Manchester City’s Fernandinho
Brazil is the most esteemed footballing nation in the history of the sport. The South American nation has produced some of the greatest players to have graced the game and continue to do so. Brazilians have a natural flair for the game and they have mesmerized us with their incredible footballing abilities all throughout history.
Now, the Premier League is the most popular club competition in the world of football. The all-action, thrill-a-minute nature of the Premier League is not something that everyone can keep apace with.
It’s a very physically challenging place that forces players to think quick on their feet. We have seen many Brazilian footballers thrive in the English top-flight thanks to their street smarts and outstanding ability on the ball.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the best Brazilian players to every play in the Premier League.
#5 Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Norwich City v Liverpool – Premier League
Well, it was a difficult choice for the number five position. We’ve had to look past the talented David Luiz and Juninho to include Roberto Firmino. But because of the sheer impact that Firmino has had at Liverpool thanks to his innovative style of play, we had to include him.
While Firmino’s form over the past season or so has been worrisome, he was one of Liverpool‘s most important players in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns. Firmino was the creative stalwart of the front three during that time and he allowed Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to thrive with their runs in behind the defence.
Firmino is excellent at link-up play and is a technically refined campaigner who also selflessly toils for his side every time he is on the pitch. He won the Champions League with Liverpool in the 2018-19 season before winning the Premier League title in the 2019-20 season.
#4 Gilberto Silva (Arsenal)
Arsenal v Aston Villa
We had to include Arsenal‘s former midfield lynchpin Gilberto Silva on the list. How could we not? Silva was a vital cog in Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ team that won the Premier League in the 2003-04 season without losing a single game.
Often deployed in a holding role, Silva would sit at the base of midfield. He excelled at breaking up play and did not seem to have even a tiny bit of recklessness in him. He could contain the most intelligent and tricky of midfielders and attackers and not let them past him.
Silva has also showcased a desire to join the attack on occasion. He scored four goals and provided three assists from a deep-lying role in midfield during Arsenal’s triumphant 2003-04 season. In 243 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners, Silva scored 24 goals and provided 13 assists.
The Brazilian is easily one of the greatest single midfield pivots the Premier League has ever seen.
#3 Ederson Moraes (Manchester City)
Brazil v Peru – Copa America Brazil 2021: Semifinal
Ederson Moraes is a one-of-a-kind goalkeeper who fits Pep Guardiola’s system at Manchester City to a T. The Brazilian international is arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers the Premier League has ever seen when it comes to distribution.
That’s not to say that he is lacking in the primary attributes that his position warrants. But his passing range is so good that he is a sort of deep-lying playmaker for the Cityzens.
His shot-stopping, command over his area and bravery to come out and collect the ball in dangerous situations are all commendable as well. There is no doubt that Ederson’s arrival in 2017 has improved Manchester City. He has won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups so far with City.
#2 Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
Leeds United v Liverpool – Premier League
Alisson Becker has arguably been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League in recent times. While he was guilty of a few errors leading to goal last term, he has been a formidable presence behind the backline for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Like his compatriot Ederson, Alisson is also an excellent distributor of the ball. He plays some wonderful long balls into the paths of his forwards and can help Liverpool switch from defence to attack in the blink of an eye.
He is also a wonderful shot stopper thanks to his extraordinary sense of positioning, reflexes and agility. Alisson has also been quite consistent for Liverpool. He was definitely a blessing to them as their goalkeeping department was growing in reputation for being sub-par prior to his arrival.
In the 2017-18 season, Liverpool lost the Champions League final against Real Madrid and it was down to two glaring errors from goalkeeper Loris Karius. They lifted the Champions League trophy in the subsequent season and it had a lot to do with the stability Alisson helped bring at the back.
He was also a standout performer for Liverpool as they won the Premier League title in the 2019-20 season.
#1 Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Manchester City v Blackpool – Pre-Season Friendly
Fernandinho is one of the greatest defensive midfielders in the modern game. The Brazilian international is one of the most well-rounded midfielders the Premier League has ever seen. He possesses an excellent reading of the game, an incredible passing range and athleticism.
Even better, Fernandinho has never shied away from indulging in the dark arts of defending. A strong tackler and an authoritative presence in defensive midfield, Fernandinho has been crucial to Pep Guardiola’s system taking off at Manchester City.
The midfield stalwart has also filled in at centre-back on several occasions and thanks to his superior footballing intelligence and positioning, he always thrives. Fernandinho has won three Premier League titles, five League Cups and one FA Cup with Manchester City.
At 36-years-old, his best years are past him but he can still be quite handy on his day.