Forums / The Terrace: Casual Footy Banter
Order: Newest / Oldest
South Americans In The Premier League
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
I had been trying to think of Premier league legends or stars from South America. I couldn't really think of any off the top of my head, please enlighten me if there are some I have overlooked. It's not like they're aren't great South American players during the era of the Premiership. Ronaldo was widely considered the greatest player of his generation(Zidane even said he was the best or something along those lines) and other great Brasilians, Rivaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho, Kaka, who never played in England. Argentina produced some real gems since 1992 as well, Batistuta, Juan Roman Riquelme, Javier Zanetti, and of course Lionel Messi who also never played in England. Those players from South America that did make the move to England seemed to flop Hernan Crespo, Robinho, Juan Veron. And of course there were players from other countries in South America than Brasil and Argentina who were very gifted footballers. Also two of the greatest dead ball strikers in the history of the game were making their mark elsewhere in Europe, Alvaro Recoba of Uruguay and Juninho Pernanmbucano of Brasil who would have been absolute legends in England.

So when you think of premiere league legends usually European players come to mind. Alan Shearer, Paolo di Canio, Robbie Fowler, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Matt le Tissier, Roy Keane, Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Bergkamp, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Theirry Henry, Patrick Viera, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Robin Van Persie, Cristiano Ronaldo(unfortunately) Fernando Torres, and the list goes on. I know I am missing out plenty please again feel free to point out the many that I missed. That list is somewhat chronological in a way if you wondered why they are listed like that.

Some African players as well really made their marks in England and became legends for their club, Tony Yeboah, Jay Jay Okocha, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien. And from other places around the world even a couple Aussies here or there, some players from Asia, even an American Brian McBride is considered a legend by Fulham fans, they named a pub after him if that's not a legend I don't know what is. Clint Dempsey is also loved by Fulham fans.

It's still hard for me to come up with some true legends that come from South America that have played in the prem.

But this is changing very rapidly, Luis Suarez and Kun Aguero look to become instant legends at Liverpool and Manchester City, though they only have 7 goals between them at their respective clubs. Carlitos Tevez made a South American success in England possible having good stints at West Ham, Manchester United and especially city were he shared the golden boot with Dimitar Berbatov last season. The first South American player to win the coveted top scorer award in England that I know about. I am pretty sure Suarez and Kun will be challenging for it this year, as well as the PFA player of the year. But they aren't the only two South Americans making an impact, Lucas and Ramires are real quality holding midfielders in the league, a position that is very important and praised in England. I know Lucas is loved by Liverpool fans, though he had a rough go of it in his first few years. David Luiz is another cult figure at Chelsea and could easily become a hero there depending how he does in the future.

I know there are probably some South Americans who made a real impact in the prem in the past. And it may be too early to declare a South American invasion this early but it certainly feels like it is going on. I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened in the very near future and we see South Americans making a huge impact in the prem. Especially with the Luis Suarez craze amongst Liverpool fans and Sergio's performance against Swansea. I guess you might expect that because his right boot cost more than the whole of Swansea's squad combined haha.

Luqmaank (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Alex is another good South American player
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
It may be true, with Luiz, Ramires, Alex, Lucas, Suarez, and probably Aguero in due course. Carlitos has made his mark. Its funny how before alot of brazillains flopped in the prem, but now there is a new mindset
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
I'm not a big fan of south americans playing in the epl, they bring more problems than enough with them, as man utd have experienced on more than one occassion in the past, and the near past with tevez.
Send them to spain, that's their eventual goal anyway, give me europeans anyday, theres not as much moaning
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
That seems to be the case, but Luis has always said he wants to come to Liverpool and play and his attitude and mindset towards the club is great. You can tell he loves playing in England, we'll see with Aguero I don't know enough about him yet. But he came from Spain so you can't really say that was his motive for coming to England, I am sure Madrid or Barca would have bought him but he wanted to come to the prem de la prem.

