●Land of Samba Churns Out “New Big” Names
●Can The Duo Takeover From Cris & Leo?
Pelé, Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Junior, Rai, Dunga, Romario, Bebeto, Edmundo, Cafu, Ronaldo de Lima, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Robinho, Marcelo, Neymar and Coutinho….we can go on and on reeling out names of great Brazilian superstars. The list cannot be exhausted because season in, season out, the country keeps producing talents who grace global stage and get hooked up by top European clubs.
It is almost a tradition that all the top clubs in the top leagues of the world and even in the lesser leagues have Brazilians. They go after them because of what they bring on to the leagues and clubs. The quality they bring makes these leagues thick, propels the clubs to victories both in the domestic scene and in the continent.
Brazilians are indeed the most sought after players on earth. This has boosted tbeir economy by way of forex. Every year one or more Brazilian player gets signed for big fees by top clubs. Brazilian players love moving to countries that have similar cultural and religious background like theirs. They prefer Spain and perhaps Italy more because of their flamboyant lifestyle.
They love beach groove, clubbing and partying hence they find it a bit uneasy staying in countries like England or Germany. Perhaps players like Willian of Chelsea, Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City and David Luiz must then be praised for doing fine in the EPL. Though before them there were a few others like Ramires of Chelsea.
But it does appear that in the last two decades or more, Brazilian most celebrated players feature for two major clubs in Spain….Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Romario was a star player with the Catalan giants. So was Rivaldo. Ronaldo de Lima played for both clubs. Roberto Carlos was a hero in the colours of Real Madrid. After Ronaldo de Lima’s exit entered Ronaldinho who cannot be forgotten by FC Barcelona fans. The coming of Neymar was to fill in the gap created by Ronaldinho’s departure from FC Barcelona and also the move of Robinho out of Real Madrid.
Neymar left FC Barcelona where he played the second fiddle to Lionel Messi. He wanted to be the biggest player wherever he is which is the tradition of Brazilians. He moved to Paris Saint Germain where he is hero-worshipped following a record transfer fee of €222m.
Now Real Madrid though still has Casemiro and Marcelo in their fold but needs another Brazilian capable of rivaling the status of Neymar in quality and name. They went for 18 years old Marcus Vinicius Silva de Oliveira Jnr. who has been signed for €46m. The forward according to those who know him at close quarters is a replica of Neymar on the field of play. It is only a matter of time for him to attract all the major attention and endorsements required to place him among the big boys the sport can boast of.
Similarly, FC Barcelona wants to maintain its tradition of signing or keeping a top Brazilian player. Though they have Coutinho but decided to go for Neymar’s replacement. The search took the club to Russia but could not find any quality. The club took its search further and settled for Bordeaux playmaker cum right winger, 21-year-old Malcolm Felipe Silva de Oliveira who was signed for €41m. The signing of Malcolm has poured cold water on the talks with Chelsea midfielder, Willian. Perhaps Malcolm has great potential to do exceptional things that will help lift the fortunes of FC Barcelona.
Now the world wants to see how far Vinicius and Malcolm can go. The world wants to see how much they can offer. The world wants to know if both players have what it takes to rule the world like Messi and Ronaldo are presently doing. The new season will reveal more on the qualities of both players.
Perhaps both players could help Brazil in the next World Cup to return to glory which was last experienced in Korea/Japan 2002.
By Desmond Ekwueme