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Weird Existence / Weird

Brazilian "Traitors"



Weird | March 28, 2011 / views: 2,951

Brazilian football team - a tradition of skillful players who know the core of the game, and enjoy while playing, made them the most mythical on the planet, and having five World Cups in the bag doesn't do any harm either. The names of Pele, Zico, Socrates, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho just roll off the tongue. Well, some countries just don't accept that they're not entitled to their own dash of samba style on their rosters, and manage to sign some of Brazilian players for themselves. Here we present the Top 10: Non-Brazilian Brazilians in world football today.

# 10 Roger Guerreiro

Born: Sao Paulo, Brazil Plays for: Poland 27-year-old Guerreiro began his career in Brazil representing the likes of Corinthians and Flamengo before jetting across the Atlantic to Spain. After a short stint at Celta Vigo, he returned briefly to Brazil, before making his mark at Legia Warsaw where he attracted the attention of Poland coach Leo Beenhakker. The Polish government fast-tracked his citizenship application in order to get him in the squad for Euro 2008, and he made his debut that May. Guerreiro bagged a goal in a 1-1 draw in the group stages against Austria and in total has scored four times in 25 outings.

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# 9 Antonio Naelson

Born: Itaja, Brazil Plays for: Mexico Sinha, as Antonio Naelson is better known in Mexico, played in just four of Mexico's 18 qualifiers for World Cup, but multiple managerial changes meant there was constant chopping and changing in the squad leaving plenty of players in with a shot. The attacking midfielder became the first foreign-born player to score for the Mexicans in a World Cup when he bagged a goal in the 3-1 win over Iran in Germany 2006. He currently plays for Toluca where he has played since 1999.

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# 8 Francileudo dos Santos

Born: Ze Doca, Brazil Plays for: Tunisia Dos Santos never played professionally in his homeland, making the move from a youth career in Brazil to the Belgian side for Standard Liege. After two years of limited opportunities, the striker headed for North Africa to play for Tunisian side Etoil du Sahel, where he remained until a transfer to Sochaux in 2000. He initially turned down the offer to play for Tunisia at international level because he harbored hopes of a Brazil call-up but, with that not materializing, in 2004, at the age of 25, he opted to represent the Africans in the Nations Cup scoring four times.

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# 7 Eduardo da Silva

Born: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Plays for: Croatia Brazilian-born Croatia striker Eduardo is well known on English shores for his exploits at Arsenal. After moving to Dinamo Zagreb from Brazil, Eduardo began to make his mark, and after success at the U21 level he made his full Croatian debut in 2004. Having been omitted from the 2006 World Cup squad, he played a significant part in Croatia's qualification for Euro 2008, bagging 10 goals in 12 games, but unfortunately missed the tournament through the horrific injury he sustained playing for Arsenal.

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# 6 Mehmet Aurelio

Born: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Plays for: Turkey Defensive midfielder Mehmet Aurelio didn't make the move to Turkey until the age of 24 when he signed for Trabzonspor, so his ideas of international defection were a longtime coming. Five years later, in 2006 at the age of 29, he pulled on the Turkish national shirt for the first time. He was a key component of Fatih Terim's success at Euro 2008, lining up alongside another naturalised Turk Colin Kazim-Richards to help propel his adopted nation to the semifinals. Aurelio has played 26 times for Turkey, scoring two goals.

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# 5 Alex

Born: Maringa, Parana, Brazil Plays for: Japan Alessandro dos Santos' international career seems finished, but he certainly broke new ground in Japan. Alex moved to Japan in 1994 at the age of 16 and began life in the J-League soon after. He was handed Japanese citizenship in 2001 and was a part of Philippe Troussier's squad for the Japan-South Korea 2002 World Cup. He made the squad again under Brazilian legend Zico for Germany 2006, but since an unsuccessful spell at Red Bull Salzberg in Austria his form has petered out.

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# 4 Kevin Kuranyi

Born:  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Plays for: Germany Kuranyi's nationality is anything but simple. Born in Rio to a German-Hungarian father and a Panamanian mother, the striker played youth football for three Brazilian sides before a move to Stuttgart in Germany. Kuranyi holds German, Panamanian and Brazilian citizenship but opted to represent the Germans at the international level. He made his debut in 2003 and represented the team at Euro 2004, but was not selected for the 2006 World Cup. Having forced his way back into the reckoning under Joachim Low at Euro 2008, he recently fell out with the manager and it looks unlikely that he'll be recalled in national team.

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# 3 Pepe

Born: Maceio, Brazil Plays for: Portugal Pepe, or Kepler Laveran Lima Ferreira to those who don't know him as well, swapped a youth career at Corinthians of Brazil for the island life of Madeira when he signed to play for Maritimo B in 2001. It was a long haul before he represented Portugal at an international level, though. Soon after his €30-million signing for Real Madrid in July 2007, Pepe was awarded Portuguese citizenship, but injury knocked his international debut back until that November. He played in all of his side's Euro 2008 games, but a long-term injury has jeopardized his participation in 2010 World Cup.

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# 2 Marcos Senna

Born: Sao Paulo, Brazil Plays for: Spain Senna was another late international convert, only moving to Spain to join Villarreal in 2002 at the age of 26. He gained his Spanish passport in 2006 at the ripe old footballing age of 30, but has been a crucial part of the national setup ever since. He represented Spain at the World Cup in 2006 and was linked with a move to Manchester United following the tournament. At Euro 2008 he played a crucial role in midfield as Spain took the title and was named in the UEFA team of the tournament.

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# 1 Deco

Born: Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil Plays for: Portugal Deco is perhaps the best of the non-Brazilian Brazilians to escape from the net of his country of birth. Having won the Champions League with two different clubs (Porto and Barcelona) he is certainly the most successful at the club level. Deco moved to Portugal in 1997 to play for Benfica and was given Portuguese residency six years later. With no Brazil cap on the horizon he opted to play for Portugal at Euro 2004, something that didn't go over too well with some players, like Luis Figo. Has since bagged 71 caps for his adopted nation.

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