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All time Brazilian Premier League XI

Brazil certainly know how to produce top talent and the Premier League has seen some truly brilliant Brazilians throughout its history.

The South American superpower is one of the most respected footballing nations on the planet, the record five-time winners of the World Cup and a country with a rich heritage of wonderfully gifted footballers.

Aston Villa last week announced the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, with the midfielder returning to the Premier League for a second spell after starring during five seasons at Liverpool.

Coutinho produced some unforgettable moments during his time at Anfield and to celebrate his return to the division we’ve decided to compile an all-time XI of the Premier League’s best-ever Brazilians.

Goalkeeper: Ederson

Ederson’s arrival at Manchester City was amongst the most transformative signings of the club’s modern history, a goalkeeper who changed perceptions around the role and who became the perfect player for Pep Guardiola’s system.

Signed from Benfica in a £35m deal, his first season saw City win the Premier League title with a record-breaking 100-point haul, before adding a second successive league title the following season.

Gone was the vulnerability from City’s goalkeeping position, with Ederson safe with his hands and even better with his feet. He boasts an extraordinary passing range, operating almost as a quarter-back with his kicking unerringly accurate over short and long range.

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He has twice been named in the PFA Team of the Year and has won the division’s Golden Glove on two occasions, whilst he has won five domestic cup trophies in addition to three Premier League titles.

Ederson remains one of the most unique talents the Premier League has seen and is perhaps unrivalled when it comes to goalkeeping distribution.

Right-back: Rafael da Silva

Rafael da Silva became a fans’ favourite across his time with Manchester United, the right-back’s competitive edge and tenacity earning him admirers amongst the Old Trafford crowd.

The Brazilian signed for the Red Devils as a teenager alongside twin brother Fabio, but it was Rafael who made the greater impact after making 170 appearances and winning three Premier League titles.

Rafael scored a memorable goal against Liverpool to further increase his popularity, and his extroverted passion and respect for the Red Devils made him the ideal successor to Gary Neville at right-back.

He departed to sign for Lyon in 2015 and has since had spells with İstanbul Başakşehir and Botafogo.

Centre-back: Thiago Silva

Chelsea’s signing of Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain was widely viewed with skepticism, recruiting the veteran defender following his release at the Parc des Princes.

Silva has since shown, however, that class remains very much permanent and has become a crucial figure for the west Londoners despite his first experience of the Premier League coming well into the twilight of an esteemed career.

The Brazilian is a natural leader and organiser at centre-back, improving the performances of those around him and demonstrating that speed of thought can make up for a slowing in the legs.

The 37-year-old formed part of the side that won the Champions League during his debut season and remains one of the best defenders in the division.

Centre-back: David Luiz

David Luiz often proved box-office viewing during a colourful career in English football, mixing the sublime with the ridiculous during spells at Chelsea and Arsenal.

Luiz had two spells with Chelsea and won a wealth of major honours with the west Londoners, including the Premier League, Champions League and the FA Cup and Europa League on two occasions each.

His finest season came as the centre-piece of Antonio Conte’s backline in 2016/17, the added security of an additional defender allowing his ball-playing talents to flourish as he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Left-back: Fabio Aurelio

Left-back was a difficult position to assess in this side, but we’ve opted for Fabio Aurelio despite injuries robbing fans of the chance to see his qualities on a consistent basis.

Sylvinho deserves a mention after being named in the 2000/01 PFA Team of the Year, but his time with Arsenal was cut short following the emergence of Ashley Cole in north London.

Aurelio spent six seasons with Liverpool and made 133 appearances across all competitions, delivering some memorable moments including set-piece specials against Manchester United and Chelsea.

A cultured footballer with a sweet left foot, perhaps only fitness issues prevented Aurelio from making a truly lasting impression on Merseyside.

Midfield: Fernandinho

Few names in this side have a greater claim as the Premier League’s best ever Brazilian, with Fernandinho having been a crucial cog in a winning machine at Manchester City.

Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk after following the well-trodden path from Brazil to Ukraine, he has been one of Europe’ finest defensive midfielders across nine seasons at the Etihad.

Tactically intelligent, robust and brilliant in possession, Fernandinho has been an understated presence in one of the Premier League’s finest ever teams.

He has won four Premier League titles, six League Cups and one FA Cup with City, combining steel with skill as the authoritative presence at the base of club’s midfield.

Midfield: Gilberto Silva

Another wonderful exponent of the midfield anchor role, Gilberto Silva signed for Arsenal after forming part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning side.

Silva’s arrival enabled Patrick Vieira to be released from his shackles in a formidable midfield partnership, the duo at the centre of Arsenal’s infamous ‘Invincibles’ side that completed the 2003/04 Premier League season without defeat.

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Often an unsung presence for the north Londoners, his defensive diligence brought balance and he later played a leadership role as Arsenal moved on into a new era under Arsene Wenger.

Silva made 244 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, in addition to winning 93 caps for Brazil at international level.

Midfield Juninho

Juninho became the first high-profile import from Brazil on there shores, signing for Middlesbrough during an exciting era for the North East club.

The midfielder became a much-loved figure during his time at the Riverside, bringing flair and fantasy to the side following his shock signing.

He starred during the 1996/97 season as Middlesbrough reached both domestic cup finals, being named as the Premier League’s Player of the Season despite the club’s relegation from the top flight.

Juninho departed following relegation to keep his international ambitions alive, but twice returned to the club following their return to the Premier League to establish himself as arguably Middlesbrough’s finest ever footballer.

He formed part of the side that won the club’s first, and only, major trophy with League Cup success in 2004 and remains a man who will never again have to pay for a pint on Teeside.

Right-wing: Willian

Willian won five major trophies in seven seasons with Chelsea, becoming a central figure in the side’s success after the Blues hijacked Tottenham’s deal to sign the winger from Anzhi Makhachkala.

He thrived on the flanks for Chelsea as the archetypal Brazilian wide-man, driving at opponents in a direct manner and establishing a reputation as a fine set-piece taker.

Willian was twice named as the west London side’s Player of the Season, whilst he played a vital role in the club’s Premier League title successes in 2015 and 2017.

He moved across the capital to sign for Arsenal on a free transfer in 2020, but struggled during a single season with the Gunners before returning to Brazil.

Left-wing: Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool fans gave Philippe Coutinho the nickname of ‘The Magician’ following his five seasons at Anfield, with the midfielder boasting a box of tricks and delighting in producing something out of the ordinary.

Signed following a frustrating period at Inter Milan, he flourished amid regular first-team football at Liverpool to become one of the Premier League’s best creative talents.

He became a firm favourite given his catalogue of stunning goals from distance, whilst his close control and nimble footwork often delighted crowds and left defenders bamboozled.

Coutinho scored 54 goals and provided 41 assists in 201 appearances in all competitions, leaving to sign for Barcelona in a staggering £142m deal in January 2018.

Forward: Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino has scored more goals in England than any other Brazilian, having netted 70 times in the Premier League since signing for Liverpool from Hoffenheim.

Firmino has been at the centre of the Reds’ recent successes after forming a brilliant front three with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, with the forward’s role an unselfish one as dovetails with that duo in industrious fashion.

Firmino’s blend of Brazilian brilliance and insatiable work-ethic have made him the perfect player to lead the line for Liverpool, setting the tempo in Jurgen Klopp’s counter-pressing system.

He has also provided more assists (44) than any other Brazilian to have played in the division, whilst he has earned Premier League and Champions League winners’ medals during his time at Anfield.

Read – Opinion: Aston Villa an ideal place for Philippe Coutinho’s restoration

Read Also – 90s Hitmen: Romario, a Brazilian goalscoring genius

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