Éder Aleixo de Assis, better known simply as Éder, was one of the stars of the hugely talented Brazilian team of the early 1980s. Having started his career with América, it was with Grêmio in the late 1970s that his career really took off. Winning two state championships in Rio Grande do Sul in 1977 and 1979, he broke into the national team for the first time in May 1979 against Paraguay and then made a single appearance in the Copa América
later that year.
Éder’s performances for Grêmio earned him a move to Atlético Mineiro, where he would spend the majority of his career, returning for a number of different spells with the club. His first spell was by far the most successful, as he scored 29 goals in 79 league games as the club dominated the state league in Minas Gerais with four consecutive titles. In 1980, only a late goal for Flamengo denied Atlético the national title.
Éder came to global attention at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. With Brazil among the favourites to take the title, they had been struggling and a goal behind against the Soviet Union in their first match but after a Sócrates equaliser, Éder scored the winner two minutes from the end. He scored again in the second match, another comeback win against Scotland although this time more convincing at 4-1. Brazil cruised through to the second round, but then met their match against Italy with Paolo Rossi’s hat-trick ending their hopes.
In the Copa América of 1983, Éder scored two more goals including a crucial equaliser two minutes from the end of the first leg of the semi final against Paraguay, but could not help to prevent a 4-1 aggregate defeat by Uruguay in the final. That final would prove to be the last major international tournament in which he appeared, missing out on the World Cup of 1986 after losing form in the run-up to the tournament and being sent off in what proved to be his final international against Peru.
Much of the remainder of Éder’s career was spent moving around a large number of club sides, mostly in Brazil although he did have short spells with Cerro Porteño in Paraguay and Malatyaspor in Turkey. Success did return late in his career when, during a short spell with Cruzeiro in 1993, he was part of the team which won the Brazilian Cup. Éder ended his career with Monte Claros in 1997, at the age of 40.