So I know you have reason to be wary Tone, but Suarez to me brings a lot more positive energy than negative. And no Chicharito isn't from South America but he is from a Latin country and he seems to be working out fairly well for United
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
90% of them only use the epl as a stepping stone to spain or italy, that's my gripe with them.
Don't be surprised if barca or real turn suarez's head if he does well, and he'll be off
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Well Suarez always wanted to come to Liverpool, not Barca or whatever other club, I think he shows his loyalty and hunger to be at the club every time he steps on the pitch I wouldn't be surprised at all if five years from now Luis isn't captaining LFC, he seems to be an exception to the rule. And I believe the attitude of some of these players are changing on the whole about England
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Lol duncan, i've heard that a right few times from south american players, no ones saying they are not great players, but I would worry about their commitment to the team, and always have done, too many bad experiences with them, gimme a scandinavian anyday, they never complain
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
You could be right tone, but I hope not Suarez is class. Scandinavians are a good look though, Ole Solsjkaer is awesome, that's coming from a Liverpool fan, his name is Ole can't really help it haha. Than there is Ibra though, who is kind of a bitch and not very loyal at all, so let's not generalize here Tone hahhaa
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
United have had bad experiences with south americans, especially argetinians, tevez, heinze, veron.... Not for me I'm afraid
Braylann (CA Boca Juniors) 5 years ago
A lot of England teams have problems with South Americans because said South Americans don't actually want to live there. Not only do they not like the country, but the style of play in the premier league isn't conducive to their well being.

If ManU would have just kept Tevez they might have had a chance against Barca this year.... It would have been a completely different team.... As in a better one. The moment Suarez stepped on to the liverpool pitch the whole liverpool game changed. They started winning. Call it Dalglish, but that first move was Suarez. Aguero will have a huge impact this year with ManCity. I mean, between Tevez (if he doesn't leave) and Aguero, ManCity attack is probably one of the most dangerous ones in the PL.

The PL is a place where incredible players become crap, like Veron and Hernan Crespo
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Yeah that's all well, but they are more than happy to sign a 5 year contract, knowing that they don't want to be there, carlos tevez with his home sickness is nothing more than a joke, if he gets a move to spain or italy, all of a sudden he won't be homesick anymore.
I think its disgusting the way they treat clubs in the epl, who have put faith and money into them, only to get kicked in the crown jewels in return
Braylann (CA Boca Juniors) 5 years ago
But we're still talking about players who probably don't know anything about what they are getting themselves into. I mean let's face it, Tevez is no genius. If he gets a move to Spain or Italy he might be happier because his family could move back. Mascherano wanted a move for a similar reason.

I mean, I agree with you. The players should see out their contracts. But I also don't blame them for their decisions. Plus, clubs turn on players as well. ManU wouldn't invest the money that Tevez deserved and the likes of Veron and Crespo were benched or loaned out
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Tony some South Americans may have a bad attitude, but so do a lot of Englishmen and people from other countries. I see what you are getting at about the South Americans, but Suarez seems to epitomize Liverpool's philosophy and follows it. He has a tremendous attitude, fight in him, and desire to play football and sacrifice for the club


If that's not a good attitude I don't know what is
HangTime (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Offensively, I like south americans. They bring something different to the game.

Tevez, suarez, kun aguero all have similar traits. Not that tall but great dibblers and clinical finishers.

I remember tevez scoring against chelsea: he dribbled two or three defenders, made terry turn right to left and back to the right, then he gently slot the ball in pass cech.

Just my opinion and from what I've seen: European players are more tactical while South Americans are more technical.

N3razzurri (Inter Milan) 5 years ago
Now I don't know about you but I've never really associated South American football philosophy with that of the English one, for obvious reason they come from two completely different schools now having said that you could easily draw the line of similarities between the SA, the Italian and Spanish football in the past. However, I believe an answer to your question could be found in another question! A valid one (if you ask me), for instance is it the PL that has changed to accomodate the SAs more or is it the other way around? Now I don't believe it is the cause of the latter one but one could even argue that the SAs have always been sought after and they've always went to the league that is willing to pay them the most, then again, there has been players that have seen better days after arriving in the PL as opposed to nowadays.... So what has changed?
Donnchadh (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Surely they are much different philosophies you raise a good point though. I don't think English football has changed at all, there are still some very physical teams and the philosophy hasn't changed a whole lot. I think Suarez, Tevez and Aguero are different breeds of South American players. They are all very strong for their size, and even though they have a good touch, they don't try a bunch of tricks every time they get the ball. Their movement is class and they can hold up the play and set up teammates. Robinho was too selfish for English football, the ball is going to be tackled away if you are just dancing on the ball for 10 seconds.

