With Manchester United being the global brand that it is, the club has many connections all over the globe. From affiliate clubs, to teams that have produced players that have signed for United there has been a wealth of talent from all corners of the globe. In the first of the series we’ll look at the players that hail from Brazil.
Two of Manchester United’s official affiliated clubs are from Brazil; Fluminense and Desportivo Brasil. The da Silva twins both signed for United from Fluminense whereas the Desportivo Brasil link was created by the recruitment team alongside the Manchester United Academy.
Current and Former Reds
- Rafael da Silva – Having been around the first team for many years now Rafael has become an integral part of the United set-up. His defending has come on leaps and bounds and partnered with his attacking ability Rafael has made quite the impression on the Premier League, so much so he inherited the famed number two shirt from Gary Neville.
- Fabio da Silva – Joining his twin brother in Manchester the twins became some of the most promising talents in the youth set-up. From 2008 to 2014 (when Fabio left permanently for Cardiff City) Fabio’s career reached a peak when he played alongside his brother in the 2011 UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona. He left United with more premier league medals than Steven Gerrard.
- Anderson – The one-time European golden boy Anderson came to United with bags of promise. But with injuries hampering his career he never managed to tie down a first team slot. His early United career was arguably his most successful and after an eight-year long spell he left for a return to his homeland with Internacional. He left with more premier League medals than Steven Gerrard.
- Kléberson – In what became a short-lived career at United Kléberson never fulfilled his potential. The 2002 world cup saw him deemed as the lynchpin to a Brazil side that achieved a record-breaking fifth World Cup. After an FA Cup and Community shield the Brazilian left for Beşiktaş and never really hit the heights United offered from then on.
- Andreas Pereira – Currently one of United’s hottest prospects, he made his premier league debut in the 3-0 win against Tottenham on the 15th March. Famed for his flair and free kicks Pereira has all the credentials to establish himself as a key player for United in the future. Although he is half Belgian and has represented Belgium from U15 level to U17 he eventually chose to represent Brazil and has played once so far for the U20’s side.
- Rodrigo Possebon – Although Possebon chose to represent Italy in the end he is half Brazilian and has spent the majority of his career in the Brazilian leagues. Signed from Anderson’s current club Internacional, he only spent a year at United and was loaned to Braga in the Portuguese league before signing for Santos in Brazil upon his return. Unfortunately what most fans will remember him for is the injury he received in a league cup game between United and Middlesbrough in which Emmanuel Pogatetz was sent off for the tackle. In the same competition Possebon featured in the final which was won on penalties against Tottenham.
The following players are ‘potential reds’ purely based on opinion, no official moves have been made.
- Gabriel Barbosa – Barbosa is currently playing at Neymar’s former club, Santos. He himself has been touted as the next Neymar and has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona. United already have a wealth of attacking talent but with Gabriel being one for the future he has many years to adapt his game to the English style of play and accompany that with his own skill and flair. Plus he is brilliant on Football Manager!
- Victor Andrade – Andrade had his limelight stolen somewhat after the emergence of his teammate Gabriel Barbosa. However this might be beneficial to any suitors because his talent is not to be questioned. He is a quick and agile sort of player and his style of play could be linked with that of Chicharito’s. Andrade and Barbosa up-front for United could be devastating when the two peak so why not snap them up now?
- Pará – Currently plying his trade at one of Brazil’s top clubs, Cruzeiro the 19-year-old has already impressed. The full back spent a year at Bahia before Cruzeiro snapped him up and looks set to be one of the next big things in Brazil. He plays for Brazil’s under 20’s side alongside Andreas Pereira! So I’m sure Rafael would approve!
- Bernard – One of the more well-known names in this list Bernard featured in Brazil’s 2014 world cup squad and has already generated quite a stir amongst top European clubs with Arsenal having been linked in the past. He currently plays for Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk and without offending Shakhtar, he is destined for bigger things! Where bigger than United? Dare I say…with a Ronaldo-esque style of play he could easily slot onto United’s wing.
- Bruno Gomes – Heavily linked with United before his move to Anderson’s current club Internacional Gomes was in red-hot form for Desportivo Brasil to the point where he notched 7 goals in one game! He has been pictured at United’s training ground but unfortunately the transfer never went through. However at just 18 years old theirs is plenty of time for United to renew their interest.
- Gérson Santos da Silva – One of the leading and youngest players at the 2015 South American Youth championship Gérson is definitely one to keep an eye on. The 17-year-old winger currently plays for the da Silva twins’ old club Fluminense. He has the same name as Brazilian legend Gérson who played for the same club and won the world cup with Brazil in 1970. With United already having ties to the club, watch this space!
So if any United scouts was reading this here’s how they could fit into the team, the line-up was created using line-up builder. In brackets will be the country they belong to because as the series goes on, the best potential reds will be added into the line-up and at the end the ultimate line up will be revealed. Again this is all down to opinion and should not be taken as fact.
This article was researched and written by Cameron Honey. You can follow him on Twitter.