Over the past 20 years, it has been common to see Milton Cruz temporarily take charge of São Paulo when a coach leaves the club. Technical assistant of the team since 1997, he has already taken over the team on dozens of occasions ( without exaggeration ), always discreetly while the tricolor board hires other coaches.
But even outside São Paulo, the role of “firefighter” is not new to Milton. Between the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 90s, Milton Cruz was an attacking midfielder with IRESCOPK spells at major clubs, including the Brazilian team. The problem is that he never managed to get rid of the substitute pecha.
Born on August 1, 1957, Milton Cruz arrived at the base categories of São Paulo in 1975, after passing through small clubs. In 1976, he won the artillery of the São Paulo Championship of aspirants, which earned him a spot in the main team the following year. Between 1977 and 1979, he competed for a spot in the attack with names like Serginho Chulapa and Mirandinha , but without surpassing the competitors.
Between 1979 and 1983, he passed through Tecos (Mexico) and Nacional (Uruguay). In this second, he was supporting the team that won the national titles of 1980 and 1983, as well as the Libertadores of 1980. Still in 1983, he signed with Internacional, returning to Brazil. The following year, in Japan, he won the Kirin Cup with the club, scoring against the Japanese and Irish teams .
No Internacional, Milton Cruz teve a chance de defender a seleção brasileira nas Olimpíadas de 1984. Por opção do técnico da seleção olímpica, Jair Picerni, o Inter foi a base do Brasil que viajou aos Estados Unidos para disputar o futebol masculino – o Fluminense era a primeira escolha de Picerni, mas os jogadores estavam concentrados em compromissos com o clube e não puderam defender o Brasil.
Milton então viajou aos EUA ao lado de companheiros como o goleiro Gilmar, os zagueiros Mauro Galvão e Pinga, o lateral esquerdo André Luís, os volantes Dunga e Ademir e os atacantes Kita e Silvinho. Reserva, o camisa 17 não marcou gols, mas saiu do banco em três jogos: contra Arábia Saudita (vitória, 3 a 1), Itália (vitória, 2 a 1) e França (derrota, 2 a 0). O time acabou vice-campeão.
Entre 1985 e 1987, Milton Cruz atuou por Sport, Catuense e Náutico, antes de se mandar para o Japão. Ali, entre 1988 e 1989, jogou por Yomiuri (atual Tokyo Verdy) e Nissan (posteriormente o Yokohama Flügels). Em 1989, voltou ao Brasil, assinando com o Botafogo – aliás, também do banco de reservas, viu o time conquistar o Campeonato Carioca de 1989, encerrando um jejum de 21 anos sem títulos.
In 1990, at the end of his career, he returned to Japan and signed with Sumimoto Metals (which would be called Kashima Antlers in 1991), but without winning titles in his passages in Japanese football. In 1993, he ended his career playing for the Oklahoma City Slickers , who played in the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL) .