Big Brazilian forward Brandao scored the winning goal for Olympique de Marseille in the 2012 Coupe de la Ligue final and repeated the trick the following season for Saint-Etienne.
While PSG quartet Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore, Thiago Silva and Marco Verratti won the competition five seasons running between 2014 and 2018, few players have marked the history of the Coupe de la Ligue like Brandao. Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk by Eric Gerets' OM in early 2009 at the age of 28, the burly 1m89 striker picked up his first Coupe de la Ligue winners medal the following year under the orders of Didier Deschamps. Brandao played the full 90 minutes without scoring as Marseille defeated Bordeaux 3-1 in the final with the goals coming from Souleymane Diawara - another Coupe de la Ligue specialist - Mathieu Valbuena and an own goal from Matthieu Chalmé.
Brandao missed OM's 2011 triumph as he was on loan in Brazil but returned with a bang at the start of 2012. He saved his scoring exploits for the business end of the competition. Holders Marseille had already seen off Lens and Caen before being drawn against Nice in the semi-finals.
Loïc Rémy opened the scoring for OM with a finish reminiscent of Thierry Henry in his prime (17') before Anthony Mounier (45') equalised. Brandao popped up with the winner (57') taking advantage of Francois Clerc failing to deal with Morgan Amalfitano's cross to beat David Ospina and book a place against Olympique Lyonnais in the final, clinging on after Brice Dja Djedje had been sent off (83').
OM were having a poor league campaign in what turned out to be Deschamps' final season in charge and came into the final without a win in 12 games. Lyon had marginally the better of a disappointing first half but in the second half Morgan Amalfitano had a header (65') tipped onto the post by Hugo Lloris. It went to extra-time and that's when Brandao became a hero after replacing Loïc Rémy in the 98th minute.
Six minutes later he scored the winning goal (104'). Benoît Cheyrou's right-footed cross came off Samuel Umtiti, 18, and Brandao reacted quickest to fire home through Lloris' legs. He sprinted straight over to the OM bench to celebrate. When Steve Mandanda lifted the trophy, OM had salvaged something from a difficult year.
Deschamps commented: "Over the last three seasons we've worked together and the praise has to go to the players. We've won two trophies every year and nobody can take them away from us, not even our biggest enemies. It's great for us after such difficult times."
The summer of 2012 brought a change of scenery for the 32-year-old as he penned a two-year contract with Saint-Etienne. His physical style and the buffeting he gave defenders helped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang emerge as a star. Brandao served notice that it was potentially going to be another special year for him in the Coupe de la Ligue by netting his first goal for Les Verts in the competition in the round of 32 against Lorient.
Saint-Etienne needed penalties to come through that tie but then swept aside Sochaux 3-0 before taking on Paris Saint-Germain in the quarters at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Goalless after extra-time it went to penalties and Brandao netted Saint-Etienne's third kick as the home team were impeccable from the spot, coming through 5-3.
Brandao only played 65 minutes of the home semi-final against LOSC so wasn't able to take part in another shootout following another 0-0. ASSE won 7-6 to set up a final with Rennes as Les Verts chased a first trophy since 1981.
Brandao again proved himself a big match player as he scored the only goal of the game (18') for the second season running. ASSE full-back François Clerc had gone close to volleying in the opener just before Brandao struck, side-footing in a left-footed volley from a clever Aubameyang cross from the left with the outside of his right boot. Saint-Etienne's long wait for a trophy was over. Brandao had secured their first Coupe de la Ligue crown, scooped the man-of-the-match prize and many plaudits.
Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier had said pre-match: "He's a trophy winner, an unrivalled competitor and a locomotive." Post-match Brandao commented: "The win is for the whole team and our supporters. It's very important for Saint-Etienne. When I came here I said I wanted to win a trophy. It's done now and I'm very happy."
Former Saint-Etienne star Jean-Michel Larqué told RMC radio: "I'm the president of his fan club and I'm only going to say good things about Brandao. He played well in the final. He was a good focal point, leading the line and showed courage defending at the end of the game. His goal was the winning goal."