The harsh cold bite of Russian city Kaspiysk, south-east of Makhachkala, is a numbing and uncomfortable sensation.

However, for Willian it is a reality he has become accustomed to after making the move to Eastern Europe from Brazil. His travels across the continents may come across as peculiar or unorthodox but it is these experiences that have moulded a tough mentality and not one of petulance or insolence. 

Born on 9 August 1988 in Ribeirão, Pires Willian Borges da Silva's prodigiousness talent was conspicuous and his noticeable natural flair for football didn't take long before it attracted interest. 

It was São Paulo side Sport Club Corinthians Paulista who managed to induce him into their youth ranks and at 16-years-old Willian first began to come to eminence with electrifying performances in celebrated youth tournament Copa São Paulo de futebol Júnior, in which he won with the Timão.   

It was in 2007 that would be the most prominent stage in his blossoming young career - a year that would see him go on to make 15 appearances for the Corinthians senior team, while he also thrilled in both the U20 South American Championships and the U20 World Cup. 

This persuaded Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk to pay a fee in the excess of £12m for the 18-year-old Brazilian.

Willian didn't become acclimated to life in Donetsk as expeditiously as he had first hoped and these struggles affected the settling period. The South American contingent in the squad slowly assisted the player with these troubles and the following season he was an integral part of the first team. 

He enjoyed dominance in Ukraine as Shakhtar won four Ukrainian Premier League titles, three Ukrainian Cups, three Ukrainian Super Cups and he tasted European glory after winning the Uefa Cup in 2009. 

The midfielder's success was bringing the need for a new challenge and after expressing this, interest heated up rapidly as Inter Milan and London duo Chelsea and Tottenham fiercely fought to sign the player.

A potential move failed and he was inclined to spend the following season with his club.

In spite of the host of illustrious clubs chasing him it would be affluent Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala who would show their intent by spending £30m to bring the exuberant playmaker to Kaspiysk and this shocked the footballing world.

The transfer wasn't the expected one and surprisingly the player decided to extend his stay in Eastern Europe. The 5ft 8in midfielder has made 13 appearances so far for Guus Hiddink's side since his January move.

Owner Suleyman Kerimov's ambition and financial power will see the 24-year-old surrounded by equally talented players at the ever-growing team.

 

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