The former Portugal international was a European champion on two occasions, but insisted that glory in South America would top both of those triumphs
By Andres Roman
Fluminense star Deco is desperate to lift the Copa Libertadores in 2012 with the Brazilian giants, and went as far as to say that he would exchange his Champions League successes at Porto and Barcelona to become champion of South America.
The Brazil-born former Portugal international moved back to his home nation in 2010, after a glittering spell across the Atlantic, which saw him become one of the few players in history to win Europe's premier competition with two different clubs. After leading Porto to glory in 2004, the midfielder repeated the triumph two years later with the Blaugrana.
This year sees Deco chasing another place in the record books, as he seeks to become one of the few players to lift both the Champions League and Libertadores titles. Speaking exclusively to Goal.com, the veteran affirmed that glory in 2012 was his overwhelming objective.
"Both Champions League medals," was the star's reply when asked what he would give to be crowned champion with Fluminense.
"[The Libertadores] is huge. The most important aspect is that it also gives me the chance to face the best players in South America. I could even play in a mythical stadium such as the Bombonera.
"When my career comes to an end I will remember that experience every time I speak about what the Copa has done for me. It was an honour to be there, in a stadium that everyone in the world has to see."
Fluminense, who have already qualified for the last 16, finish their group stage campaign on Wednesday against Arsenal de Sarandi; the same evening on which Deco's former clubs Chelsea and Barcelona play the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Asked about his time in Catalunya, the Brazilian revealed that he had no regrets on watching the team's unprecedented success from afar.
"Everything eventually comes to an end in football and I don't think that players can go on forever. When I left I felt that I had finished in Barcelona and I had to change my surroundings, despite the fact that I had great success there. But the most important thing was having the chance to experience life at the club."
Deco lifted the Brasileirao with Fluminense in 2010 just four months after moving to Rio, meaning that the 34-year-old has been a national champion in Portugal, England, Spain and Brazil.