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Top five: Brazil starlets

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Everyone loves a good Brazilian, full of flair and tricks. If one nation apart from England is synonymous with football, then it's Brazil.

Five-time World Cup winners, home of some the greatest players ever to kick a ball, this massive country is enthralled by their team's exploits at every competition - and with their wealth of talent, they usually go far.

But in recent years, the Selecao have lost their lustre. The great attacking team of the 2000s is long gone: veterans Cafu, Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos retired and Kaka and Ronaldinho are in decline.

For a while, the prospects looked bleak for Brazil. But with a raft of young new players making their names, it looks like there is bright future for the national team.

Some European teams have already found out just how good these players are, Oscar's exemplary season at Chelsea being an example of one the new generation's potential.

Let's take a look at some of their best and brightest that ply their trade on foreign shores. All these players are under 23 and have played for their country at one level or another.

Alan Patrick

Not a distant relative of mine, but in fact a midfielder who can play on the wing, behind the strikers or as an inside forward. He showed great promise while still a teenage but his career has stalled a little of late.

Having won a place in the Santos team at 18, he has struggled to fulfil the huge expectations that fans had for him. Being likened to his illustrious former team-mate Ganso hasn't helped and a move to Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk has been a mixed bag.

But don't be fooled, this young man has heaps of talent. While he hasn't appeared for the full national team yet, if he can settle in Europe he be should challenging Oscar, Ganso and Lucas Moura for a starting place. And while we're here...

Lucas Moura

Just 20 years old and he's already racked up 27 caps and plays for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. And yet, it seems a little over two years ago nobody outside of Sao Paulo knew who he was.

Forcing his way into the midfield of one of Brazil most successful clubs was no mean feat, and he has topped that by moving to Paris St Germain. He can now be found threading through passes to the likes of Lavezzi, Cavani, and Ibrahimovic, if the latter decides to stay over the summer.

In a squad bursting with talented midfielders like Javier Pastore and Marco Verratti, Moura has found his playing time a little limited, but still managed several assists.

Quick, intelligent on the ball and with dazzling dribbling skills, Moura can add something to any team, and if he doesn't get the opportunities he craves next season, we could see him moving again.

Bernard

This left-sided midfielder plays for Atletico Mineiro and thrilled crowds at the Confederations Cup on home soil. Standing at just under 5ft 5in, Bernard is fast, energetic and isn't afraid to run at players with the ball, something that endeared him no end to the watching Brazilians.

After such a good tournament, it was no surprise to see Europe's big boys come knocking, and Atletico eventually sold him to Shakhtar Donetsk for a €25m fee.

Carlos Casemiro

Until last year, this 21 year-old was the source of a huge amount of hype in Brazil, yet European fans seemed to know little about him. That was until Real Madrid snapped him up after having him on loan. Likened to Felipe Melo, Casemiro is a fantastic specimen.

Standing over 6ft tall, this tough-tackling powerhouse could be moulded into the perfect box-to-box midfielder, or become a top quality anchorman. He could be the next Xabi Alonso, or Marouane Fellaini, such is his strength, skill and versatility.

He counts the legendary Zinedine Zidane amongst his idols, and is in the perfect place to emulate his hero at the Bernabeu. As with the other players on this list, the sky is the limit for this player, and he has found the stage to take his career to the next step.

Neymar

You may just already know this 21-year-old's name. He's been a little hard to miss recently, what with his £48.6m transfer to Barcelona and stunning performances for Santos and the national team. This young man has the world at the feet.

Breaking into the first team in 2009, he scored 10 goals in 33 games at the age of just 17. That made the world sit up and take notice, as well as Brazil managers Mano Menezes and 'Big Phil' Scolari.

The British media were whipped up into a frenzy by Neymar's game winning brace against Scotland in 2011, and since then he has gone on to score 24 goals in 39 games for his country.

He looks like he may break Pele's record of 77 goals for Brazil and many tip him to be the successor to his new team-mate, Lionel Messi, and become the best player in the world.

Round up

So there we are, five of the best prospects Brazil have to offer. Honourable mentions go to Rafael Toloi, Dalton Moreira, Fernando and Danilo. With such rich pickings for national manager Scolari to enjoy, the next World Cup in Brazil should be one to remember for the home fans.

 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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