Maxwell Scherrer Cabelino Andrade, known as Maxwell, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who last played as a left-back for French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain. At the time of his retirement, he was the most decorated active footballer in Europe. Born in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito Santo, Maxwell started his career at Cruzeiro. In June 2001, he signed a 5-year contract with AFC Ajax. Maxwell played his best season for Ajax in the 2003–04 season, only missing three games for the Eredivisie champions that season due to international duty, and becoming the Dutch Footballer of the Year. He was seriously injured in April 2005 and never played again for Ajax. Maxwell was capped for 2004 CONMEBOL Men Pre-Olympic Tournament with the Brazil under-23 squad in January 2004. In October 2004, he received his first call-up to the senior team for the 2006 World Cup qualifying matches, but did not make any appearances. Maxwell earned his first full senior international cap on 14 August 2013, coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 friendly defeat to Switzerland in Basel. On 7 May 2014, Maxwell was included in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s 23-man Brazil squad for the 2014 World Cup, which was held on home soil. He made his only appearance in the tournament in the third-place play-off, held in Brasília, starting at left-back as Brazil were defeated 3–0 by the Netherlands; he played the full 90 minutes in his final international match. Following the tournament, Maxwell was no longer called up by manager Dunga, and announced his retirement from international football in October 2014.
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A world-class, diminutive attacking left-back, Maxwell made a name for himself as an excellent, dependable, intelligent, experienced, successful, and largely underrated defender throughout his career, who was known above all for his consistency and longevity at the top level. While being a good ball-winner, and naturally solid defensively, he was also extremely classy and elegant on the ball, confident in possession, and reliable in his distribution, rarely relinquishing the ball; his wide range of skills thus enabled him to bring balance to his teams in the full-back or wing-back position. A versatile player, he was also extremely effective going forward due to his skill and pace; indeed, during the course of a match, he often pushed further up the pitch with his offensive runs down the left flank, in order to get into good positions from which he could deliver crosses to teammates in the area, or help to stretch the play, and was also capable of playing in a more advanced role as a left-winger, either in midfield, or in a three-man attack. Off the pitch, Maxwell was an introverted yet highly respected and likeable figure with his teammates, who was often cited as a key dressing room personality, in spite of his calm, gentle nature and reserved character; he has been described by his close friend and former teammate Ibrahimović as “incredibly sensitive”, and a “nice guy”. Maxwell is known to be one of Zlatan Ibrahimović’s closest friends; they were teammates at Ajax, Internazionale, Barcelona and PSG. There are several anecdotes about him in Ibrahimović’s autobiography, I am Zlatan. Ibrahimović states that Maxwell will be remembered for his calm nature and gentle style of play. It was alleged that Maxwell registered as an EU player during 2006 to 2009 with Inter, but he was signed by Barcelona as a non-EU player (Brazil), as Maxwell did not present a passport from a European country. UEFA started to investigate the case in August 2010, but in fact Inter signed him as a domestic transfer and he arrived in Italy as a non-EU player for Empoli, and had not violated Italian Football Federation (FIGC) regulations. FIGC only restricted Italian football clubs from signing non-EU players from abroad, except 1 quota (2 as of the 2011–2012 season) is given to Serie A clubs per season if the club released or sold abroad the non-EU player, or the player himself got an EU nationality. On 25 August 2010, Inter declared that Maxwell was always a non-EU player with the club.