After bursting onto the European scene following a £26.5m move from Santos to Inter Milan in 2016, Brazilian attacker Gabriel Barbosa, who grew up dubbed as the ‘next Neymar’, has since found himself back playing in his native South America.
Despite being tipped to become one of football’s most devasting attackers, Barbosa’s three-year spell at the San Siro failed to live up to expectations.
After featuring in just 10 senior matches, scoring just one goal, the 24-year-old was offloaded back to Brazil, where he signed for Flamengo during the winter window of 2020.
Well on his way to reminding fans why he was so highly regarded a few years ago, Barbosa has enjoyed a hugely impressive 18-months with his latest South American side.
Since arriving in Rio de Janeiro, the attacking ace, who can play as either a striker or a right-side winger, has racked up an impressive 70 goals and 19 assists in 98 appearances, in all competitions.
However, despite well on course to reigniting his career, Barbosa has recently revealed how he still has ambitions to succeed in Europe, hailing the English Premier League in particular.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Barbosa confirmed his admiration for several of England’s top-flight sides, including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
“I always liked watching the Premier League,” the Flamengo striker said. “In the beginning, it was difficult to see many games, because of the TV, but I always liked it.
“I also played a lot of PlayStation with English teams and that made me like it even more. I always saw the goals of Thierry Henry – I thought he was a very powerful, strong and intelligent striker.
“Didier Drogba I liked a lot too. Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney at Manchester United. It’s a Championship where the best in the world play.
“I still watch it now. I really like Pep Guardiola’s style at Manchester City, Chelsea managed to form a great team with Thomas Tuchel’s hands.
“Liverpool have a very interesting team and a fantastic coach. Tottenham is a mega team and I really enjoyed the West Ham season. I’m a big fan of Premier League football.”