Reading reports in the papers recently about the likes of Neymar, Nilmar and Sergio Aguero expressing a desire to play their football in the English Premier League got me thinking about the amount of South American’s who are currently playing, or have previously played in England.
Players from nine South American countries have played in the EPL with the majority coming from Argentina and Brazil. Although there have been a few failures, many of the players have adapted well to the Premier League’s style of play. Amongst the successes are Juninho, Carloz Tevez and Gilberto, the main failures being Veron, Forlan and Roque Junior.
Manchester United top of the list of English Premier League clubs who have signed the most South American players with 10 players but Liverpool are a close second with 9. Manchester United currently have 4 South Americans in their squad while Liverpool have 5 players.
Luis Suarez – Liverpool. A prolific goalscorer for Ajax, Suarez joined Liverpool in 2011 for £22.8 million and was an instant hit with the fans due to a succession of fantastic performances. Great things are expected for the 2011-12 season under Kenny Dalglish’s new regime
Diego Forlan – Man Utd – Signed by Man Utd in 2001 Forlan spent 3 pretty much unsuccessful years at Old Trafford before moving to Villareal and then Atletico Madrid where he established himself as one of Europe’s leading marksmen.
Roque Santa Cruz – Man City, Blackburn – Signed by Blackburn from Bayern Munich in 2007 he has an indifferent spell in England and has struggled with injuries. Now with Man City he is looking to re-establish himself in the first team.
Nolberto Solano – Aston Villa, Newcastle – The little Peruvian has spent most of his playing career in England and has been adored by fans wherever he has played. He is currently playing for League One side Hartlepool.
Claudio Pizzaro – Peru Chelsea – 2 seasons at Chelsea were widely regarded as unsuccesful and he eventually left after the club bought Nicolas Anelka and he was surplus to requirements.
Agustin Delgado – Southampton – Played 11 times for Southampton in 3 years after being dogged by injuries. Never settled and refused to learn the language he was sold to a club in his native Ecuador.
Ullises de la Cruz – Aston Villa – De La Cruz spent 7 years in England and was arguably more successful at Aston Villa than his other clubs Reading and Birmingham. Now back in Ecuador.
Christian Benitez – Birmingham – The Ecuadorian signed on loan for Birmingham in 2009 but failed to make an impact and subsequently wasn’t offered a contract with the club.
Antonio Valencia – Wigan, Man Utd – The Ecuadorian has played in the Premier League for 5 years and has been a huge success. After a big money move to Man Utd he gained a place in the Premier League Team of the Season in his debut year.
Javier Hernandez – Man Utd – “Chicarito” was an instant hit when he signed for United in the summer of 2010 and ended up scoring 20 goals in his debut season.
Giovanni Dos Santos – Tottenham – Never reached his full potential during his 3 year spell in England. Now at Benfica
Mark Gonzalez – Liverpool – Signed by Liverpool in 2006, Gonzalez had a great start to his career in the UK butprevented him from playing more games and he was sold after one season
Hugo Rodellaga – Wigan – A proven goalscorer wherever he has played, Rodallega is still at Wigan and is now the club’s top Premier League scorer.
Juan Pablo Angel – Aston Villa – A record signing for Villa in 2001, Angel spent 6 years at the club and, after an indifferent start established himself as a fan’s favourite.
Faustino Asprilla – Newcastle – A legend on Tyneside, Asprilla only spent 2 years with the club but scored some crucial goals and most famously a hat-trick against Barcelona.
Edu – Arsenal Made 100 appearances between 2000 and 2005 and was widely regarded as success during his time at Highbury.
Gilberto Silva – Arsenal – Silva spent 6 years at Arsenal and during this time became one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe. He is now back in his native Brazil with Gremio
Juninho – Middlesbrough – A Teeside legend, Juninho played for the club on 3 seperate occasions. In 2007 he was voted as the greatest Boro player by fans in a PFA poll.
Diego Cavalieri – Liverpool – Spent 2 years at Liverpool between 2008-10 but never made a Premier League appearance. He is now back in Brazil with Fluminense.
Gilberto da Silva Melo – Tottenham – Signed for Spurs in 2008 and only played 7 games before his contract was terminated and shipped back to Brazil.
Roque Junior – Leeds – Signed for Leeds in 2003 on loan from Milan he had an unhappy time in England and only played for the club on 5 ocassions. Regarded by Leeds fans as one of their biggest transfer flops
Cacapa – Newcastle – Spent 2 years at Newcastle between 2007 and 2009 but struggled for consistency and was released once his contract expired.
Robinho – Man City – Spent 2 years at Man City for a then record transfer fee of £32.5 million. Although he showed flashes of his brilliance during his spell he eventually left for AC Milan in 2010.
Kleberson – Man Utd – After his performances in the 2002 World Cup, Kleberson joined Man Utd in 2003. Injured in only his second game he only made 20 appearances before joining Beskitas in 2005.
Jo – Man City, Everton – Joined City in 2008 but was one of many strikers in the club at the time. Loaned off to Everton and then Galatasaray he is now back at Man City.
