Top 5: Brazilian stars in the Premier League
Ramires, Sandro and Rafael da Silva all feature in our top five Samba stars from the Premier League
Players from one of the world’s most successful national team are often labelled as being not good enough for the English game due to their inability to graft.
Brazilian talents often have skill and trickery in abundance, but question marks surround those who are incapable of working hard at the ugly part of the beautiful game.
However, the Premier League's current crop of Brazilian stars are proving they can adapt to the world’s most competitive league.
Now as some of the world’s best international stars ply their trade in England, Brazilians are showing they too can shine in one of the most competitive leagues in all the world.
Julio Cesar | QPR
The former UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year, Julio Cesar was signed in the summer from Inter Milan and has quickly proven that he is one of the top ‘keepers in the division.
Despite QPR sitting at the foot of the table, Cesar has been superb in the net, with key saves often ensuring points for Rangers.
His solid performances have even led to a recall to the national team, with whom he was praised for his performance in Brazil’s 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley earlier this month.
If QPR are to survive this season, it will be in large part due to Cesar’s steady hands.
Ramires | Chelsea
Towards the beginning of his Chelsea career, pundits often questioned the ability of Ramires, even wondering if he was Brazilian.
But after helping the Blues to an FA Cup and Champions League double, memorably scoring at the Nou Camp, Ramires has been the subject of much praise, culminating in an inclusion into the prestigious L’Equipe World XI.
Now in his third campaign at Stamford Bridge, Ramires has settled in England and has continued to score remarkable goals.
Ramires looks likely to be an integral part of the Selecao as they host the Confederations Cup and World Cup over the course of the next two summers.
Rafael da Silva | Manchester United
After four years at Old Trafford, Rafael has finally settled into life in England and has cemented his place in the starting XI for Sir Alex Ferguson.
In United’s 2-0 defeat of QPR on Saturday, Rafael netted a beautiful goal from 30 yards out, his third of the season.
The 22-year-old full-back made his debut for the senior national team last May and was an integral part of the Under-23 side that lost to Mexico in the Olympic final last summer.
This campaign, Rafael has finally broken into the side and looks ready to make the right-back position his own for many years to come.
With his twin brother playing well on loan at QPR, the two could become central figures of future United squads, mirroring Phil and Gary Neville’s inclusion in the United teams from the 1990s.
Sandro | Tottenham Hotspur
Since arriving in north London from Internacional in 2010, Sandro has been an important member of the Spurs squads that have been challenging for Champions League places.
His debut season was memorable for scoring from long range against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and he has since established himself as a fans' favourite at White Hart Lane.
Sandro has suppressed the idea that Brazilians aren’t physical enough for the English game, making a name as a tough-tackling defensive midfielder, much in the mould of Claude Makelele.
A knee injury picked up against QPR last month has ruled Sandro out for the remainder of the season but if he continues his good form on return from injury, Spurs will have a very strong midfield ready to compete at the top of the Premier League table next year.
Lucas Leiva | Liverpool
Lucas recently made his 200th appearance for Liverpool in their 2-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion earlier this month - a stat that seemed highly unlikely after he signed for the Anfield club in 2007.
But the Brazilian midfielder overcame a difficult start to his Liverpool career to become an influential member of the Reds' midfield alongside Steven Gerrard.
Lucas' 2011/12 season was cut short by injury and he also missed the first few months of the current campaign, but he has returned to good form as the Merseysiders push for European places.
His presence in the side has coincided with Liverpool looking more stable and assured in defence, and as he continues to work his way to full fitness and top form, manager Brendan Rodgers will be licking his lips in anticipation.
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