Top five best Brazilians in Premier League history

Sports Mole selects five Brazilians that have shone during their respective spells in the Premier League.

Over 50 Brazilians have tried their luck in the Premier League since it was introduced back in 1992, with varying degrees of success.

While it may be easier to recall the expensive flops, some have managed to make a success of their time in England.

With Tottenham Hotspur about to add midfielder Paulinho to their squad, Sports Mole has picked out five players from the South American nation that lit up the Premier League. No doubt Spurs fans will hope that in time their new recruit can be added to the list.


Gilberto Silva taking a shot while playing for Arsenal.© PA Photos
Gilberto Silva, Arsenal

The holding midfielder arrived at Arsenal in 2002 as a recent World Cup winner, having anchored the Brazilian team, which allowed the likes of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo to strut their stuff further up the pitch.

There was a lot of expectation on him, but Gilberto took it all in his stride and he almost immediately became a mainstay of the Arsenal midfield. During his six years at the Emirates Stadium he won the Premier League once and FA Cup twice.

Such was his impact that some Arsenal supporters feel that his influence on the team still hasn't been replicated.


Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva controls the ball.© PA Photos
Rafael da Silva, Manchester United

For years Man United fans had been used to the steadiness of Gary Neville at right-back. He was by no means the classiest of footballers, but Neville knew his limits and rarely let his side down.

Then, as Neville's injury problems started to hamper him, a teenager called Rafael was introduced in 2008 and tore up the England international's guidebook to defending. The youngster was often guilty of diving in and spent just as much time in the opposition's half as he did in his own. Despite that, the United faithful took to him.

The 22-year-old has had his fair share of injuries, but last season he got a decent run in the side and was arguably among United's best performers as they won the title for a 20th time.


David Luiz© PA Photos
David Luiz, Chelsea

At times since his 2011 January arrival at Stamford Bridge, Luiz has made Rafael look like the most disciplined defender in world football! It would be fair to say that the 26-year-old is a footballer first and a defender second.

Even so, he was a regular in the rearguard as Chelsea went on to win the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup over the last two seasons. The centre-back, likened to Simpsons character Sideshow Bob because of hairstyle, has also thrown in a few spectacular goals along the way.

He has recently been linked with Barcelona - one thing is for sure, the Premier League would be worse off without him.


Juninho celebrates winning the League Cup with Middlesbrough.© PA Photos
Juninho, Middlesbrough

There are not many players that could have three separate playing stints at one club and shine on every occasion. Juninho did at Middlesbrough though, so much so that he is widely regarded to be one of the best players to ever turn out for the club.

It was during his final spell where enjoyed his major success, playing a key role as the Teesiders won the League Cup at the expense of Bolton Wanderers in 2004.

He may have only been 5'5", but the diminutive attacker was difficult to knock off the ball and he had the ability to slot a pass through the eye of a needle.


Chelsea's Ramires celebrates his goal against Spurs on May 8, 2013© PA Photos
Ramires, Chelsea

The 26-year-old possesses the technical ability that you would expect from a Brazilian footballer, but he also has the stamina that would make a marathon runner envious.

He's been at Chelsea six months longer than his compatriot Luiz and has won the same medals as the defender.

While he rarely puts in a sub-standard performance, one particularly strong showing that sticks in the memory is his display during the semi-finals of the Champions League in the Camp Nou against Barcelona. The Blues had been reduced to 10 men, but Ramires scored a goal just before the break and during the second half he covered every blade of grass to ensure that his side reached the final.

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1Manchester CityMan City54101621413
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd54101621413
3Chelsea531185310
4Newcastle UnitedNewcastle53026429
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs52217348
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield52215328
7Burnley52216518
8Liverpool52219908
9Southampton52214408
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom52214408
11Watford522179-28
12Arsenal521278-17
13Stoke CityStoke512256-15
14Swansea CitySwansea512225-35
15Leicester CityLeicester511379-24
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton511347-34
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham5113410-64
18Everton5113210-84
19Bournemouth510439-63
20Crystal Palace500508-80