Top Five: Best and worst Premier League Brazilians - featuring Middlesbrough, Arsenal men

Arsenal, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Manchester City all feature in our best and worst Brazilian collection.


Liverpool confirmed the signing of Roberto Firmino today, bringing a player with real talent to the Premier League.

A Brazilian international, he will be looking to the light up the English top flight as some of his compatriots have done, with the latest being new teammate Philippe Coutinho.

However, Firmino should be wary when heading to England, with not all Brazilians adapting to England well.

For every Coutinho, Oscar and Fernandinho, there is a player who has failed to make their mark in England, leaving the country in infamy rather than with success to their name.

To celebrate Firmino’s arrival in England - and give him a warning - we take a look at five Brazilians who have moved to England, enduring varying levels of success.


Middlesbrough’s little magician is a cult hero on Teesside, helping the club to two finals although unable to stop them being relegated. After displays of fair and passion, he left the club in 1997, only to rejoin twice.

Gilberto Silva

Arsenal’s destructor - and sometime captain - the 2002 World Cup winner was a vital part of the Gunners mid-2000’s success. He was part of the Invincibles midfield, as well as the team who reached the Champions League Final in 2006. Unlike the majority of that team, he brought strength and steel rather than fair, and remains one of the best Brazilians to play in England.


A player once considered as a potential world beater, Jo - still only 28 - now plays in his homeland. He built a great reputation with CSKA Moscow, earning a 2008 transfer to Manchester City, and spending two spells on loan with Everton. Managed just one goal for City in 21 games, leaving the club in 2011, failing to live up to his £18 million price tag.

Roque Junior

Arriving at Leeds on loan with much fanfare, it was hard to believe Junior was a World Cup winner after seeing him play. Seven appearances in defence saw Leeds lose all seven games, and Junior even capped his short spell with a red card. It was certainly short, but was definitely not sweet.

Afonso Alves

Another one of Middlesbrough’s Brazilian imports, but one who was not a success. Afonso Alves signed for Boro after a season in which he netted 34 goals in 31 games in the Eredivisie, failing to light up the Premier League in the same style. He scored just six goals in his short first season, before only managing one more strike in 33 games the following campaign. He left in 2009, and spent the rest of his career with various clubs in Qatar.

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