Wednesday May 13 2020
Greatest Brazil XI in Serie A 1970-2020

The line-up of greatest Brazilians to have played in Serie A since 1970 is testament to the wealth of talent that graced this league. Do you agree with Richard Hall’s choices?

GK: Julio Cesar (Inter)

Julio Cesar was one of the best goalkeepers in the world at his peak and was part of the incredible Inter team that won the Treble. He makes this team, closely pipping Milan’s Nelson Dida and Parma legend Claudio Taffarel. Julio Cesar had everything, athleticism, positioning reflexes and intelligence.

RB: Cafu (Roma, Milan)

What do you say about Marcos Cafu? Perhaps the greatest right-back of all time, Cafu transformed the role into the attacking version that we know today. The ‘Pendolino’ was an apt nickname, as during his 163 appearances for Roma and his 119 for Milan he was like the commuter train that never stopped going up and down the right flank. He picked up seven major honours in Italy, always with a smile on his face and chewing gum in his mouth.

CB: Lucio (Inter, Juventus)

Lucio came to Italy to join Inter in 2009 and left in 2012. In that time, he won a Scudetto, the Coppa Italia (twice), the Champions League, two Supercoppa Italiana’s (one with Juventus where he played one game) and a FIFA Club World Cup. A colossal centre-back who is regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, it was only a shame he didn’t arrive earlier and stay longer.

CB: Aldair (Roma)

Aldair is the most capped foreign player in Roma’s history. He was rated so highly that when he left in 2003, they retired the club’s Number 6 shirt in honour of his 330 league appearances (although they brought it back in 2013). To win a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa with Roma is not an easy task, yet he achieved all this. He is one of the best foreign defenders to grace Italian soil.

LB: Branco (Genoa)

For fans of Italian football in the early 1990s, nothing was quite as exciting as seeing Branco line up for a free kick. Just take a look back at the one he nets against Parma in 1991. A superb defender who could also maraud forward, he was a full-back ahead of his time. He may have only stayed for two seasons at Genoa, but his goals were just as spectacular as the ones netted by Roberto Carlos at Inter, the man who just missed out here.

CM: Dunga (Pisa, Fiorentina, Pescara)

Between 1987 and 1993, Carlos Dunga was making himself known for Pisa, Fiorentina and then Pescara. It is in Florence where he is perhaps most fondly remembered, where he turned out 124 times in the Viola jersey. A deep-lying playmaker, the Brazilian had great technique and was tactically astute. He was not your typical South American midfielder, but every team needs a Dunga type player.

CM: Falcao (Roma)

Paulo Roberto Falcao is seen as one of the best players in Roma’s history. An elegant midfielder with sublime technique, he was the complete player. He could play both offensively or defensively and could also contribute to the goals. A leader on and off the pitch, he will forever be a legend for the Giallorossi, as he brought them two Coppa Italia trophies and the Scudetto in the 1982-83 season.

AMR: Kaka (Milan)

The fact that Zico missed out on this team because of Ricky Kaka says a lot. The Brazilian captivated Serie A and not just Milan, as he slalomed through some of the best defenders in the world, often finishing with style. Lifting the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year trophies in 2007, he delivered for Milan over a seven-year period (split by a move to Real Madrid). He won five major honours with Milan, but none more as important as the Champions League in 2007. He was a true great of the game.

AML: Ronaldinho (Milan)

There is an argument to say that Ronaldinho was the most talented player that ever walked the face of the earth and there are others who say his career is one of style over substance. Perhaps it is both, but between 2008 and 2011, the one place you would want to watch football was in Milan. He did struggle with fitness at times, but his crowning moment was when he lifted Milan back to the top by winning the Scudetto in 2011, so he just keeps Rivaldo out of this squad.

CF: Adriano (Inter, Fiorentina, Parma, Roma)

At his best Adriano was simply unplayable, his time at Inter is perhaps what many remember him for, as he was breath-taking, but spells at Fiorentina, Parma and Roma equally delivered some spectacular strikes. Suffering from depression and inconsistency, it is another story of what could have been, but for those moments when the ball nearly broke the back of the net, you thought you were watching the world’s best player.

CF: Ronaldo (Inter, Milan)

‘Il Fenomeno’ was just that. Phenomenal. Arguably, the greatest striker of all time, there was little like watching Ronaldo in full flight. Speed, technical ability, strength, finishing, what didn’t he have? Stable knees is the answer to that question. At Inter, he was impossible to stop and he netted 49 times in his 68 games with the only regret being those injuries. A spell at Milan also saw him recapture glimpses of his former self, but in the late 90s in particular, no defender in Serie A was safe.

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Have your say...
Maicon is missing from the list.

Douglas Maicon
on the 5th June, 2020 at 9:00pm
Where is Zico?
Where is Socarates?
on the 17th May, 2020 at 4:31am
The most solid, fluid & volatile Brazilian XI in Serie A would be the following 3-1-4-2 formation.
GK - Cesar
DF - Cafu, Lucio, Branco
DM - Dunga
MF - Socrates, Zico, Falcao, Cerezo
FWD - Careca, Ronaldo
SUBS - Carlos, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Adriano
on the 16th May, 2020 at 3:37am
I have respect for Cafu, but Maicon is a different animal.
on the 15th May, 2020 at 11:58am
How on earth can you leave ZICO out???
on the 15th May, 2020 at 11:01am
julio baptista shoulda been honorable mention
on the 14th May, 2020 at 7:50pm
I understand the player selection is opinion but there needs to be some fact checking in the descriptions. Ronaldinho had one great season at Milan and that was 2009/2010. In 2010/2011 he wasn't playing that well or that often and left in January. To write "his crowning moment was when he lifted Milan back to the top by winning the Scudetto in 2011" is ridiculous.
on the 14th May, 2020 at 7:54am
No Thiago Silva?????????????????? Really?????????????
on the 14th May, 2020 at 3:56am
Tactics be damned I’m just gonna my fave Brazilians and since has no bearings on their impact in Serie A but their general brilliance I’d go with Alisson/Taffarel, Cafu, Thiago Silva, Roberto Carlos, Junior,, Falcao, Socrates, Zico, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo.

