Nelson de Jesus Silva (born July 10, 1973 in Irara, Bahia) is a
Brazilian football (soccer) goalkeeper. Dida, as he became
better known, currently plays for Italian club AC Milan.
Dida's career started with Brazilian clubs Vitória, Cruzeiro,
and Corinthians. His European career took shape at Switzerland's
FC Lugano. He is often referred to as a penalty kick specialist
because of his natural knack of saving penalty kicks in crucial
matches, an ability evident in his early days with Cruzeiro.
This caught AC Milan's eyes, but he was promptly sent home after
a mistake in a UEFA Cup match against Chelsea. Corinthians
couldn't be more grateful to receive the 6'6" giant. He came
back to Milan next year, and regained his starting job for good.
He was voted the world's third best goalkeeper in 2004, behind
Italy's Gianluigi Buffon and the Czech Republic's Petr Cech.
On 12 April 2005, during a UEFA Champions League game against
bitter local rivals Inter Milan, Dida was hit and injured by a
flare thrown from the crowd and subsequently received treatment
for minor injuries. As a result of this and the generally
deteriorating security situation within the San Siro Stadium,
Milan, the referee, Markus Merk took the decision to abandon the