Ânderson Luís da Silva (born 13 February 1981), known as Luisão, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a central defender for Portuguese club Benfica.
Most of his professional career was spent with Benfica, for which he appeared in more than 400 official games winning seven major titles, also being a longtime club captain.
A Brazilian international on 44 occasions, Luisão appeared for the country in two World Cups and three Copa América tournaments.
Born in Amparo, São Paulo, Luisão represented Clube Atlético Juventus and Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in his country, scoring a career-best six goals in 24 matches in his third season with the latter.
In the 2003 summer Luisão moved to Europe, signing with Benfica of Portugal for £890,000. He faced a tough period of adaptation, during which he performed somewhat below his capabilities and even considered traveling back to his home country; he did manage, however, to score in his league debut, a thrilling 3–3 home draw against C.F. Os Belenenses on 14 September, and ended his first season with the Portuguese Cup conquest, helping defeat F.C. Porto 2–1.
In 2004–05 Luisão featured regularly in Benfica's central defense, alongside Ricardo Rocha, appearing in 29 games and contributing heavily for the Reds' first league title in 11 years: on 24 April 2005, in a 2–1 away victory over G.D. Estoril-Praia, he netted his first goal of the season, the game's equaliser. On 14 May he found the net with his head against city rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, scoring the game's only goal and ousting the opponents from the title race.
Luisão and Tarik Sektioui in a Benfica vs. Porto match in 2007
The 2005–06 season finished without silverware for Benfica, with Luisão again as an automatic first-choice. The team, however, reached the season's UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, with the defender playing all the matches and minutes in the competition: on 21 February 2006 he scored in his side's 1–0 home win against holders Liverpool, which had lost just one of 13 European games the previous year, and five of 41 away from home; he also started in the second leg, a 2–0 win at Anfield.
Luisão playing in the UEFA Champions League in 2014
In 2006–07, Luisão was named club captain in some matches, due to injuries to Nuno Gomes and Petit, but the club again failed to secure any major honours. At the end of the season, his agent said "Luisão wants to leave", but he eventually stayed.
During the following season, in January 2008, Luisão was involved in an on-field argument with Greek teammate Kostas Katsouranis, during a league match against Vitória de Setúbal. The argument arose after Katsouranis' misplaced pass, which forced the Brazilian to commit a foul in order to stop play, after receiving a yellow card, Luisão criticized Katsouranis, who responded in a similar manner. The two players were on the point of breaking into violence before teammates separated them. Both players were then quickly substituted and given suspensions by the club, and later apologised to each other; again, he dealt with some injuries and inconsistent play, also addressing rumours of another possible move.
Luisão's start to the 2008–09 season got off in scoring fashion, netting a goal in the 59th minute of the UEFA Cup first round match at S.S.C. Napoli, in a 2–3 loss. It was his first game of the season in European competitions, and his first goal of the season in all competitions. In the following season he would enjoy his best season as a professional, appearing in a total of 45 official games (4,050 minutes, with six goals) as Benfica won the league and renewed its Portuguese League Cup supremacy, also reaching the last eight in the Europa League.
On 28 August 2010 Luisão scored – through a header – against Setúbal at home, as 10-men Benfica eventually won it 3–0. On 14 September, he entered the Champions League's history books, after opening the scoresheet against Israeli side Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. in the competition's group stage.
On 11 August 2012, in the last minutes of the first half of a friendly with Fortuna Düsseldorf, Luisão pushed referee Christian Fischer to the ground as he was about to send off teammate Javi García for two reckless challenges on Oliver Fink; the referee refused to resume the game and suspended it, proceeding to announce he would take legal action against the player.
On 14 September 2012 Luisão was initially suspended for two months for his actions, also being fined €2,550. The ruling of the Portuguese Football Federation was still subject to the approval of FIFA, which was confirmed shortly after, causing the player to miss 11 games, including the Champions League matches against Celtic and FC Barcelona.
On 13 March 2014, whilst appearing in his 117th match in European competition, Luisão grabbed a brace to help Benfica to a 3–1 away win against Tottenham Hotspur for the Europa League round-of-16's first leg.
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