Barcelona have a proud history of Brazil players to have represented the club, although there has been a mixture of hits and misses.
Spanish outlet Marca recently listed the 22 Brazilians the club have signed – and the fees for which they joined – and we’ve take a closer look.
A successful start to Barcelona’s love affair with Brazilian footballers, Romario joined the club from PSV in 1993, bagged 39 goals, won La Liga, was named FIFA World Player of the Year, helped Brazil win the World Cup, then promptly returned to his home country after falling out with Johan Cruyff.
Life hardly quietened down after that…
Not the one to later play for Manchester City and Hull City (more on him later), Giovanni joined Barcelona under Bobby Robson, linking up with his compatriot Ronaldo.
The midfielder left the club in 1999 after falling out of favour with Louis van Gaal, who he later labelled a “Hitler for Brazilians”.
The OG. The main man. O Fenomeno.
Barca paid €15million to sign Ronaldo from PSV and in his only season at the club he went on to establish himself as the most exciting footballer in the world under Robson.
49 appearances, 47 goals, three trophies.
Reflecting on having to play against Barcelona-era Ronaldo while at Atletico Madrid, Quinton Fortune said: “I saw him after the match finished, and that’s the nearest I was to Ronaldo on the night.
“As a kid, I wanted to be Pelé. I bought all the books, all the videos and I studied what it could be like to be the best. I set off on that path.
“Then I met Ronaldo. Some players were technical, some were quick, some were strong, some were smart…Ronaldo was all of those. He was a beast; it was unfair to everyone else.”
A winner of two league titles and the Ballon d’Or plus the scorer of arguably the greatest hat-trick of all time while at Barcelona, the only tragedy of Rivaldo’s time at the Nou Camp is that he did not get to display his talents at a settled club.
Described as one of the “great cast actors” by Marca, Anderson had to compete for a place in Barcelona’s attack with Patrick Kluivert and Luis Enrique, but still chipped in with 10 goals in his first season as they claimed the Double.
Sadly, he went the same way as Giovanni when Van Gaal arrived as manager.
Marca are less kind about Rochemback, expressing their “horror” at the money spent on the midfielder, among others.
The main thing worth knowing about Rochemback is that he was arrested for his involvement in a cock-fighting ring in 2017.
This is the fella who became a cult hero at Manchester City and Hull, but his spell at Barcelona was not quite as happy.
The attacker scored just one La Liga goal and was loaned out to Benfica in his second season, going on to permanently join the Portuguese outfit.
Oh how different this could have been.
Ronaldinho so nearly ended up as David Beckham’s replacement at Manchester United, but he went on to become the best player in the world in Catalonia instead.
“It almost happened. It was a matter of 48 hours but Sandro Rosell had told me way before I got the offer: “If I become Barca president, will you come?” I said yes,” he told FourFourTwo.
“It was only a matter of details with United when Rosell called to say he was going to win the elections there. And I had promised to him that I’d play for Barca… It was a quick negotiation.
“I told the English I had chosen Barca. It was the right choice. Brazilians have always loved Barça. We have a history there. Off the pitch it is like nowhere else in Europe, so we are always happy playing there. I miss Barcelona a lot.”
We miss him too.
An unheralded signing from Celta Vigo, the former Arsenal left-back provided competition for Giovanni van Bronckorst and Eric Abidal.
His final game for the club came in the 2009 Champions League final, when he played the full 90 minutes in place of the suspended Abidal in the victory over Manchester United.
Scored the winner in the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal, and you really can’t argue with that.
Another of the supporting cast praised by Marca, a serious injury disrupted Edmilson’s time at the club, although he left having still won two league titles and the Champions League.
The World Cup winner caused a stir in his final season at the Nou Camp as he accused some of his team-mates of being “black sheep” who were “only thinking about earning money”.
One of the less familiar faces, mainly because the defender never actually appeared for Barcelona, spending time instead on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, Racing Santander and Palmeiras before being released.
Marca list Alves as one of the members of the supporting cast, which is probably doing the right-back a massive disservice.
Alves was nothing short of a revelation for Barcelona after joining from Sevilla in 2008, and the club clearly made a big impression on the player.
“Barcelona is my home,” he said in a recent interview with Globo TV. “It’s impossible to say that I wouldn’t return. I would come back tomorrow if Barcelona were to call me.”
Maxwell essentially joined Barcelona as Sylvinho’s replacement, taking over the role as back-up left-back to Abidal.
We really wish we had that job. Sadly you have to be really good at football to do so.
Firmly in the ‘miss’ camp, according to Marca, like Henrique, Keirrison never appeared for Barcelona.
In his five years at the club, the striker was sent on loan to five different clubs.
Another full-back signed from Sevilla, Adriano earned his chance in the starting XI following Abidal’s illness and spent six years at the club before departing for Besiktas.
“I left the club because it was difficult to get minutes and the opportunity to come to Turkey came up. It’s complicated when you don’t have continuity, I don’t have anyone to blame [for leaving], maybe myself for not have done a little more,” he admitted in 2016.
Neymar – €88million
Marca states Barcelona paid Santos €88million to land Neymar from Santos in 2013, but the actual cost of the deal remains mired in controversy amid allegations of tax fraud – and it is likely to have been much more.
On the pitch, Neymar did at least deliver at the Nou Camp, scoring 105 goals in 186 games and winning eight trophies.
The €222million Barca ultimately received for the player from PSG will also have helped soften the initial financial outlay on the forward.
The right-back has at least played for Barcelona – eight times – but given he is now onto his third loan spell away from the club, it’s probably not gonna happen.
The centre-back is in the strange position of having appeared for Barca’s first team as a loan player – but not since he joined permanently.
After impressing on loan from Fluminense, the move was made permanent, only for the 22-year-old to then be sent to Nice for the 2017-18 campaign.
Tottenham fans had to rub their eyes when they read that Paulinho had left the Chinese Super League to join Barcelona.
The midfielder equipped himself well at the Nou Camp, scoring nine goals as Barca won the Double, but he returned to Guangzhou Evergrande after a solitary season – reportedly to the disdain of manager Ernesto Valverde.
In a much less surprising transfer, Coutinho finally fulfilled his dream in joining Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018.
After an encouraging first six months in Spain, Coutinho will be expected to kick on further following the departures of Andres Iniesta and Paulinho in midfield.
As far as first impressions go, Arthur made a pretty good one as he scored a stunner against Tottenham in his first appearance in a Barcelona shirt.
“I don’t like to make comparisons usually, but he has a touch of Xavi about him,” team-mate Rafinha said after the match.
“It’s the way he touches the ball, the way he passes it. He’s a great, great signing for Barcelona.”
No pressure then.
WHAT A GOAL FROM ARTHUR. pic.twitter.com/DiJwmbuzkY
— sjx (@Sakkax10) July 29, 2018
Expected to join Roma until Barcelona made a late move for the attacker, Malcom is the latest Brazilian the club have decided to splash the cash on.
The deal hasn’t gone down well with everyone in Barcelona, however, with Ousmane Dembele reportedly unhappy at the extra competition for a place in the starting XI.