Gilberto Aparecido da Silva (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʒiwˈbɛʁtu ˈsiwvɐ]; born 7 October 1976) is a Brazilian former footballer known for his time with Arsenal where he played as a defensive midfielder or defender.
Gilberto was raised in a poor family and as a child he balanced playing football with various labour jobs. He began his football career in 1997 with América Mineiro, where good form earned him a move to Atlético Mineiro in 2000. He became a star player for Atlético, playing for three years in the Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. He came to particular prominence when he helped the Brazilian national team win the 2002 FIFA World Cup, playing in all seven of Brazil's matches.
In August 2002, for a fee of £4.5 million, he joined Arsenal, with whom he won the 2003–04 Premier League as an 'Invincible', and two FA Cup trophies. In his first five seasons with the club, he played 208 games and scored 23 goals. On 19 August 2006, he scored Arsenal's first competitive goal at the newly built Emirates Stadium. He was made vice-captain of Arsenal in 2006. He has also scored Arsenal's fastest ever goal coming in at just 20 seconds in a game against PSV in the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League. During his time with the Gunners, Gilberto developed into one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe. In 2007, he was selected as Brazil captain for the Copa América tournament, which Brazil went on to win. In 2012, Gilberto returned to Atlético Mineiro, where he won the Copa Libertadores.Close