Brazilian football is renowned for its stylish brand of creative attacking play with gracefully ruthless costless flowing football, dazzling dribblers and a big emphasis on technical ability. From Pelé to Ronaldinho, the attacking players they have produced over there have been rather good, but here in the Premier League, we rarely get to see the attack minded Brazilians weaving their magic around the goal mouth or across the pitch with any success. That however could soon change.
When English football is linked to such technical ability, people start getting excited. The Premier League has never really been the best place for brazilians with an eye for goal as many have discovered in recent years. Manchester City discovered with their purchase of Robinho a few winters ago which didn't last too long and which wasn't as fruitful as had been hoped when the £30 million transaction had been completed for his signature. City had less luck with the £18 million signing of Jô from CSKA Moscow in 2008 who despite having a reputation for scoring prolifically, managed just 1 League goal before being shipped off on loan.
Reputation for scoring had similarly been the reason for the then Premier League side Middlesbrough bringing Alfonso Alvez to Teeside, but again, the South American striker who had been averaging something like a goal a game failed in England with just 11 goals in 47 appearances. Arsenal's try at uniting the Brazilians with English football was a success with the likes of Gilberto Silva who at his peak was considered one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe, helping the Gunners to their historic undefeated season in the Premier League as well as 2 FA Cup wins in six seasons.
However, when attempting to forge success with a Brazilian forward, things didn't go quite as well. The beastly attacker Júlio Baptista spent just one year on loan with Arsenal, scoring 3 League goals; another unimpressive total for someone who had managed close to 50 goals in 2 seasons in Spain with Sevilla. In more defence minded positions, the Brazilians have had significantly more success as mentioned with the case of Gilberto Silva and fortunately more are being welcomed into the English game. Chelsea's David Luiz now seems to have settled in England well after a shaky start, establishing himself as a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, as has the former Benfica midfielder Ramires. The central defender Alex has now moved on to Paris Saint Germain but spent a strong spell with the London club, as did Juliano Belletti who became a useful utility player for the Blues.
Liverpool's Lucas Leiva and Tottenham's Sandro have been impressive in their combative, defensive midfield roles, but the League really does lack that trademark Brazilian attacking flair. That record could soon be put to an end this summer however, with Manchester United putting up an apparently determined fight to bring the attacking midfielder Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva to Old Trafford.
Manchester United haven't had the greatest of luck with Brazilians, so Sir Alex Ferguson must have done his homework on Lucas Moura. His first Brazilian import in Kleberson was a major disappointment, and Anderson has never managed to fulfil the potential expected of him when he signed for over £20 million from FC Porto in 2007. However, the clubs twin full-backs Rafael and Fabio da Silva may have trouble with injuries, but they have certainly been able to assert themselves in the Premier League, showing many a time how capable they are in their defensive roles. Manchester United have apparently placed a £25 million bid for the 19 year-old Brazilian playmaker, but his club São Paulo FC are determined to keep hold of their young talent who is predicted to be the "star of the decade." São Paulo's captain has claimed that he will be as big as Real Madrid's Brazilian superstar Kaka.
United will have a tough job on their hands it seems in persuading the Brazilian club to part with their gifted youngster who is being chased by a number of big clubs across Europe including Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Chelsea. As one of the most exciting talents in South American football, if he did make the move to England he would have both big expectations to live up to, and the problem of falling into the pit of previous failed Brazilian forwards in the Premier League to avoid.
In making a big money move for this unproven 19 year-old, Sir Alex Ferguson is not just saying that he has faith that Moura has the talent to make it in the English top flight, but that he has faith that a Brazilian attacking midfielder can make it too. Considering the track record, it's a pretty big leap of faith.