Name the last Brazilian to make a major impact in the Premier League? Not a slight impact, a true significant contribution. A player who did it year on year; one of the best players in the Premier League kind of impact. I can think of only one, Juninho at Middlesbrough. Juninho was revered at Boro, still is to this day. Wore his heart on his sleeve, gave everything for the club and helped them to a League Cup.
As Robinho reportedly heads for a Manchester City exit you have to ask yourself are Brazilians a poor fit for the Premier League? It's not as if South Americans as a whole have this issue. From the days of Ricardo Villa and Osvaldo Ardiles joining Spurs in 1978 Argentinians have done well in the Premier League. Carlos Tevez and Javier Maschereno are considered two of the best at their positions in the league. Indeed more Argentinians than Germans have played in the Premier League. The occasional Peruvian, Paraguayan and Colombian has performed well, but the Argentinians seem to be the exception to the rule.
It's almost as if the "Latin" style player doesn't work. More Swedes have played than Spaniards, more Norwegians than Italians.
And therefore maybe it isn't a surprise that Brazilians have prospered in Spain and Italy, Portugal too for that matter. Strange because Italy in particular is known as a very tactical league where you would think the Brazilians wouldn't work, but they do.
Maybe it's a cultural thing. I honestly don't know.
This struck me as the National Press has been falling all over themselves with Robinho exit stories. Lots of silly stuff to do with pay cuts, Santos, maybe Benfica, Robinho 90% certain that he is gone, Mancini wanting him to say. All of it speculation and as far as I can see none of it fact. But one thing did catch my attention and that was a report that City wanted the right of first refusal on two up and coming Santos players, Neymar and Paulo Henrique.
I have no idea of the validity of such a report but given the lack of success of Brazilian players in the Premier League itâ€™s maybe not as big a deal as you might think. Even if Neymar was once dubbed the "New Pele." Who knows, maybe Pele wouldn't have worked out in the Premier League either...