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Five Brazilian-based footballers who could play in Europe

| 05.01.2015

Looking back, some of the best players in world football have been South American. Who can forget that generation of exceptional Brazilians, which included arguably the greatest player to have graced the planet, Pele. How about his World Cup winning teammates Garrincha, Jairzinho, Rivellino and Vava? And then, obviously the greatest challenger to Pele’s throne, Argentine Diego Maradona.

Maradona had one edge on Pele though. The Argentine played in Europe with Barcelona, Napoli and Sevilla, winning major honours with the former two.

Coral run down five players currently plying their trade in South America, who could play in Europe.

It’s maybe a surprise that the Brazilian centre back isn’t already playing at a European club. At 26, he is at the right age to make a move from current club Cruzeiro, and was at the centre of a transfer tussle in 2013 between Manchester United and Liverpool. He would possibly suit the former, who are 16/1 with Coral to win the Premier League, even more than reported number one target Mats Hummels, as he possesses more pace and is just as dominant in the air.

Lucas Silva
Staying with Cruzeiro, their 21-year-old midfielder is thought to be attracting the attention of Spanish giants Real Madrid. He models his game on the former Lyon and Brazil midfielder Juninho Pernambucano.

“I model myself on him,” he has been quoted as saying. “I’ve been practising free-kicks like his since I was a youth team player. I think my style of play is also similar.”

He is less of a flair player, though is very able in front of the back four, comfortable on the ball and calm under pressure. Arsenal may well make a move, with the club in need of a defensive midfielder and Silva could be the closest to a replacement for Gilberto Silva.

He could have played in Europe long ago and, at the age of 28, the Santos schemer is approaching the peak of his powers. There are very few other Brazilian box-to-box midfielders who are as effective, with Ramires and Fernandinho perhaps slightly in front of him.

Leandro Damiao
Probably the best player in South America to have not moved to Europe. The 25-year-old striker was linked with Tottenham Hotspur, who are 7/2 for a top four finish, and could yet resurrect their interest, as they step up their pursuit to add to their forward line. Tall and strong, he has the ability to lead the line, though possesses the ability to be utilised in a more dynamic role.

Currently at Santos, Damiao may soon decide that the time is right to move to Europe, and would adapt well to the Premier League.

The Sao Paulo attacking midfielder was linked to Manchester United a number of years ago, and the 25-year-old was thought to be the next Kaka. There are a number of clubs who could suit Ganso, though it would depend on whether the player wants to move to Europe. Porto have proved to be a decent destination for South American players, and he could flourish there under manager Julen Lopetegui.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.