Impact on Serie a Cesar/Taffarel, Cafu, Aldair, Silva, Serginho, Dunga, Cerezo, Falcao, Kaka, Careca and Ronaldo.

Honourable mentions Dida, Maicon, Juan, Lucio, Branco, Emerson, Robinho, Rivaldo, Adriano, Alemao, Marquinhos, Zago,
on the 13th May, 2020 at 11:26pm
There should be an article about reading and understanding because WOW, just WOW.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 9:51pm
@ paolo,
I liked your first post.

On second, I agree Adriano quickly drifted away, but I'd still have him on this list over others.
Who would take his spot? Maybe I'm forgetting someone. Rivaldo..?

I'll add Coutinho, Taddei, Anderson to your list. Julio Sergio & Doni as well, if J. Cesar is mentioned :)
(Melo was beast at Fiore, a great player.)
on the 13th May, 2020 at 8:50pm

I almost always cringe when these lists are made.
How can you add Ronaldinho, then omit R. Carlos???

You can't name Batistuta in Inter's best 11.
...You can in Roma's because he had IMPACT!!! on that team. &, if it's between Roma & Fiore, he must be picked for Viola. Straightforward & Simple.

I love Juan, would pick him for my team if they'd magically play for real... but as newsreporter, I'd go with T.Silva
on the 13th May, 2020 at 8:36pm

T.Silva was incredible at Milan.
Can't talk about Aldair as I only saw him in his declining years, but Silva should take Lucio's place.

My personal pick would be Juan --my favourite defender. He was so smooth, had great tackles & headers... I burst in joy when Roma signed him, still can't fathom how Real didn't take him.
Too bad injuries held "JSmooth" back.

Emerson/ Zico should be in this list instead of Ronaldinho.

Paolo, great post, man!
on the 13th May, 2020 at 8:23pm
Alisson!!! He was "MADE" BY SERIE A, made 64 appearances for Roma. Only Oblak is better right now.
Picking Cesar is a joke
--I always loved playing Inter with him in goal.
At least take Taffarel.

Picking Ronaldinho is another INSULT for Serie A. Fans from other leagues are laughing!

Didn't watch Carlos at Inter, don't know how good he performed.
If this list was created solely on "names" , then Ron must stay.., but then 100% include Carlos & throw out Cesar! (Even Inter fans agree on this!
on the 13th May, 2020 at 7:55pm
ronaldinho was pretty decent in serie a to be the only reason he is there is because he was the best player in the world.

what is more curious is adriano who had 4 brilliant seasons before becoming a bit of joke of a player.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 7:34pm
No I don't agree. Careca should be on the list...
on the 13th May, 2020 at 7:01pm
I would throw Emerson in there as well. Paolo, you have to be joking about melo. Then it’s best we add Diego to that list lol.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 3:42pm
Anon 643. It’s probably based on the players overall skill level not how they performed in the league. Good list imo, It’s a toss up for me with between cedar and Allison, but I can understand choosing Cesar based on time spent in the league and Overall skill level. Ronaldo And Cafu were the players around when I first started paying more attention to the sport.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 2:55pm
No Philipe Melo?
on the 13th May, 2020 at 1:40pm
Junior was the best attacking fullback in the world in the 80's along with hans peter briegel. Why is he not listed here? He played in Serie A.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 12:15pm
Pretty good list.I think Toninho Cerezo should replace Dunga on this list though. While Dunga, arguably, made a bigger impact on the Brazilian national team, Toninho Cerezo played 3 years longer in Italy, won the only Sampdoria scudetto in their history and helped the team to reach 3 European finals in a four-year stretch between 1989 and 1992 (winning one of them).
Not only regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in Brazilian history, he was a player with a great vision and technique
on the 13th May, 2020 at 10:41am
No Athirson at left-back? What a disgrace...
on the 13th May, 2020 at 10:10am
It’s all about opinions I guess but in my view it is a toss up between Taffarel and Julio Cesar so I would not disagree with anyone that picks either. Sorry but there is no way that Branco was better than Roberto Carlos. I’d have Cerezo over Dunga. Though they won the World Cup in 1994, that team was not a patch on the 1982 side in my view and Cerezo was a big part of that. The worst omission is Zico as there is just no justification for it. He’s just 1 of the best Brazilians ever. In the top 5
on the 13th May, 2020 at 10:04am
Ridiculous having Ronaldinho in this.

And he "lifted" Milan to nothing in 2011, having barely played that season.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 9:59am
some of the players left out of this team dida, serginho, maicon, roberto carlos, juan, thiago silva, leonardo, socrates, mancini, emerson, melo, diego, hernanes, robinho, pato, rivaldo.

personally i would have had dida ahead of cesar, carlos ahead of branco, juan ahead of lucio.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 9:43am
The inclusion of Julio Cesar and Ronaldinho makes it impossible to take this list seriously.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 6:43am
Nice list. as a milan fan i always forgot Ronaldhino's impact at Milan as little more well paid holiday, his best days in Barcelona.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 2:14am

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