Dante (footballer)

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Dante playing in the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2014
Personal information
Full nameDante Bonfim Costa Santos [1]
Date of birth (1983-10-18) 18 October 1983 (age 36)
Place of birth Salvador, Brazil
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) [2]
Playing position(s) Centre back
Club information
Current team
Number 4
Youth career
1998 Catuense
1999 Galícia
2000 Capivariano
2001 Juventude
Senior career*
2002–2004 Juventude 55 (2)
2004–2006 Lille 12 (0)
2006–2007 Charleroi 23 (2)
2007–2009 Standard Liège 62 (2)
2009–2012 Borussia Mönchengladbach 93 (8)
2012–2015 Bayern Munich 86 (3)
2015–2016 VfL Wolfsburg 23 (1)
2016– Nice 127 (4)
National team
2013–2014 Brazil 13 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 20 September 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 July 2014

Dante Bonfim Costa Santos (born 18 October 1983), commonly known as Dante (Brazilian Portuguese:  [ˈdɐ̃tʃi] ), is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for and captains French club Nice. Primarily a central defender, he has previously also been used as a defensive midfielder or a left back. [3] [4]


After emerging at Juventude, Dante went on to play for Lille, Charleroi and Standard Liège, winning the Belgian Pro League with the latter. In January 2009, he was signed by Borussia Mönchengladbach, spending two-and-a-half seasons before making a €4.7 million move to Bayern Munich, where he won nine domestic and international honours.

Dante made his international debut for Brazil in 2013, winning that year's Confederations Cup and representing the nation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Club career

Early career

Dante joined Juventude's youth system in 2001 and by 2002 became a part of the club's first team setup. In 2004, he made his move to European football, signing for Lille in France. After two seasons with the club where he only featured in 12 league games, Dante moved to Belgium, signing for Charleroi in 2006. After a successful campaign in the Belgian Pro League for Charleroi where he made 27 appearances and helped the club to a respectable fifth-place finish, he moved across the country to Standard Liège. [5]

Dante had a successful debut season with the Belgian giants, as Standard were crowned league champions; the Brazilian defender proving to be an integral member, missing just one league match. [6] In his second season with Standard, he featured in the first 15 league matches of the campaign before interest from Germany sent the player to the Bundesliga. [7]

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Dante training with Borussia Monchengladbach in 2011 Dante Bonfim.jpg
Dante training with Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2011

Dante joined German side Borussia Mönchengladbach on 27 December 2008 for an undisclosed transfer fee, signing a contract with the club until summer 2013. [7] He made his debut for the club on 20 March 2009, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 loss to fellow strugglers VfL Bochum. [8] His first goal for the club came against eventual champions VfL Wolfsburg on 11 April but it came in a losing effort as 'Gladbach fell 2–1 thanks to a late strike by defender Sascha Riether. [9] The Brazilian scored a dramatic late winner against Energie Cottbus on 13 May, heading in a cross from winger Marko Marin to give the club a 1–0 win in the 91st minute. [10] On the final day of the Bundesliga season on 23 May 2009, Dante scored 'Gladbach's only goal in a 1–1 draw with Borussia Dortmund, a point which meant the club avoided immediate relegation to the 2. Bundesliga. [11]

In the opening fixture of the 2009–10 Bundesliga campaign on 9 August 2009, Dante received a red card for a bad foul as Mönchengladbach relinquished a 3–0 lead against VfL Bochum, drawing 3–3. [12] He scored his first goal of the campaign on 31 October, heading home a corner in the 76th minute to draw the match level at 2–2 and an 82nd-minute strike from Rob Friend handed 'Gladbach a 3–2 victory over Hamburger SV. [13] On 9 April 2010, Dante headed in a free-kick from Juan Arango to double 'Gladbach's lead, resulting in a 2–0 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt that all but secured Bundesliga survival. [14]

The 2010–11 campaign proved to be another difficult campaign for 'Gladbach. Dante only featured in 17 league matches as he battled against persistent injury and the club finished in 16th place, the relegation play-off spot. [15] However, Dante did play the full 90 minutes in each play-off match against VfL Bochum as Borussia Mönchengladbach managed a 2–1 aggregate victory to remain in the German top flight for the 2011–12 season. [16]

The following season proved much more successful as Dante featured in 38 matches in all competitions, playing the full 90 minutes in each. In January 2012, he hinted he could leave the club before his contract expired in June 2014, revealing to the press he desired to play for a top club in Germany, singling out Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. [17] Dante was influential as the club made a run to the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal where the club lost 4–2 on penalties to Bayern Munich on 21 March 2012, with Dante and Håvard Nordtveit missing their penalties to give Bayern a spot in the final with champions Borussia Dortmund. [18]

Bayern Munich

On 26 April 2012, Dante agreed to join Bayern Munich at the start of the 2012–13 season for an estimated transfer fee of €4.7 million. [19]


