Football

Neymar not guaranteed to be a Manchester United success

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It won't happen, of course it won't, but if Manchester United did miraculously manage to sign Neymar from Barcelona there's no guarantee that the Brazilian would set the Premier League alight. 

If history tells us anything, it is that Brazilians tend not to do too well on these shores. At United themselves, they have been nothing short of disastrous. 

First came Kleberson, pictured on his unveiling with Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two of the three are worshipped like Gods within the Republic of Mancunia, but the World Cup winner is remembered for all the wrong reasons. 

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Whatever he did off the pitch - and there are plenty of contrasting stories - on it he was useless. He scored just twice, the goals coming against Blackburn Rovers and Everton, and left for Besiktas after two seasons at Old Trafford. 

And then came Anderson. A smile on his face, a bite to his midfield game, but after an impressive debut campaign he too waned. Injuries, a love for partying, whatever the reasons he never did look a £26million player.

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But, unlike his compatriot, he did leave with medals galore. Four Premier League titles, a Champions League winners medal and other honours such as the Capital One Cup, Club World Cup and Community Shield. A flop, but one with too many memories from his time in Manchester to care.

Best of the rest

It is not just United who have homed some bad Brazilians. Just across the city at the Etihad Stadium they spent big to land Jo and Robinho, the latter of which was regarded as one of the best wingers in world football at the time. 

A debut free-kick against Chelsea aside, the former Real Madrid man did little to catch the eye. Known as a trickster, Mark Hughes and then Roberto Mancini found him to be exactly that. Tricky.

Eighteen months after he sensationally turned down the Blues for the Sky Blues, he was allowed to leave for Santos on loan and eventually somehow ended up at AC Milan. 

Alfonso Alves was another curious case. Prolific in the Eredivisie, but shambolic at Middlesbrough. A brace against United on his debut proved to be a false dawn. After 13 goals in 47 games, and relegation to the Championship, he too disappeared into the sunset.

The exceptions

There are the odd exceptions of course. Rafael impressed under Ferguson and was perhaps unlucky not to be given a fair chance under Louis van Gaal. Elano and Gilberto Silva also did enough to ensure they not make the bad list, while Philippe Coutinho is one of the league's leading playmakers.

So if Neymar does sign, be warned. It's no given that he will be the same player he is at Barcelona. A Robinho sequel is exactly what United and Van Gaal really do not need.

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Topics:
Football
Neymar
Brazil Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Barcelona

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