Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona sees him become the latest in a long line of Brazilians to ply their trade at Camp Nou.
From Romario to Neymar, some of the South American nation’s biggest stars have enjoyed great success in Catalonia through the years.
Coutinho arrives with big expectations following his exploits with Liverpool over the past five years and will be keen to justify his reported €160million price tag.
Here we take a look at six of Barca’s best Brazilians.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 8, 2018
Romario spent a year and a half at Barcelona and his 30 goals in 33 appearances fired the club to the LaLiga title in 1993-94, earning him the FIFA World Player of the Year award. He netted an El Clasico hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Real Madrid but was also no stranger to controversy – banned for five matches for punching Diego Simeone during his time at Camp Nou. Frustration at Romario’s attitude and a drop-off in form led to his departure from the club midway through the 1994-95 season.
Ronaldo joined Barca for a world record fee of €15.5m and won the Copa del Rey, the Cup Winners’ Cup and the Supercopa de Espana during his one season in Catalonia, although he is better remembered for a five-year stint with Real Madrid that yielded two LaLiga titles. The 2002 World Cup winner actually urged Coutinho not to join Barcelona, claiming Brazilians were treated badly by the club. Ronaldo scored 47 goals in 51 appearances for Barca in all competitions and also followed Romario by winning the FIFA World Player of the year award with the club.
A third Barcelona Brazilian to win the FIFA’s top individual honour, Rivaldo also claimed the Ballon d’Or for his performances in 1999. He scored 136 goals in 253 appearances for Barca, winning two LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Super Cup. However, for all of that success, Barcelona failed to reach a single major European final during Rivaldo’s time at the club.
The unmistakable Ronaldinho went one better than Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo by winning the FIFA World Player of the Year gong twice, whilst also collecting the Ballon d’Or in 2005. Two LaLiga titles and a Champions League crown were the fruit of a period when Ronaldinho was at the peak of his powers and he failed to produce the same magic after leaving the club in 2008.
DANI ALVES (2008-2016)
Current Paris Saint-Germain full-back Dani Alves boasts more Barcelona honours than any of his compatriots on this list. During his time at Camp Nou, Alves laid his hands on six LaLiga titles, four Copas del Rey and Supercopa de Espana crowns and a trio of wins in the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. He may not command the attention of his attacking colleagues, but Alves’ Barca record should not be overlooked.
Neymar formed part of the club’s famous ‘MSN’ attacking trident alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez but elected step out of the shadow of the Argentina international by making a world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain for €222million last year. He scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for Barca, winning the Champions League, two league titles, three Copas del Rey, the Supercopa de Espana and the Club World Cup. Things turned somewhat sour between Neymar and the club following departure, although he did congratulate Coutinho on his move.
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