kicking with power and precision with both legs, at the beginning of his career he played more as a left winger, over the years he started to play as a striker, he was a versatile player, he played in all positions up front and did all kinds of goals.
That skill and intimacy with the ball and the game were essential for Vasco to continue as one of the great powers of Brazilian Football at the time. Roberto Dinamite helped Vasco win the Carioca championships in 1977, 1982, 1987, 1988, and 1992, in addition to his greatest achievement, the 1974 Brazilian Championship, being top scorer in the competition with 16 goals.
His love and identification with CR Vasco da Gama and the Cruzmaltina crowd was not only due to his goals, historic performances and titles won, Roberto Dinamite had a total of 22 years with the Cruzmaltina shirt. He was transfered to Barcelona in 1980, stayed only 3 months at the Catalan club and returned home, in 1989 he was loaned to Portuguesa, after six months he returned to Vasco, where he ended his career at the age of 39 in 1993. In all, there were 1110 matches and 708 goals, with an average of 36 goals per season.
The Record Holder
Roberto Dinamite owns several individual records in national competitions and with Vasco’s shirt.
He is the player who most played for CR Vasco da Gama with 1110 games between 1971 and 1993, in all he played for the Club for 22 years, this number makes him one of the only players in the history of Brazilian football to play for more than 1000 games per a single Brazilian club, alongside him in this strict list is Pelé for Santos and Rogério Ceni for São Paulo.
Roberto Dinamite is CR Vasco da Gama’s top scorer with 708 goals scored, in addition to being the top scorer at the São Januário stadium with 184 goals. These records are unlikely to be beaten.
Roberto Dinamite is also the top scorer in the Campeonato Carioca with 279 goals, being top scorer in the 1978 edition with 19 goals, 1981 edition with 31 goals and 1985 edition with 12 goals.
Another record that Roberto Dinamite has, is a curious record and that justifies even more the love of Vasco fans for him, Dinamite is nothing less than the top scorer of the carioca classics involving Vasco, he has 36 goals against Fluminense, 27 goals against Flamengo and 25 goals against Botafogo.
Finally, Roberto Dinamite is the greatest scorer in the history of the Brazilian Championship, in all he scored 190 goals, being top scorer in the 1974 edition with 16 goals, in addition to winning the title, and in the 1984 edition with 16 goals.
Farewell to the Legend
Roberto Dinamite left us this Sunday morning, January 8, 2023, after going through complications in the treatment of a tumor in the intestine.
His moves, merciless and powerful kicks, titles, records and love for Vasco da Gama’s shirt and fans will be remembered for all eternity of the best sport in the world, which gives us so much joy and some sadness, football.