Afonso Alves – Middlesbrough – A record goalscorer at previous clubs, Alves didn’t fulfil his potential after a club record transfer fee at Middlesbrough and ended up moving to Qatar.
Lucas Leiva – Liverpool – Has now been at Liverpool for 4 years. Although he had a relatively shaky start to his career in England he has now turned into one of the Merseyside’s club most consistent performers.
Mario Jardel – Bolton – One of the most prolific scorers in European football during the Nineties, Jardel signed for Bolton in 2003 and didn’t score any goals in his 7 Premier League appearances. He was soon offloaded back to South America with Newells Old Boys in Argentina
Anderson – Man Utd – Joined United in 2007 and has established himself as one of the best players within his position in the league.
Alex – Chelsea – Surprisingly been at Chelsea for 7 years but spent 3 years at PSV Eindhoven due to complications with his work permit. Now an integral part of Chelsea’s defence.
Juliano Belletti – Chelsea – Signed from Barcelona in 2007 he spent 3 years at Chelsea and is highly regarded amongst the Chelsea fans for his workrate and spectacular long range goals.
Denilson – Arsenal – Been at Arsenal since 2006, Denilson has racked up over 100 appearances for the Gunners but has recently been quoted that he wants to leave the club due to a lack of trophies.
Heurelho Gomes – Tottenham – The flamboyant keeper joined Spurs from PSV Eindhoven in 2008 and despite some erratic displays he is still considered as one of the best keepers in the English Premier League.
Julio Baptista – Arsenal – Arrived in 2006 on loan from Real Madrid, Baptista never really shone in the Premier League, however he fared better in the League Cup with a total of 6 goals, 4 of which came in one game against Liverpool.
Fabio Aurelio – Liverpool – The first Brazillian to sign for Liverpool, he has been at the club since 2006 and is an integral part of the first team.
Fabio Rochemback – Middlesbrough – 3 years in Teeside were largely seen as a success and he was a member of the team that reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2006.
Geovanni – Man City, Hull City – Spent 3 years in England and had more success at Hull than Man City and was the club’s top scorer in the 2008-09 season.
Emerson – Middlesbrough – Joined for one season in 1996 but struggled to adjust to life in Teeside and, after the club were relegated, he moved to Tenerife.
David Luiz – Chelsea – Luiz only joined Chelsea in January 2011 but has already adapted to the pace and style of the Premier League and won the Premier League Player of the Month for March.
Ramires – Chelsea – Joined at the start of the 2010-11 season, some exceptional performances have turned him into a favourite of the fans at Stamford Bridge.
Fabio – Man Utd – Signed in 2007 along with his twin brother Rafael, he has only made 18 appearances for the team but is a valuable squad player.
Rafael – Man Utd – Signed in 2007 with his twin, Rafael is now an established as a first team regular with 40 appearances under his belt. Like his brother, United regard him as one for the future.
Carlos Tevez – West Ham, Man Utd, Man City – Arguably the greatest South American export to have played in the Premier League, scoring goals at each club he has played for he looks as though he is about to leave the EPL for family reasons.
Juan Sebastian Veron – Man Utd, Chelsea – Veron arrived in England in 2001 but never adapted to the pace of the English game. After unsuccessful spells with Man Utd and Chelsea he finally returned back to Argentina in 2007.
Javier Mascherano – West Ham, Liverpool – After an unsuccessful time at West Ham, his career really took off whilst at Liverpool and he is now regarded by many as one of the best central midfielders in the world. Now at Barcelona.
Fabricio Collocini – Newcastle – Signed by Newcastle in 2008 and regarded by his manager as Mr Reliable, Coloccini is still an integral part of the Newcastle defence.
Hernan Crespo – Chelsea – A 5 year spell at Chelsea saw him packed off on loan to Italy twice. Although he scored a few goals at Chelsea he wasn’t happy in London and ended up moving back to Italy with Inter Milan on a full time basis.
Christian Bassedas – Newcastle – Signed for Newcastle in 2000 for £3.5 million he appeared 24 times in a 3 year period.
Luciano Figueroa – Birmingham – Made one appearance for the Blues but played and scored freely for the reserves. Manager Steve Bruce cancelled his contract as he didn’t think his physique would suit the Premier League.
Julio Arca – Sunderland, Middlesbrough – Spent 11 years at first Sunderland and then Middlesbrough before being released by the latter in the summer of 2011.
Sebastien Leto – Liverpool – Was at Liverpool for 2 years but only made 4 senior appearances due to problems with his work permit. He eventually left the club to join Panathinaikos of Greece.
Gabriel Heinz – Man Utd – A successful 3 year spell at Man Utd ended when he became disillusioned with Alex Ferguson and his lack of first team action. During his time at the club he won the Player of the Season award in 2004-05.
Emiliano Insua – Liverpool – An exciting left back, Insua was signed by Liverpool from Boca Juniors in 2007. Mainly a fringe squad player, he has impressed many during his first team appearances.
Maxi Rodriguez – Liverpool – Moved from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool in 2010, Rodriguez has been a great success with 11 goals from 45 games including 2 hatricks within a week of each other.
camisetas de futbol