With the selling of Coutinho, the question needed to be asked: Who are the best Brazilian players right now? Obviously playing around good players makes you better, elevates your game. Coutinho at Liverpool was iconic, almost sacrosanct.
But with his sale, obviously comes the dreams of how good he could be with the likes of Messi and Suarez working in tandem. I’m not saying it’s going to be the next MSN, but maybe MSC could be almost as good – maybe?
If nothing else, Coutinho is going to enjoy Barcelona wayyy more than being in Liverpool, where it’s overcast and raining almost every single day. You’ll be seeing him out at Opium instead after a match, bottle service on his left, and trophies on his right.
As we look back at all of Mickey’s fond memories that Coutinho’s given him as a fan and young lad, we realized there’s been a shift in the world. A coming of age, almost. We have seen legends like Kaka retire in the past couple years, making way for new stars.
So the two of us decided to give you the 10 best current Brazilian soccer players, based off our own findings and definite bias:
Clear number one. Neymar has been in a different stratosphere compared to the other players on this list. For PSG this season he has 20 goals and 12 assists in 22 games across all competitions. His creativity and willingness to attack collapses the best of defenses, and he has shown no problem in playing to Cavani or M’Bappe when they break forward. Depending on the silverware he ends up with at the end of the summer I think Neymar could be looking at his first Ballon D’Or.
Thiago Silva was the second part of PSG’s raid of AC Milan nearly five years ago. Zlatan proceeded to dominate Ligue 1 while Champions League glory continued to evade him. Silva is still present in the PSG squad at the heart of their defense alongside his compatriot Marquinhos. I believe Silva to be the best center back in the world and undeserving of the lambasting he receives from the Brazilian press. There is not a club in the world that would not improve with the acquisition of Thiago Silva. This will be even more obvious on the upcoming world stage in Russia.
Coutinho is now a bonafide superstar. In his twenty-five games with Liverpool, Phil had fifteen goals and eight assists. Over the last two years he has developed into a top notch free kick specialist, threatening to find the goal either under or over the wall. Bluntly, Coutinho aces the eye test, he consistently dances past defenders, finds his teammates with pinpoint passes, and is never afraid to let fly from outside the box. Brazil, Barcelona, and Nike should be happy having locked down an incredible player who will enjoy his coming out party this World Cup.
A redemption story I never could have imagined last year. After fading to obscurity following his move to China from Tottenham, Paulinho has been the boost Barcelona were attempting to get after PSG signed Neymar. His 8 goals from the midfield have played an important part in Barcelona’s surge in the La Liga race.
Without a doubt the most underrated player on this list. Firmino is the second highest goal scorer with 18 goals, and is tied second in assists with 8. He is utilized brilliantly by Jurgen Klopp in the false 9 position, where his press and defensive work as a striker has led to numerous Liverpool goals this season. My current take is that Firmino should definitely be starting for Brazil this summer. His press, finishing, and chemistry with Philippe Coutinho will be incredibly valuable to Tite’s squad.
The 1b of PSG’s defense. Marquinhos is a world class defender averaging over one interception and tackle a game. With a healthy combination of Marquinhos and Silva, Brazilian fans should be confident with the heart of their defense.
Allison is the best Brazilian goalkeeper in the world right now. He has firmly cemented himself as the starting keeper for Roma and will be giving Tite a difficult choice come July. Along with a world class save per game and save per goal ratio, Allisson also boasts an 85% pass completion a trait that will be essential in getting the ball to their attacking players.
Ederson is a spectacular goal keeper, he just is not better than Allison. While his passing accuracy is a stunning 87% his saves per goal was a disappointing 2.25, the lowest out of his peers (De Gea, Curtois, Neuer, Oblak ect..) If anything I would say that Ederson has Victor Valdes syndrome. A good goalie that is made look much better by a Pep Guardiola team.
Absolute stud. Jesus is one of the best young finishers I have seen. His ability to always find scoring situations is frightening considering that he is twenty years old. What jumped off the page to me was that he was the only Brazilian in double digit goals with shots-per-goal less than 2.0. He is scoring with every other shot he takes and he will only get better. I think he should be the first attacking option off the bench for Brazil after Roberto Firmino terrorizes the oppositions’ CBs for 60 mins.
