An impressive brace from Ramires in Chelsea's emphatic 4-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League last night, reaffirmed my belief that the all-action midfielder is not only the most important Samba star currently on the books at Stamford Bridge, but also among the best Brazilian imports ever to grace the Premier League.
The 26-year-old is not your typical silky South American player, but possesses a much more rugged, and robust style of play, that makes him perfectly suited to the combative nature of England's top-flight.
His tireless running and guile has been a huge asset to the Blues, both domestically and in Europe, ever since Ramires showed up in west London, signing from Benfica in a €22million deal in August 2010.
Unaffected by the weight of expectation that often comes with such a hefty price-tag, Ramires has been one of Chelsea's most consistent performers during the past three seasons; a spell that has seen the club win the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League.
Ramires is often overlooked when it comes to singling out any of Chelsea's current crop of stars for individual praise, and even more so after the arrival of fellow compatriots David Luiz and Oscar.
The flamboyant defender, who followed the same path as Ramires from Portugal to England, has already attracted transfer interest from Barcelona. Although some detractors question his composure to make it as a world class centre-back, Luiz's talent is clear for all to see.
Oscar, meanwhile, has also earned rave reviews after forcing his way into Chelsea's star-studded attacking midfield, following a strong showing at the London Olympics in 2012, and has garnered even more attention in 2013/14 after being selected ahead of Juan Mata for the No.10 role by manager Jose Mourinho.
However, it's Ramires who deserves the most credit for his industrious performances in the middle of the park, or out wide on the right wing, as he has sometimes been deployed. His dependable displays warrant even more recognition at a time where Frank Lampard's influence is starting to wane, as the inevitable decline for any ageing footballer begins to gather pace.
With goals starting to be added to the Brazilian's game; Ramires scored eight in all competitions last season, and already has three in nine appearances this campaign, the box-to-box midfielder's all-round game is constantly improving.
The recent arrival of Willian at Chelsea, and players like Paulinho and Sandro at Tottenham Hotspur, Fernandinho at Manchester City, Anderson and the Da Silva twins at Manchester United, Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Leiva at Liverpool, means that the contingent of Brazilian players now plying their trade in the Premier League is at an all-time high, though each have made varying impacts.
Gilberto Silva, and Juninho set the bar in terms of English success stories for a growing list of stars from that part of South America, but Ramires warrants his place at the very top of the pile.
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