It is not all doom and gloom for Brazilian players in the English Premier League. In one of our articles, we made a compilation of some 10 Brazilian footballers who flopped badly in the Premier League. They were not entirely bad footballers but they somehow found it difficult to find their feet in England.
However, there are some Brazilian players who like Ceasar came, saw and conquered. These guys came to England and showed us what Brazilian football had to offer. Some of them went on to win the UEFA Champions League with their teams. Some were even ‘invincible’. Here are 10 Brasileiros that made the Premier League their own.
10 Best Brazilian Players in Premier League History
- Juninho Paulista
- Gabriel Jesus
- Lucas Leiva
- Philipe Coutinho
- Gilberto Silva
1. Juninho Paulista
Juninho Paulista became the first high profile Brazilian to play in the Premier League when he joined Middlesbrough from Sao Paulo in 1995. The attacking midfielder spent another two years at Teeside scoring 12 league goals in 57 appearances. He was voted the greatest player in the club’s history in a 2007 PFA poll. He moved to Atletico Madrid in 1997 before returning to Boro in 2002 spending another two years and scoring 11 league goals in 35 games. Juninho finally left England in 2004 and retired in 2010.
Alex is one of the many Brazilian players to have donned the blue shirt of Chelsea football club. He was signed by Santos as a 22-year old in 2004 and stayed with Chelsea till 2012. The central defender made 86 league appearances scoring seven goals within that period. Beyond defensive stability, Alex was known for taking long-range freekicks by producing ferocious shots. He left England a successful player winning the Premier League and two FA Cups before moving to PSG where he won trophies too.
3. Gabriel Jesus
Jesus joined Manchester City in the winter of 2017 Palmeiras as a 20-year old. An early injury affected his availability over the course of the season but the striker has grown to one of the best young forwards in the Premier League. He has scored 37 league goals in 92 games for City already and with Aguero aging, he is shaping up to be the long-term replacement. He has won two Premier League titles, two league cups, and one FA Cup. There is definitely more success to come for the man from Sao Paulo.
4. Lucas Leiva
Lucas is one of the most underrated Brazilian players in the last decade. The defensive midfielder moved to Liverpool from Gremio in 2007 and was often criticized in his early days. Before he left however, he had become a fan favorite for because of his work rate and energy level. He made 247 league appearances scoring just one goal. Lucas was sold to Lazio in 2017 and at the age of 33 years, he is still going strong and leading the charge in Lazio’s unexpected race for the Scudetto.
Willian was almost going to be a Tottenham Hotspur player before Chelsea somehow managed to lure him to West London. He was signed from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and has gone on to be an important part of the Blues’ squad under different managers. Under Frank Lampard, he is seen as one of the experienced heads in a very young Chelsea squad. His experience has been vital for Frank Lampard. Willian has made over 200 league appearances for Chelsea with 33 goals to his name. His trophy haul includes two Premier League titles and the Europa League.
6. Philipe Coutinho
Coutinho’s move away from Liverpool has not turned out as expected but he was a stalwart in his Premier League days. He is one of the few Brazilian players to have played for Liverpool and made a very strong impression. He was signed by the Reds from Inter Milan in 2013 as a 21-year old. His 5ft height was no disadvantage in any way as he was a nightmare for defenders. He was a good dribbler, passer and a shooter as well. He was also very dangerous when it comes to dead ball situations. Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2018 after 41 league goals and 152 league games.
Fernandinho has been a faithful servant for Manchester City since he joined them from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013. In his seven years at the Etihad Stadium, he has seen many players come and go. His talent, commitment has seen him become a mainstay in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven. He signed a new one-year contract before the season was suspended and this shows how much he is respected at Manchester City. The defensive midfielder has scored 18 goals for City so far and has won 3 Premier League titles and 5 league cups with them.
Ramires is one of the Brazilian players Chelsea signed in the 2010s. He joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2010 and played across different midfield positions. He was an energetic box-to-box midfielder and was good at breaking the opposition attacks. Ramires left Chelsea in 2016 after 164 league games and 34 goals. He had a successful time in London winning the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, and the FA Cup. He won the league cup as well. Ramires currently plays for Palmeiras in his native Brazil.
9. Gilberto Silva
Gilberto Silva is probably the greatest Brazilian footballer to play for the Gunners. Silva was signed by Arsene Wenger from Atletico Mineiro in 2002. His performance at the 2002 FIFA World Cup was crucial to the decision to sign the defensive midfielder. Gilberto Silva would go on to spend six years with the North London club winning five trophies. He was part of the Arsenal side that won the 2003/2004 Premier League Without losing a single game. Silva retired with Atletico Mineiro in 2013.
We go way back on our list of Brazil players to Elano. Before Fernandinho and co. there was an Elano. The attacking midfielder was signed by Shakhtar Donetsk in 2007 aged 26 years old. He scored four goals and assisted five in his first ten games for Manchester City. The city was not a powerhouse then as they are now but Elano added class to them then. He left England for Galatasaray in 2009 after 14 league goals and 62 games. He currently coaches Inter de Limeira.