A bright spot in Real Madrid’s otherwise dull season, Casemiro has turned into a world class midfield destroyer. Averaging over four tackles a game with a 88% pass completion. While Real Madrid may be looking at turnover in some of their positions the base of their midfield should be safe for the foreseeable future.
Where to start with Neymar. When he came to Barcelona in 2013, we had only seen the young Brazilian eviscerate his domestic opposition while playing for Santos, scoring an incredible 54 goals at 17-20 years old, in just over 100 games. We see young starlets be traded to big name clubs all the time, and it doesn’t always work out for a number of reasons. But Neymar came to Barcelona and proved to the world that he was one of the best players – if not the best. He’s the 4th highest Brazilian scorer already at 25. Since his half-billion dollar departure, he’s been an absolute menace to defenses, and I agree with Mickey that if he keeps this up, will get his first of many Balon D’Ors.
I’ll keep the rest of these hopefully shorter. Thiago Silva gets a lot of crap from people who like to nit-pick this man’s mistakes. I can think of only a couple CB’s who might be better than this man – namely, Sergio Ramos. That’s good company if you ask me. He boasts a 95% passing accuracy which is ridiculous for anyone, and averages just one foul a game. Brazil, with all its attacking prowess, is always in need of a strong CB, which I can’t emphasize enough is exactly Silva. Number 2, no question. He is simple, clean, and a backbone in defense.
Barca was the team to beat by a crazy longshot for so long. But once Xavi and Iniesta started to age, as well as Busquets, there was a void in the middle of the field. They tried a number of players, and landed on Paulinho, a Spurs dropout playing in China. He’s proved everyone wrong this year, blown expectations out of the water…and has more league goals than: Griezmann, Angel Correa, Remy, RONALDO, Bale, etc. etc., this man is killing it. Full props – Number 3.
I’ll probably get some heat for putting Coutinho at #4 after that massive transfer. But while I agree that he has a lethal free kick, incredible tekkers, and is an amazing passer and finisher (literally a complete forward), he had only 20 goals for Liverpool in all competitions in the past two seasons. Not saying that’s bad, but with the looming transfer of Barca since that statistic, his form hasn’t been as consistent. With someone who I look at and think “this man is a superstar forward,” I would expect more. I do think he will move to #2 or #3 on my list by this time next year.
There’s an asterisk here for a reason. Jesus is currently injured, but I’m not letting it affect his stock as #5. He just turned 20, mind you, and has 14 pts in 12 starts for Man City, a ridiculous stat for any striker. 22 points 25 games is absolutely crazy – his positioning is unreal. He always seems to be in the right place. Keep this up, please, you’re doing things that you shouldn’t do for another 5 seasons.
I originally had Ederson here, but after further review am retracting one goalie for another. One of the toughest things to see with a goalie is his or her ability to distribute from 2 yards away, to 85 yards away. 85% pass accuracy is huge, and quickly took over Szczęsny for the starting position at Roma. No doubt he stays as Brazil’s #1, still at the age of 25.
At first I didn’t think Firmino was going to be that great at Liverpool. But we see a man who has pretty much mastered the false-9 position under Klopp, and has done well to bag 18 goals and 8 assists to go with it this season. I hope Klopp keeps him for years to come, and that Firmino’s facial expressions never change when his team scores goals.
Fernandinho is a bit of a surprise, I know. He was one of the few players that has adapted to every single change Guardiola has made to this team in the past couple seasons. He’s lowkey one of the most versatile players in the EPL, and has been consistent ALL season. He’s a big reason Man City is sitting where they are.
While I knocked Ederson earlier, I do want to give this man some credit. When was the last time you’ve constantly see a keeper hit a winger, IN STRIDE, 70 yards away from a side volley? That’s a 1/10 chance of happening, and he does it almost every clearance. His in-close skills are what’s really lacking for him this season, but has 10 clean sheets and conceded just 17 goals for City in 23 games. That deserves some respect.
One of the “only” players on Real Madrid this season who hasn’t seen a dip in form. While Los Blancos are sitting 19 points behind leaders Barcelona, he has continued to be a talisman in the middle of the pitch. Still young, Casemiro has really filled out his role as a box-to-box CM, and can do it all: screamers from 40-out, assist, or stop a fast break. Definitely deserving of a top-10 Brazilian rating.
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