Few nations produce footballers like Brazil. Some of the game’s greats have emerged from the South American superpower, their samba style mesmerising football fans for decades.
Historically, Brazilians have tended to opt for warmer climates when making the journey to Europe, though in modern times we’ve seen an increasing number head towards the Premier League.
Liverpool are just one of England’s leading sides to benefit from some brilliant Brazilians, the Merseyside club currently possessing three influential members of the Selecao amongst their ranks.
We’ve decided to look back at each of the samba stars to have adorned the red shirt, here are our ratings of the eight Brazilian’s to have played for Liverpool…
Fabio Aurelio (2006-2012)
The first Brazilian to play for Liverpool, Aurelio would arrive from Valencia on a free transfer during the Rafael Benitez era at Anfield.
The left-back had won two La Liga titles and the UEFA Cup under Benitez’s stewardship at the Mestalla, before following the Spaniard to Merseyside in 2006 to compete with John Arne Riise for a place in the side.
Technically superb, injuries would take their toll on Aurelio during a Reds career that would span six years, though he would demonstrate his qualities with some memorable goals including a sweetly struck volley at Bolton and a free-kick in a 4-1 win at Manchester United.
Released in 2010 before being resigned later that summer following Benitez’s departure, Aurelio would make 134 appearances for the club and score four goals.
Lucas Leiva (2007-2017)
Signed as one of South America’s most promising talents, Leiva would never reach the potential many expected but would nonetheless become a cult hero during a Liverpool career that would span a decade.
The young midfielder would initially struggle with the demands of English football before finding his feet as a tenacious tackler, his committed displays making him a firm fan’s favourite and seeing him win the club’s Player of the Year award in 2010/11.
A solitary League Cup would be his sole trophy during a transitional period at the club, however, the underrated Leiva departing for Lazio in 2017.
Diego Cavalieri (2008-2010)
Even the most die-hard Liverpool fans would probably have to rack their brains to remember Cavalieri, the Brazilian goalkeeper failing to make a single league appearance for the club in two seasons on Merseyside.
Signed from Palmeiras for £3m in 2008, the shot-stopper would make just 10 appearances in all competitions before moving to Italian football with Cesena.
Alexander Doni (2011-2013)
Another goalkeeping import to spend the majority of his Reds’ career on the bench, Doni would join from Roma on a free transfer to act as competition and back-up to first choice Pepe Reina.
In two seasons at the club he would keep goal on just four occasions, with Liverpool failing to win in three of those fixtures. The other, a 3-2 win over Blackburn at Ewood Park, saw Doni sent off and concede a penalty.
A hugely forgettable Liverpool career.
Philippe Coutinho (2013-2018)
The best signing of the Brendan Rodgers regime?
Coutinho would arrive from Inter Milan for a fee of just £8.5m in January 2013, the young playmaker having failed to make an impression at the San Siro despite his obvious talents.
It would be at Liverpool and in the Premier League that Coutinho would begin to fulfil his true potential, however, the diminutive star’s dazzling feet and penchant for the spectacular endearing him to the Kop.
Nicknamed the ‘Little Magician’ by the Anfield crowd, Coutinho would create a highlight reel few in the division’s history can match, making 201 appearances in all competitions and scoring 54 goals.
Twice named as Liverpool’s Player of the Season, after six trophy-less seasons he would ultimately head to Spain in search of success, joining Barcelona in a deal worth a reported £142m in January 2018.
Roberto Firmino (2015-present)
A unique talent who has played as key a role as anyone in Liverpool’s ascent to major honours, Firmino has been described as the ‘engine’ of the current side by Jurgen Klopp.
The brilliant Brazilian mixes technical brilliance with relentless industry, setting the tempo for the Liverpool press that has delivered so much success in recent seasons.
Dropping into dangerous spaces he allows the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to flourish around him, a star in his own right though amongst the most selfless forward players in the division.
The highest scoring Brazilian player in the history of the Premier League, Firmino has scored 55 goals in 158 top-flight appearances, as well as winning the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Liverpool’s defeat in the 2018 Champions League final prompted an expensive summer of recruitment, Klopp keen to strengthen the spine of a side that had showed potential in their run to European football’s showpiece.
Amongst those inclusions was the arrival of Fabinho, the defensive midfielder having made a big impression in French football with Monaco. Integrated slowly into the side as he adapted to English football, Fabinho has since flourished in Liverpool red, establishing himself amongst the finest holding midfielders in world football.
Physical, combative and a fine passer of the ball, the 26-year-old has provided the defensive screen that allows the club’s wealth of attacking talent to shine, a key figure at the heart of the current European champions.
Another of the 2018 summer signings, goalkeeper was a priority to strengthen for Jurgen Klopp following Loris Karius’ Champions League final calamities in Kiev.
The signing of the Brazilian number one from Roma came at a then world-record price of £67 million, though Alisson has proven worth the expensive outlay with a series of commanding displays.
A stunning debut season would see the goalkeeper claim the Premier League’s Golden Glove award, whilst he would also play an influential role in the club’s run to Champions League success, famously making a late stop to deny Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik and ensure progress from the group stages.
Alisson’s arrival coincided with a new found sense of solidity for Klopp’s side, the 27-year-old the last line of a defence on course for further silverware this season.