Renowned for consistently producing flamboyant attacking talent, Brazil is virtually a football star factory. Neymar is the latest megastar to emerge from the most football mad country on the planet, but forget him for a moment – here are two more of the Samba nation’s most promising young talents.
Bernard | Atlético Mineiro
Standing at a mere 5’4” (163 cm), Bernard endured a path into professional football similar to Lionel Messi. Both were told as youngsters they were too small to succeed at the highest level. Barcelona’s Argentinian wizard has proved his doubters wrong and then some, and it is likely Bernard will do the same.
The Atletico starlet’s short frame and low centre of gravity provide the foundation of his greatest strengths. The talented midfielder combines his immaculate ball control, agility and explosive acceleration to weave through hordes of helpless defenders – just like Messi.
For all his attacking flair, the 20-year-old also consistently produces an end product, either creating chances for teammates or finishing them on his own.
The Brazilian tops Atlético Mineiro’s goal-scoring charts so far this season with 11 goals. However, he is also capable of producing moments of sheer genius such as the incredible assist against Gremio in the video above.
According to reports, Chelsea are suitably convinced - the Stamford Bridge outfit are reportedly looking to replace Blues legend Frank Lampard with the young Brazilian.
Adryan | Flamengo
Any player who is offered the chance to join Manchester United and turns it down in his teenage years must be special – and Flamengo’s Adryan certainly is.
The talent of the 18-year-old came to the attention of the footballing world at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup in Mexico where he scored five goals as Brazil finished fourth.
Adryan is reminiscent of Real Madrid’s Kaká – fleet-footed and technically superb with a keen eye for goal or a pass.
Perhaps not such a significant issue due to his dribbling creativity, but if the 5’10” (174cm) Brazilian genius beefs up in the coming years, defenders are going to have nightmares trying to get the ball off him.
Adryan is keeping his feet on the ground amid attention from Manchester United, confirming that he rejected overtures from the Old Trafford club.
"Man United did talk to me and showed interest," he told Globo Esporte.
"But I was not interested in moving at that point. Let's see if something adequate comes up in the future."
The remarkably talented midfielder wants to postpone his move to Europe, insisting: "I don't think about going to Europe quickly, things need to be done step by step."
Moving abroad too early has destroyed careers in the past, so we may have to wait before we can see the best of Adryan in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Which of these two Brazilian wonder-kids would you rather bring to your club? Have your say in the comments below!
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