Ranking every Brazilian to play for Manchester United in the Prem

Quick Reads

Manchester United have signed players from all across the world – but they’ve not had the best of luck with players from Brazil. 

Only eight players from the South American country have played for the club in the Premier League and they haven’t all been success stories.

We’ve ranked every Brazilian player to play for United from worst to best.

8. Rodrigo Possebon

Possesbon was a highly-rated prospect when he joined United in 2008 but never really recovered from a shocking Emmanuel Pogatetz tackle in a League Cup game.

He made just eight senior appearances during his two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford and returned to his native Brazil with Santos in 2010.

The midfielder most recently signed for Vietnamese outfit Ho Chi Minh City in 2018, only to be released a month after joining the club.

7. Kleberson

A World Cup winner in 2002, Kleberson arrived at United from Atletico Paranaense 12 months later amid interest from several big European clubs.

After suffering an injury in only his second outing for the club, the midfielder went on to make another 28 appearances in two seasons before being offloaded to Besiktas.

“At Man United I had tough moments a lot of the time, I got a lot of injuries and struggled a lot,” Klberson told the Manchester Evening News in 2019.

“It was a difficult time, and when you see a lot of evaluation from your performance at top teams the criticism can be very high, particularly at Man United.”

Manchester United's Kleberson appeals to the referee after being challenged in a Premier League game at Old Trafford. December 2003.

READ: The 4 players Man Utd signed along with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003

 

6. Alex Telles

There was quite a bit of excitement around Telles when he arrived at Old Trafford from Porto in October 2020, but he hasn’t delivered on the hype.

Telles had performed well in Portugal, helping his club to the latter stages of the Champions League and notching up assist after assist in the Primeira Liga.

But his arrival at United coincided with a remarkable upturn in the form of Luke Shaw. Even since Shaw dropped off again following the Euros in 2021, though, Telles has not been able to cement his position as first-choice left-back.

5. Andreas Pereira

Belgium-born Brazilian Pereira, who is now set to leave for Fulham for a fee of around £10million, went to United at the age of 16, making his first-team debut in the infamous 4–0 defeat to MK Dons in 2014.

The midfielder spent two seasons on loan in La Liga at Granada and Valencia before returning to Old Trafford in 2018 and for a while looked like he might break through. He even made a Brazil debut in August 2018.

But some poor performances proved he was not quite up to United’s level and loans to Lazio and Flamengo followed, the latter producing the worst moment of his career as a terrible error led directly to Flamengo losing the Copa Libertadores final to Palmeiras.

4. Fabio

Fabio joined United from Fluminense in 2008 alongside twin brother Rafael, and the pair were tipped as the long-term successors to Gary Neville and Patrice Evra.

Despite being regarded as the brighter prospect, Fabio was unable to establish himself as a first-team regular due to Evra’s consistency at left-back.

The Brazilian still made over 50 appearances for the club, including the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona, but was sold to Cardiff City in 2014.

3. Fred

Depending on who you ask, Fred was probably a little bit overpriced at £52million but is perfectly serviceable, or is the living embodiment of everything that`s wrong with Manchester United.

In fact, it seems a lot of people change minds about him based purely on his most recent performance.

Whatever you think, though, it has to be said that after a disastrous first year at the club, he has remained professional and improved significantly.

“He’s stuck at it, he’s learnt and he’s been willing to put the work in and try to improve,” Michael Carrick told the club’s official website as Fred’s form got steadily better in 2020.

“He’s been fantastic for quite some time now and I’m sure there’s more to come because he’s that kind of boy.

“He wants to keep improving, he wants to keep learning and getting better and there’s plenty more to improve, like any player, so we’ll keep working at it.”

2. Anderson

Anderson was a revelation in his debut season at United and became a cult hero after scoring a penalty in the 2008 Champions League final shoot-out victory over Chelsea.

Unfortunately, that was about as good as it got for the midfielder as injury problems prevented him from fulfilling his potential at Old Trafford.

He still won four Premier League titles and a Champions League during his eight years at the club, so it could be a lot worse.

READ: A tribute to Anderson, Manchester United’s cult hero and great showman

1. Rafael

Rafael was a bigger success story than his twin brother and was able to nail down the right-back slot as his own after Gary Neville’s retirement.

The Brazilian helped the Reds to win three Premier League titles, while his passion and aggressive streak made him a fan favourite at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 saw him lose his place in the team under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, and he was sold to Lyon in 2015.


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