Four Brilliant Brazilians for Tottenham and Manchester United

The Brazillians have long been regarded as the Kings of football, widely considered the most stylish, attractive and best football team in the world.

The samba stars have produced a long line of brilliant individuals: Pele, Zico, Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, the list goes on.

The side that brushed aside England with such ease on Saturday evening, though, was notably different: there was only one ‘star name’, Kaka.

Much has been made of the tactical nous that Dunga has brought to the Brazil team – making the famous golden shirts operate like a European outfit – but the flair of old remains. The hype, though, seems to be missing.

This Brazil line-up, flying somewhat under the radar (or as much as any Brazil side could), is full of players who have adapted to the European leagues.

Michel Bastos, the left-sided Lyon player; Felipe Melo, of Juventus; Villarreal’s Nilmar and Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano all caught the eye in Qatar.

Though all impressed technically, the quartet were notable also for their decidedly European traits; hard-working, closing-down and excellent tactically.

Here I profile the four stand-out players – though that may be doing former Man City midfielder Elano something of an injustice – and suggest Premiership teams that would benefit from their arrival.

Michel Bastos

Age: 26
Position: Left back, Left Winger
Potential Value: £20million

Having played in Europe for eight years now, since starting out at Feyenoord, Bastos has quietly gone about forging a career for himself.

Saturday was his first international appearance and marked an excellent couple of months for the playing, following his £16million move to Lyon in July.

The winger is versatile and dangerous and would add an attacking threat to any of the top-six sides in the league. Specifically, though, Harry Redknapp should have been watching on with interest on Saturday…

Felipe Melo

Age: 26
Position: Holding Midfield
Potential Value: £25million

Linked with Arsenal in the summer, Melo ended up in Turin with Juventus.  The robust midfielder has the perfect game for the Premier League, and Arsene Wenger may end up looking back ruefully on missing out on him.

A move to England isn’t completely off the cards, however, and Wenger is likely to have competition should the opportunity arise; each of the top-four could do with someone of Melo’s capabilities.


Age: 25
Position: Forward
Potential Value: £12million

Nilmar, the match-winner, was energetic and caught the eye throughout Saturday’s fixture. From heading home the only goal of the game, to winning a second-half penalty, Nilmar shone.

Having spent a disappointing two seasons with Lyon earlier on in his career, there will be many managers watching on with interest to see if his time in Spain fares any better. With Champions League football on offer at the Yellow Submarines, Nilmar could be England-bound next summer should he impress, with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United likely to be interested.

Luis Fabiano

Age: 29
Position: Forward
Potential Value: £20million

The Sevilla front-man was reportedly subject of an offer from AC Milan this summer and has been described as a Sir Alex Ferguson target for some time.

Though his club held onto him this summer, they may not be so lucky in January. With just over 18 months left on his contract, Fabiano’s physical game is perfectly suited for the Premier League.

With Manchester United lacking something going forward, Fabiano would be an excellent focal point of their attack and the perfect foil for Wayne Rooney; a much improved version of Emile Heskey.

Could you see these guys plying their trade in our top-flight sometime soon?

Leading Goalscorer in the 2010 World Cup
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  1. GT 18 November, 2009
  2. Frazzle 18 November, 2009
  3. Gary 18 November, 2009
  4. BD Condell 18 November, 2009
  5. ish 18 November, 2009
  6. alby 19 November, 2009
  7. rajiv USA 24 November, 2009