The next destination of our alphabetical world tour is Brazil. A footballing giant of a nation, Brazil’s five World Cup wins is more than any other country. According to the Premier League website, 79 players have represented Brazil in the Premier League.
First Player – Isaías (Coventry City; 1995-97)
Isaias first came to the attention of English clubs in 1991/92, when he almost single-handedly knocked Arsenal out of the European Cup in the second round.
He moved to Coventry City in 1995 at the age of 31 and became the first Brazilian to play in the Premier League. He managed just 12 league appearances for the Sky Blues however, 11 of which came before Christmas in his first season.
Most Appearances: Lucas Leiva – 247 (Liverpool; 2007-17)
Surprising? It shouldn’t be. Defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva spent 10 years at Liverpool, in which he won the League Cup in 2011/12.
Defensive in every sense of the word, Lucas scored just one Premier League goal in his time with the Reds, the same number of red cards he received, in addition to 50 yellow cards.
Lucas ended his decade-long association with Liverpool in 2017, joining Lazio for £5 million. He has enjoyed a similarly successful spell in Rome, where he remains today.
Top scorer: Roberto Firmino – 56 (Liverpool; 2015-present)
Underappreciated by everybody except Liverpool fans, “Bobby” Firmino has been with the Reds since 2015 and was a key figure from the off, helping Liverpool reach the finals of the League Cup and Europa League in his first season.
Though they lost both finals, there were signs that Jurgen Klopp’s revolution was starting to bear fruit and though it took three further years, Liverpool confirmed themselves among the World’s elite with the 2018/19 Champions League title.
Though rival fans often criticise Firmino’s diminutive goal tallies, his role in the side is under no threat. He is arguably the best in the world right now at what he does, linking up play from deep and creating space for the less goal-shy Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to steal the limelight.
The following 19 Brazilians have appeared in the 2019/20 Premier League season:
David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli (both Arsenal), Douglas Luiz, Wesley (both Aston Villa), Bernardo (Brighton), Willian (Chelsea), Bernard, Richarlison (both Everton), Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino (all Liverpool), Fred, Andreas Pereira (both Manchester United), Ederson, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus (all Manchester City), Joelinton (Newcastle) and Lucas Moura (Spurs).
- Of the 10 CONMEBOL nations, Brazil have had the most Premier League players (79).
- Juninho Paulista was voted the best player in Middlesbrough’s history in a 2007 poll.
- 16 Brazilians have won the Premier League.
- Former Manchester City striker Robinho was the record transfer for a Premier League club between September 2008 and July 2009 (£32.5 million).