Their finishing is what sets them apart though, they are all better goalscorers than Robinho, Crespo is a fantastic goal scorer, but he can't really create for himself like this new batch and he did have a decent ratio at Chelsea, than wasn't given a chance under Mourinho.

So my answer is that the players have changed, or that England has become more alluring to players from South America. Surely Ronaldo phenomeno, Batistuta, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Rivaldo wouldn't have had a problem in the prem, they just never came to play in the prem de la prem
N3razzurri (Inter Milan) 5 years ago
I agree with what you said in your last statement except for that bit about that the SA players have changed, I believe that it is mainly down to the change of clubs that sought out these players in the first place. However the likes of Crespo and Robinho are of completely different stories, Robinho failed at Real, Man City and he is also having difficulties at Milan (perhaps he just isn't as good as many people give him credit to be, much like with those other SA players dubbed as the new Pele or Ronaldo and they never really reach that potential) as he isn't even guaranteed a starting place at Milan. As for Crespo I've been following him and he was already on a downward spiral when Inter sold him to Chelsea (Remember Shevchenko).

I believe the reason that SA are doing so well in the PL is down to the change of mentally by the coaches and certainly not down the english football school because for every Wilshere you have a Cattermole and for every McEachran you have a Rodwell but then again the reason why you're starting to see more of those technical players, I've mentioned earlier, more frequently is due to the coaches! And their willingness to change. In the past a typical 4-4-2 was enough to win the PL (don't believe me? Look at Fergies tactics for the past 20 years!) but all that changed when they entered the frame of the champions league that mentality of theirs was easily overrun by plays that looked to exploit the ability of certain players more so than that of the english mentality with players adding value to the overall team (take for instance how Arsenal was build around Fabregas, they did exceptionally well in the champions league but never really managed to fight for even top 2 in the PL! Obviously there are a couple of more players involved in that set up but you get the big picture).

Managers like Mancini and AVB do understand the necessity for that kind of attitude, remember when Mou introduced Deco to the PL? I would argue that since then Fergie have been on the outlook for a AM or Wingers as opposed to your typical lm/rm for that matter (yes Rooney could be used as AM but you'll also have to admit that with Ronaldo there, the team was better as a whole). Another one that has brought that kind of idea of football style is Redknapp (do you think Spurs would've done so well without Modric?) even with Liverpool you could see the tendency for that type of style but not quite there yet! Players like Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Batistuta aren't a one man show, they need other players to elevate the pressure from them, it makes a huge difference having only Augero on the field compared to Augero, Nasri and Silva! (Remember Ronaldo and Rooney?)

You could expect a sudden surge of SA into the PL, the reason is that SA has such a market that it's more similar to liking of buying a doll house, you will need to be aware that each accessory is sold separately and you would have to buy each of the items if you want the whole set, that's why Robinho plays so well in the national team or the same reason that at Inter there is a whole colony of Argentinians! But the truth is each one of them enhances the other. A lot of clubs tend to vary from that prospect and also because of the cost but in the long run it could pay off, as they say mo' money mo' problems
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 5 years ago
Aguero looks like a player that will make a big impact in the EPL (as a star not a flop)
Jesuriya (AS Roma) 5 years ago
Sure he will if he continues to play like this...
Kimaway17 (Liverpool) 5 years ago
South Americans in the EPL are quite a bit of dilemas. Some are just amazing and some are just true flops! For one Suarez and Aguero seem to take the EPL by storm which is very good! But they have been some disapointing players in the past. E. G that guy Wigan bout from Estudiante last season. Came of a season scorin 40+ goals and he couldn't even reach double figures in the prem. And even Veron. One of the top transfer in EPL history was a flop if you consider his price tag. But they've been some great players. Like Gilberto Silva. He was an absoulute beast at Arsenal. There have been some great south american talent but there have been equal amount of flops
LumpOfCelery (Chelsea) 5 years ago
I disagree with Crespo being a flop, he had a great goals/assists to games ratio, played well whenever he came on, and also scored that cracker against Arsenal

Kick4Life - changing lives through football