Based on World Cup wins, Brazil are the greatest footballing nation on the planet and it’s no surprise that they’ve produced some of the greatest players to have played the game.
Barcelona are one of the world’s biggest clubs and as such have featured many Brazilians in their history.
As Philippe Coutinho joins the club for the second highest transfer fee of all time, we’ve looked at some of his fellow countrymen who’ve played in the red and blue strip of Barcelona. Some are among the greatest players to have kicked a ball, while others were complete flops.
Fausto Dos Santos (1932-32)
Fausto was considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world of football in the early 20th century. He was one of two Brazilian players loaned from Vasco de Gama to Barcelona and was the first to play for the club. Little did he know that he’d be the first in a long list!
Jaguare was the second Brazilian loanee to the club and played 32 times in goal in his one season at the club. He later played for Sporting Lisbon and Marseille. Whilst at Vasco de Gama, he became the first Brazilian goalkeeper to wear gloves.
Lucidio Batista (1947-49)
Lucidio was the first permanent Brazilian signing at the club, but never settled, instead preferring the city’s nightlife rather than the football club. He played just six games for Barcelona.
Evaristo De Macedo (1957-62)
Evaristo was Barcelona’s first Brazilian superstar, scoring 178 goals in 226 games in a period which saw the club lift back-to-back La Liga titles in 1959 and 1960. He scored the winning goal against Real Madrid to knock them out of the European Cup in 1960, before joining Los Blancos in 1962.
Walter Machado (1966-67)
Walter Machado signed for Barcelona shortly after England’s triumph in the 1966 World Cup. He failed to impress at the Camp Nou, playing just 14 times before returning to South America.
Marinho Peres (1974-76)
Marinho had played 15 times for Brazil and the defender signed for Barcelona shortly after his team finished fourth at the World Cup. He went on to become a manager and handed a debut to a young Luis Figo whilst at Sporting Lisbon in 1991.
Bio became a squad member whilst at Barcelona, making just nine appearances over two years. The club won the Cup Winners’ Cup in both seasons, while the striker scored three goals for the team.
Roberto Dinamite (1980)
Dinamite was a failure at Barcelona, scoring just twice in eight games, but is a legend in his native Brazil. He’s the record appearance maker and goalscorer at Vasco da Gama and has also served as the club’s president and as a politician in Rio de Janeiro.
Manager Udo Lattek signed Cleo as a replacement for Bernd Schuster, but the Brazilian never adapted at the club. Shortly after his arrival, Diego Maradona joined which signalled the end for the Brazilian. He didn’t even stay for a whole season.
Aloisio Pires (1988-90)
Aloisio Pires was in and out of the side at Barcelona, but won a Copa del Rey and Cup Winners’ Cup in his time at the club. He left for Porto where he made over 400 appearances and won 19 trophies.
Romario was a star at the 1994 World Cup and he was equally as prolific in his time at Barcelona. Forming a partnership with Hristo Stoichkov, Romario scored 53 goals in 82 matches. He later fell out with coach Johan Cruyff and returned to Flamengo in 1995.
Giovanni won the Cup Winners’ Cup in his first season under Bobby Robson, but fell out under Louis Van Gaal who he later went on to criticise, calling him an egomaniac and a “Hitler for Brazilians.”
The original Ronaldo had the greatest season of his illustrious career at Barcelona, scoring 47 goals in 49 games. He left for Inter Milan after just one year, citing personal unhappiness as his reason for departure. He’s been a high-profile critic of the club ever since.
Sonny Anderson (1997-99)
Sonny Anderson’s time at Barcelona was sandwiched between two spells in Ligue 1, but he did have a good time at the Camp Nou. He scored 10 goals in his first season before falling out with Van Gaal, which saw him to return Ligue 1 with Lyon.
Rivaldo was one of the most gifted players of his era and goes down as a Barcelona legend. He won everything in the game and scored a superb hattrick against Valencia in La Liga. He too had a falling out with Van Gaal, but survived the Dutch manager after his sacking in June 2000.
Thiago Motta (2001-07)
Still playing for PSG, Motta was an important player for Barcelona in the early stages of his career. He played 142 games for the club and was an unused substitute in the 2006 Champions League final.
Fabio Rochemback (2001-03)
Fabio Rochemback epitomised a lean period for Barcelona in the early 2000s where neither trophies nor Champions League qualification were guaranteed. He joined Middlesbrough in 2005.
Geovanni’s one season at the Camp Nou was incredibly underwhelming having joined for £19 million from Gremio. He left for Benfica after just one year and later ended up at Hull in their first Premier League campaign.
Like Rivaldo, Ronaldinho was a pioneer for his generation and alongside Lionel Messi, ushered in a new era of success for Barcelona. He won everything there is to win at the club and his goal against Chelsea is one of the greatest of all time.
Juliano Belletti (2004-07)
Belletti scored the winning goal in the 2006 Champions League final and remains a hero at the club just for that moment. He was a skilful defender who left for Chelsea and was renowned for scoring from 30 yards out.
Sylvinho didn’t win many caps for Brazil, but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a good player. He won three La Liga crowns and two Champions Leagues in his time at Barcelona, as well as spending time in the Premier League with Arsenal and Manchester City.
Edmilson was part of a Brazilian core group of players who helped guide Barcelona back to the top tier of European football. He wasn’t a star, but allowed Ronaldinho and Deco to flourish in the team.
Remember Henrique? Only the most die-hard of Barcelona fans might, considering he spent four years at the club, had three loan spells and made no first team appearances. He returned to Palmeiras and later spent a season at Napoli.
Keirrison arrived under Pep Guardiola for £12.6 million, but barely played for the club. Like Henrique, he had a number of loan spells away from the club and returned to Brazil in 2014.
Dani Alves (2008-16)
Alves replaced Belletti at right back and was a significant upgrade on his predecessor. He was a key player in Guardiola’s all conquering side, winning three Champions Leagues and six La Liga titles. He’ll go down in history as one of the greatest wing-backs of all time.
Maxwell played a similar role to Alves on the left, but wasn’t as good and didn’t have the same ability. His trophy haul wherever he played suggests that he wasn’t a bad player at all.
Adriano wasn’t first choice at Barcelona, but he was useful as a rotation option and his versatility solved a lot of problems at the club.
Neymar arrived in a controversial deal from Santos for £75 million and departed in much the same way. His time at Barcelona was immensely successful though, as he formed a fearsome attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. It’s possibly the greatest front three of all time.
Rafinha graduated through the famed La Masia academy and is one of five Brazilians currently at the club. He’s brother of Thiago Alcantara, who left for Bayern, but he’s remained at the club and could be a bright talent for the future.
The right-back has made three appearances for Barcelona, but has enjoyed more success out on loan with Sporting Gijon and Benfica. He looks to be one for the future, although the signing of Nelson Semedo last summer suggests that he’s moved down the pecking order.
Marlon initially joined on a loan deal in 2016, but he made such a good impression that it was made permanent last summer for £5 million. He’s out on loan at Nice this season.
Deemed not good enough for Tottenham, Paulinho left for China before joining Barcelona last summer. His signing was thought to be confirmation that the club was in decline, but he’s impressed, scoring seven goals this season.
Words by @dominictrant