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Our Brazilian expert picks-out ten young stars who could be set for European moves in the next 12 months.
The economic downturn in Europe, as well as the simultaneous boom in the Brazilian economy has propelled the quality of the Brazilian Championship to new heights. The Brasileirao has never been so carefully watched around the globe. The newfound financial capability enjoyed by Brazilian clubs ensures that a blend of world-class veteran talent and a rich line of young stars headline the national league in a way unseen since the 1980s, before the mass exodus of players to Europe began.
The veterans return home much earlier than they would have five years ago, enticed by the prospect of earning European-like wages in their homeland. Meanwhile, the clubs aren’t as vulnerable financially, thus being able to hold on to their young stars for a longer period, resisting threats from the European giants. This makes for better-developed young starlets.
Below, examine ten players who may very possibly be moving to Europe in the near future.
10. Rafael Cabral – Santos
In a position where Brazil is currently experiencing a dearth of talent, Rafael Cabral is a rare highlight. The Santos ‘keeper has maintained a decent level of consistency over the last 18 months and rose to prominence during the club’s winning Copa Libertadores campaign last year. His most notable performance came in the Last 16 second-leg away to América of Mexico, where he made a series of superb saves to deny the Mexican outfit and keep a clean sheet, ensuring Santos’ qualification to the quarters with a 0-0 draw (1-0 aggregate win).
He was called up by Brazil coach Mano Menezes to be the team’s number 1 at the Olympic Games in London but suffered an elbow injury, which ruled him out. His presence was sorely missed, with both of his replacements very unconvincing.
Possible fits: The 22-year old has recently been linked with Palermo of Italy and Sevilla of Spain, but Santos will want a respectable offer to in order to part ways with their sensational shot-stopper.