By Alexander Abnos
March 15, 2014

Rivaldo Rivaldo developed into a key player for the Brazilian national team. (Daniel Jayo/AP)

At long last, a legend of the game has hung up his boots.

At the tender age of 41 (which somehow feels like at least twice that), Brazilian great Rivaldo announced his retirement today, putting an end to a glittering 24-year career.

The man from the Recife favelas overcame a malnourished, impoverished childhood to become among the most decorated players of all time and, in his prime, among the best players in the world. Rivaldo played for an astounding 14 clubs in four continents over the course of his career.

Rivaldo's exit comes just after he shared the field with his son (the appropriately-named Rivaldinho) for Brazilian third-division club Mogi Mirim, of which Rivaldo is also the chairman. It's an appropriate place for his career to end -- it was among the very first clubs Rivaldo starred for in 1992. The next year, he made the first of 74 appearances for the Brazilian national team, where he scored the first of his 34 goals for the Seleção in a friendly against Mexico.

What did he look like back then? Like this:

For some perspective, when Rivaldo scored this goal, Janet Jackson's "Again" was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. That's...a pretty long time.

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