Brazilian footballers have lit the world of football from generation to generation. The soccer-craze nation has produced some of the best talents the games have ever seen. From Ronaldinho to Ronaldo to Neymar, Brazilian footballers have literally become indispensable to European football. A certain Gabriel Martinelli signed for Arsenal in the summer and the youngster has gone to score 10 goals in all competitions. His performances see him rank in the top 10 in goal.com’s NextGen.
The story is not always the same for every export from the South American nation however. There are some players who have come to Europe and did not meet up to the hype and ended up flopping badly. In this piece, we will be looking at such players in the Premier League.
Jo was one of the many strikers Manchester City purchased in their 2008 spending spree. The Brazilian moved to England from CSKA Moscow having scored 30 league goals in 53 appearances. It was a decent scoring record and it was enough for City to splash the cash but Jo’s time in England was nothing to write home about. He was with Manchester City till 2011 but the bulk of that time was spent on loan with Everton and Galatasaray.He left the Premier League with a meager six goals in 48 league appearances. Jo currently plays for Nagoya Grampus in Japan.
Anderson is one of the most successful Brazilian footballers to ever play in the Premier League but the former Golden Boy award winner will go down as a flop. With three four Premier League medals and a Champions League trophy, one might wonder why Anderson did not go on to be the next big thing at Old Trafford. His nemesis was his inconsistency. He did show flashes of brilliance but it was not enough to see him go down as a Manchester United great. Injuries did not help his cause either. He was loaned to Fiorentina in 2014 and his career has only continued to nosedive since then.
Robinho was the hottest of Brazilian footballers that emerged in the early 2000s. He was signed by Real Madrid in 2005 after 47 league goals in 108 games for Santos and was named ‘the new Pele’. This was not to be however as Robinho never reached the heights expected of him. He moved to England in 2008 as a marquee signing for Manchester City and spent two years there. Robinho managed only 14 goals in 41 league appearances over that period. The fact that he was loaned out to Santos within such a short stint speaks volumes about Robinho’s time in England.
#4. Andre Santos
One of the major effects of the 8-2 drubbing Arsenal suffered at the hands of Manchester United in the 2011/2012 season is panic buys. Arsenal signed Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, and Andre Santos after that game and they all went on to do well for the Gunners except for Santos. The left-back was terrible at defending with poor positioning and was often regularly dribbled past. It was not too long before he was ousted out of the starting eleven by Gibbs. He further put himself in the fans’ bad books when he asked for Robin van Persie’s shirt after a poor first-half showing at Old Trafford.
Brazilian footballers have had mixed fortunes at Old Trafford and Kleberson who was signed in 2003 from Atletico Paranaense will be remembered as a huge flop. Sir Alex Ferguson described him as an athletic midfielder who can play in a number of positions but he only managed 20 league appearances in two years scoring two goals. He was sold to Besiktas in 2005 and retired from football in 2016. He currently manages Philadelphia Union’s academy team.
Branco was signed by Middlesbrough in 1996 – two years after winning the World Cup with Brazil and a year after signing Juninho Paulista. A strange phase began in Branco’s career in 1993 when he began to have very short stints with different teams. His time at Teeside was no different as he left after a year without making any major impact. He made just nine league appearances in that period and he is not fondly remembered in the fanbase.
Gilberto is a common name amongst Brazilian footballers but so as not to get things twisted, this guy was no Gilberto Silva or any other great Gilberto. This guy flopped badly for Tottenham Hotspur after he was signed from Hertha Berlin in 2008. He made 10 appearances for Spurs in all competitions scoring just a goal. The North London club shipped him back to Brazil after an error-plagued spell. Gilberto retired in 2014 with Araxa.
#8. Roque Junior
It is safe to say Roque Junior saved his best football for international fixtures. The central defender moved to Europe in 2000 with A.C. Milan and was on their books till 2004. He spent much of his time there on loan spells and one of the spells saw him play for Leeds United in 2003/2004. His arrival was greeted with much fanfare but it all soon turned sour. He made just five league appearances and was sent off on his home debut. He returned to A.C. Milan at the end of the loan spell.
#9. Mario Jardel
Jardel is one of the best Brazilian footballers to ever play in Europe. He may not be popular in many quarters but this guy won the European Golden Shoe twice (with Porto and Sporting CP). His record at Porto stands at 130 goals in 125 league appearances. How he managed to flop at Bolton as a proven goalscorer is still a mystery to many. Jardel aged 30 then had somehow begun to decline and he could not make any impact at Reebok stadium. He spent a year on Bolton’s books which included a loan spell at Ancona.
#10. Alfonso Alves
Alves wraps our list of Brazilian footballers and like the aforementioned Branco, he also played at Teeside. He was a proven goalscorer before in Sweden and the Netherlands before he was signed by Middlesbrough in 2008. Alves could not gound his feet at Teeside and was sold a year later after 10 goals in 42 appearances. He retired from football in 2013 with Al-Gharafa.
Tags: Brazilian footballers