A few of the Brazilian youngsters who moved to Europe last year: Danilo (Nottingham Forest), Joao Gomez (Wolverhampton), Robert Renan (Zenit), Matthews Martins (Watford), Marquinhos (Arsenal), Luiz Henrique (Real Betis), Gabriel Veron (Porto), Gabriel Sara (Norwich), Igor Baixao (Feyenoord), Kaiqui (Almeria), Savio (Troues).
There are plenty of older players in the Brazilian Football League who have the quality to move to Europe such as Rafael Vega, Pedro, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Joaquín Pecrez, Ayrton Lucas, Gabriel Barbosa and Nino, but it is clear that the best teams in Europe have a strong inclination. Towards hiring the best young talents instead of seasoned artists. As such, today we’ll take a look at a few young players who could be the next to earn a high-profile move to the other side of the Atlantic.
The best talent to date not to have moved from Brazil to Europe, Leonardo is a massive small forward with good attacking movement and positioning, a decisive player with great composure and rising aggression, who has earned comparisons with Sergio Aguero with an impressive season for his country. Peixe who saw him score 16 goals and provide 4 assists in 35 matches.
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A true ball-winning midfielder who is strong in duels, Andre is a player who could move to an elite club soon. He has great technical security and long passing to dictate games. His hunger to win the ball adds a real leadership dynamic to Fernando Diniz’s side.
From Endrik to Gabriel Veron to Gabriel Jesus, Palmeiras’ academy has produced a wide range of exciting strikers in recent years, and the next player to enjoy a breakout season could be Estevao, a big dribbler who likes to tackle on the left. To shoot where he displays his brilliant ball, he boasts electric speed and agility that helps him turn quickly. Considered one of the brightest talents in Verdão’s youth ranks, it is only a matter of time before he makes his debut under Abel Ferreira.
Despite being linked to several clubs including Benfica, Pinto remained with Forasão, who retained the services of one of Brazil’s best goalkeepers. Pinto is a strong and controlling presence in goal with great reflexes and positioning, great speed to get off the line quickly and spatial awareness to minimize angles/space for attackers to shoot.
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An attack-minded creative midfielder, a keen dribbler and great vision that helps find lethal finishing passes to create chances, Hugo loves to receive the ball on the half-turn and thrives around the penalty area, and could be Flamengo’s next product to move to Europe after Lucas Paqueta, Vinicius and Matthews França.
A left-sided centre-back, Beraldo is a fantastic ball-carrier capable of sending precise passes to create from deep, and his great defensive understanding and anticipation enables him to read attacking patterns and then make tackles and interceptions.
Another elite talent at Palmeiras who has been overlooked due to the spotlight on Indrik and Estevao, Guilherme is a technical dribbler with his upper left foot. He beats defenders, creates chances, has a keen eye for goal and is best used in a free-roaming 10 role.
The first non-Brazilian player on the list is Fausto Vera, having left boyhood club Argentinos Juniors and joined Corinthians in 2022. The Argentine midfielder is a playmaker who is resistant to pressure deep down, drops between the midfielders, comfortably receives the ball under pressure and returns the ball. Distribute them to initiate attacks.
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Botafogo entered the international break 10 points ahead of Palmeiras after suffering back-to-back defeats to exit the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s version of the Europa League, losing 2-1 to Flamengo. They will be looking to bounce back as they attempt to win their third Premier League title in the club’s history and first since 1995, and will be relying on Matheus Nascimento to provide extra firepower in attack.
Nascimento, a poacher, is incredibly composed Around the penalty area when finishing past the keeper, he is also great at dropping deep to connect with his fellow strikers. A mobile striker adept at dribbling from tight spaces with great instincts inside the box, expect him to be on the move sooner rather than later.
After Casemiro, Oscar and Gabriel Sarra, Pablo Maia could be the next Cotia Academy midfielder to receive a big move. Maya, a high-energy warrior with powerful tackles in midfield, Maya’s amazing passing ability enables him to switch plays and launch counter-attacks using a perfect through ball, setting the pace of the game in possession and clean-up. Dangerous off the ball, he is able to create danger with shots from long range.
