·6 December 2022
·6 December 2022
Brazil boast some of the best players in the men’s game in their 2022 World Cup squad.
Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao and Rodrygo hail from Real Madrid; Marquinhos and Neymar represent Paris Saint-Germain; Alisson and Fabinho call Liverpool home; Casemiro, Antony and Fred ply their trade at Manchester United and the list goes on.
Regardless of whether the Selecao go onto the win the World Cup or not, they can rest assured that their footballing influence is felt across pretty much all of Europe’s biggest clubs.
As such, when a number of players in the Brazil squad were asked to name their greatest ever XI of teammates across their club career, you just knew there were going to be some stunning line-ups that would come out of it.
With fellow Brazil players off the table unless, of course, they’ve also been teammates at club level, biases were hopefully moved out of the way and players could reveal their fascinating picks to the world.
Only the Brazil stars themselves will know quite how calculated they’ve been in their choices, but the results are nevertheless intriguing, so let’s breakdown who each player picked down below.
One of Brazil’s standout stars in Qatar might only have been a Tottenham Hotspur player for a couple of months, but there are already five Spurs stars – including the ever-controversial Emerson Royal – who make the cut in his eyes.
With all due respect to Rodrygo’s old pals at Santos, this was always going to be a question of which Real Madrid players he rated the most and it’s pretty hard to disagree with his choices.
Just like Richarlison, the impact of moving to a ‘top six’ Premier League club has clearly been a big one for Antony with five United stars taking their place alongside two of his Ajax pals and a surprising amount of São Paulo FC talent.
And Raphinha is clearly happy with the quality at Barcelona because Robert Lewandowski and Sergio Busquets amongst others have slotted straight into an XI that doesn’t include a single Leeds United player.
Goodness gracious me. In surely the strongest XI of the bunch, Fabinho selects Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo from his forgettable spell at Real Madrid to go with some of Liverpool’s finest ever players, as well as Bernardo Silva from his AS Monaco days.
Make of Fred naming so many Internacional players above United teammates in defensive positions what you will, but the divisive midfielder hasn’t completed shied away from picking Red Devils, including a surprise choice of Juan Mata.
Quite the range! Telles might only have spent a brief time on loan at Inter Milan, but no less than three players from his time at the San Siro make the cut, which is more than the amount of United comrades that feature.
Similar to Rodrygo, the nature of Martinelli’s club career necessitated this being a best Arsenal XI, and it says a lot about the quality of Mikel Arteta’s current squad that not a single ex-player – say, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Mesut Ozil – features.
Some incredible Brazil players and some incredible teammates of theirs both past and present.
Nevertheless, with perhaps the exception of Fabinho’s phenomenal set-up, you’ll forgive us for thinking that none of these XIs would be able to compete with the one that Tite fielded against South Korea in the round of 16.
Make no mistake that Brazil will take some serious beating if they’re to be denied what would be a historic and unprecedented sixth World Cup crown.
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