Dante's first appearance for the club came in the DFL-Supercup on 12 August 2012, starting at centre-back in Bayern's 2–1 defeat of Borussia Dortmund. [20] He made his Bundesliga debut for the Bavarian giants on 25 August as Bayern cruised to a 3–0 opening day victory over promoted side Greuther Fürth. [21] He scored his first competitive goal for the team in a 5–0 thrashing of Hannover 96 on 24 November 2012. [22] Dante made an immediate impact at Bayern, earning a place in the starting 11 and forming partnerships with the interchanging Holger Badstuber, Daniel Van Buyten and Jérôme Boateng in the centre of defence. [23]

Following the defender's impressive start with Die Roten, head coach Jupp Heynckes told media Dante was one of the first names on the team sheet, with club captain Phillip Lahm supporting the manager's sentiments: "Dante is one of the best defenders I've ever played with." [24] He secured his first Bundesliga title since moving to Germany after a 1–0 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt on 6 April 2013 and was seen celebrating with the supporters in the stands following the result. [25] [26] In the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, Dante conceded a penalty for a rash challenge but failed to receive a red card in an entertaining 2–1 victory for the Bavarians. [27]

With Dante at the heart the defence, Bayern broke records for fewest goals conceded and most clean sheets in a Bundesliga season during their treble-winning campaign. [28]


In new manager Pep Guardiola's first Bundesliga match, against Dante's former club Borussia Mönchengladbach, Dante scored an own goal after a mix-up with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The match nonetheless ended in a 3–1 victory for Bayern. [29]

On 21 December 2013, Dante scored the opening goal as Bayern beat Raja Casablanca 2–0 in the final of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup. [30]

In February 2014, Dante scored three goals in the space of four matches for Bayern, in Bundesliga wins over Eintracht Frankfurt (5–0) [31] and SC Freiburg (4–0) [32] and a DFB-Pokal victory over Hamburger SV (5–0). [33]

On 24 March 2014, Dante extended his contract with Bayern until June 2017. [34]

VfL Wolfsburg

On 30 August 2015, Dante agreed to move to VfL Wolfsburg for an undisclosed transfer fee. [35] On 13 January 2016, Dante injured teammate Bas Dost in training. [36]


On 22 August 2016, VfL Wolfsburg announced the departure of Dante to French Ligue 1 side Nice, with which he signed a three-year contract. [37] On 18 February 2018, he scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Nantes. [38]

Fan culture

In his time at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Dante was well known for his hair, becoming a cult hero with Borussia fans regularly sporting large afro wigs as an homage to their favourite player. [39] Bayern fans quickly continued this tradition after the defender's move to Munich. [40]

International career

Dante (# 13) at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Brazil and Colombia match at the FIFA World Cup 2014-07-04 (42).jpg
Dante (# 13) at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Dante received his first call-up to the Brazil national team on 21 January 2013 by returning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari to be part of the squad for a friendly against England, on 6 February at Wembley Stadium. [41] He started the game, which England won 2–1 after goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. [42]

On 22 June 2013, he scored his first international goal in the final group match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, against Italy at the stroke of half-time, after coming on as a substitute for David Luiz on the 33rd minute. [43]

Dante was a member of Brazil's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making his only appearance in the semi-final as a replacement for the suspended captain Thiago Silva, as the Seleção were defeated by Germany in a record 7–1 scoreline. [44]

In a comment regarding the defeat, he said he has "been treated with 'less respect'". [45]

Personal life

Dante is married and has two children. [46] His uncle, Jonilson Veloso, is a fotball manager. [47]

Career statistics


As of 20 September 2020 [4] [48]

Club performanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
BrazilLeague Copa do Brasil South America Other 1 Total
Juventude Série A 2002 20000200
2003 20121222
2004 13000130
Club totals53121552
FranceLeague Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe OtherTotal
Lille Ligue 1 2003–04 900090
2004–05 20105080
2005–06 100010
Club totals1201050180
BelgiumLeague Belgian Cup Europe Other 2 Total
Charleroi First Division 2005–06 11120131
2006–07 121121
Club totals23220252
Standard Liège First Division 2006–07 1506020230
2007–08 3216120402
2008–09 1512070241
Club totals622141110873
GermanyLeague DFB-Pokal Europe Other 3 Total
Borussia Mönchengladbach Bundesliga 2008–09 10300103
2009–10 32320343
2010–11 1821020212
2011–12 33050380
Club totals93880201038
Bayern Munich Bundesliga 2012–13 2913012010451
2013–14 292619031474
2014–15 270407010390
2015–16 1010000020
Club totals863141280511335
VfL Wolfsburg Bundesliga 2015–16 231109000331
FranceLeague Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe OtherTotal
Nice Ligue 1 2016–17 330001050390
2017–18 3311020121482
2018–19 3610010371
2019–20 2113010251
2020–21 41000041
Club totals127440501711535
Career statistics47920432507019260826

International goals

Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Dante goal.

122 June 2013 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, BrazilFlag of Italy.svg  Italy 1–04–2 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
216 November 2013 Sun Life Stadium, Miami, United StatesFlag of Honduras (darker variant).svg  Honduras 2–04–0 Friendly




Standard Liège [50] [51]

Bayern Munich [50] [51]


Brazil [51]


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