It seems like a matter of time before Pinto makes his move across the Atlantic, and if that happens, Mycael is his natural successor. Mikael was Brazil’s starting goalkeeper in this year’s U-20 Sudamericano Championship, saving a penalty kick in the 3-1 win over Argentina in the group stage and showing plenty of quick reactions and confidence off the line and earning the Man of the Match award in the final against Uruguay. After Brazil narrowly won 2-0 with late goals from Andre Santos and Pedro.
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Since bursting onto the scene at the start of 2021, Matheus Martinelli has emerged as a regular contributor to Fernando Diniz’s side. He is a technically safe, bulky passer who likes to carry the ball to advance the play and take on opponents. He is adept at distributing the ball and acting as a coordinator in midfield.
An agile winger who uses his body well when dribbling, fine-tunes his passes with the precision of a veteran, and has deadly crossing ability, Peru was used as a left-back for Brazil at the Under-20 World Cup this summer and looked like a mini Marcelo (not just the hair), advancing down the flank. The left wing causes chaos in the final third for the Seleção, which topped its group on goal difference despite losing in its first match to Italy, before beating Tunisia and losing to Israel in 2016. Extra time in the quarter-finals.
An exciting player and elegant dribbler who loves tackling players, shooting shots with both feet and testing goalkeepers from distance, Gonçalves has joined Bragantino on loan from Flamengo until the end of the year. While he made just six league appearances before the international break, four of those came between August 15 and September 3, with Gonçalves coming off the bench and providing an assist in a 2-0 win over Cuiaba.
Born in New Jersey to Brazilian parents, Cardoso moved to Brazil when he was three months old and progressed through the ranks of Internacional’s academy, not only emerging as a crucial player with 132 caps for Colorado, but also becoming a USMNT international. A deep playmaker who boasts excellent anticipation and is able to read the game and make vital interceptions, he excels at winning aerial duels and advancing the play from the first phase of the build-up.
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A versatile player capable of playing as a right or left winger, Riquelme is a technically gifted and defensively active player, with impressive statistics in terms of both ground and aerial duels. Having converted to left-back this season, he established himself as a regular under Toni and became the youngest player to score for the club in the Brazilian Primera Division.
At 17 years old, Gabriel Moscardo has a mind and understanding that belie his young age. Moscardo is a strong tackling and ball-winning midfielder who is adept at breaking down the lines with his passing. He is a special talent and, after Malcolm, Robert Renan and Murillo, could be the next player to leave Timão for Timão. Europe.
From Douglas Luiz to Andre Santos to Philippe Coutinho, Vasco’s academy has produced a treasure trove of midfielders in recent years, and the latest prospect to make the move with Cruzmaltino could be Marlon Gomez. A technically gifted playmaker who is adept at carrying the ball forward and advancing the play with his passing, he excels at scanning the pitch and is always looking to create chances. He has a high-level understanding of the game and needs to be given the creative freedom to choose different positions and combine with his teammates in the final third.
At 22 years old, Gabriel Menino has already won two league titles and two Copa Libertadores with Palmeiras as well as a gold medal with Brazil at the Olympics. Menino has the ability to position himself as a midfielder or even as a full-back, has a keen eye for goal, is a great goalscorer, able to advance the game, shoot from distance with both feet, and has a great defensive work rate.
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From Luis Suarez to Edinson Cavani to Diego Forlan, Uruguay has had quite a few world-class strikers this century, and the latest striker who could make an impact with La Celeste is Thiago Borbas, who has 10 goals and two assists. In 36 games this season. He has an instinctive movement around the penalty area and is able to create opportunities for himself and drop deep in order to provide a passing option and communicate with other strikers, and he is adept not only at holding the ball with his back to goal, but at making the most of it. Of limited opportunities.
After Natan (Napoli), Claudinho (Zenit) and Douglas Mendes (Red Bull Salzburg), Broninho could be the latest player to secure a major move away from Bragantino. A creative and technically gifted dribbler, Broninho has a superb shot from distance and regularly tests the goalkeeper from medium and long range, is capable of sending in a dangerous cross or shooting with both feet, and is an accomplished threat who has achieved double figures in goal contributions in all competitions this season.
Written by: Ben Mattinson / @Ben_Mattinson_
Featured Image: GabFoligno / Heuler Andrey – Getty Images