Vinicius: How Real Madrid's other Brazilians have fared
With Vinicius becoming the 26th Brazil-born player to pull on the Real Madrid shirt, we look at how the 25 before him have got on at the club.
Vinicius Junior - "Brazil's great white hope for the future," says Ronaldo Nazário - was signed by Real Madrid for 45m euros while still just 17. The jewel in the crown at Flamengo, time will tell whether he fulfils his promise and whether we really are witnessing the beginnings of a player set to go down in history.
It also remains to be seen whether the forward will make an immediate first-team impact, or initially spend more time in the relatively pressure-free surroundings of the club's 'B' team. Either way, his arrival has sparked great excitement among a Real fanbase still getting over the summer departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Vinicius becomes Real Madrid's 26th Brazil-born player
Vinicius becomes the 26th Brazil-born player to pull on the white shirt. Of the 25 who have gone before him, many have occupied one extreme or the other: they have either earned rave reviews or been panned; shone brightly or flopped; become fan favourites or left via the backdoor.
This is the story of Real Madrid's Brazilians:
Fernando Rubens Pasi Giudicelli (1935-36)
He played just one game for Real Madrid: a 4-2 LaLiga defeat to Racing Santander in the 1935/36 season, a campaign in which Los Blancos finished second in the league and lifted the Copa. After leaving Real, the midfielder moved to France.
In the wake of his excellent showing at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, where he was player of the tournament, Didí arrived at a Real who were dominant in Europe and led by the great Alfredo di Stéfano. However, he failed to settle. According to accounts of his brief spell at the club, he is said to have been "always cold", while his lack of defensive work ethic meant he did not fit the style of play of his new side.
In total, he made 19 appearances for Real, all in LaLiga (which that year was won by Helenio Herrera's Barcelona), scoring six goals. He was never picked for a European Cup match, and was ineligible for the Copa del Generalísimo as foreign players were banned from the competition at the time.
Signed at the same time as Didí, Darcy Silveira dos Santos did adapt well to life at Real, spending three seasons at the club and winning two league titles, one European Cup and one Intercontinental Cup. Los Merengues also lifted the Copa once during his time in Spain but, like Didí, he was unable to play in the domestic cup.
Bought from Barcelona, where he had won two LaLigas, two Fairs Cups and one Copa, he played for Real Madrid for two full seasons, helping the capital club to the league title in both campaigns. He then departed for Flamengo, where he retired in 1967. He didn't get many opportunities for Brazil, but did manage to set a Canarinha record: in 1957, he hit five goals against Colombia to become the national team's highest scorer in a single match.
Ricardo Rocha (1991-93)
Signed from Sao Paulo, the central defender was at Real Madrid for two seasons and will always be remembered for his involvement in the two consecutive league championships thrown away by Los Blancos in final-day games away to Tenerife - particularly the first, which saw him score an own goal to complete the hosts' comeback from 2-0 down to 2-2. In 1993, he was sold to Santos, and a year later was part of the Brazil squad that lifted the World Cup in the USA.
Vitor arrived at Real Madrid earmarked as the 'new Cafú', but left just a year later branded as one of the club's worst ever signings. In all, he appeared just three times in the white shirt. After his brief spell at the Bernabéu, he returned to Brazil and would go on to cross paths with his former employers, featuring for the Vasco da Gama side that lost 2-1 to Real in the 1998 Intercontinental Cup - a game best remembered for a wonderful solo goal by Raúl González Blanco.
Roberto Carlos (1996-2007)
Real Madrid's first truly legendary Brazilian. He made Real's left-back position his own for 11 years, racking up 526 games for the Madrid giants - and plundering 69 goals - on the way to amassing an extraordinary medal collection: four LaLiga titles, three European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups, one Uefa Super Cup and three Spanish Super Cups.
Zé Roberto (1996-98)
He was brought to Real Madrid midway through the 1996/97 season at the express request of then-head coach Fabio Capello, but found his opportunities limited by Roberto Carlos' presence in the squad. After two years at the Bernabéu, he left for Germany with LaLiga, Champions League and Spanish Super Cup winners' medals to his name.
Savio Bortolini (1997-2002)
Injuries initially made it difficult for Savio to establish himself, but he did finally settle and, in 160 games for Real Madrid, he helped the team to three Champions Leagues, one LaLiga, one Intercontinental Cup and one Spanish Super Cup. Zinedine Zidane's arrival in 2001 then relegated him to a fringe role. Following stints at a few other clubs in Spain (Real Zaragoza, Levante, Real Sociedad), he retired in Brazil after a spell in Cyprus.
Rodrigo Fabri (1998-99)
Rodrigo Fabri never made his competitive debut for Real Madrid, only appearing in friendlies and failing to meet the expectations that had surrounded him when he was bought by the club. He did get more opportunities at Real Valladolid and Atlético Madrid, who were the other teams he played for in Spain following his departure from the Bernabéu.
Julio César (1999-2002)
The centre-back, who was signed from Valladolid, played his part in the side's Champions League-winning campaign in 1999/2000, featuring in the group stage and in the semi-final against Bayern Munich. However, he never truly succeeded in holding down a first-team spot, making just 33 appearances in all. He had something of a globe-trotting career after leaving Los Merengues, retiring in Major League Soccer in 2013.
Flávio Conceição (2000-03)
His great season in Deportivo La Coruña's league title-winning campaign in 1999/2000 led Real, with Florentino Pérez recently installed as president, to pay 27m euros for him. Injuries blighted his first two years at the club, but he played more in his third term in the capital, and left with a total of 74 appearances to his name, having won two LaLigas, one Champions League, one Uefa Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.
Without a doubt one of the finest strikers in Real Madrid's history. A cornerstone of the 'Galácticos', he arrived from Inter Milan and went on to play 177 games for Los Blancos, netting 104 times. At the Bernabéu, he won two LaLigas, one Spanish Super Cup, one Uefa Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup, one Ballon d'Or, and one Uefa player of the year award. The only black mark on his time at the club was the side's failure to win the Champions League. After five seasons, he returned to Italy to sign for AC Milan.
Another Brazilian right-back who proved to be a failure at Real. He has recently admitted that he struggled to settle in Madrid, with his off-the-field lifestyle - "I would drink until I could no longer stand" - impeding his chances of success. After 32 appearances and one league title for Real, he joined Roma.
Julio Baptista (2005-08)
After shining for Sevilla, 'the Beast' was snapped up by Real Madrid, where he is remembered for acrobatic efforts against Real Betis and arch rivals Barcelona. He didn't get the rub of the green in his first season at the club and was loaned out to Premier League side Arsenal, before returning to the Bernabéu and helping Real to win the 2007/08 Spanish championship. Overall, he featured 77 times for Los Merengues, before - like Cicinho - moving to Roma.
His wonderful Real Madrid debut away to Cádiz proved to be his most memorable contribution in his time at the club, where he ultimately had an up-and-down career and never completely won over the fans. After 137 games, 32 goals, two LaLiga titles and one Spanish Super Cup, he left the club in controversial circumstances in 2008.
Marcelo arrived halfway through the 2006/07 season and, despite almost being sent out on loan, his commitment and determination saw him hold onto his place in the first-team squad. A decade on, he is now one of the club captains and is a key figure in the Real dressing room. His charisma and quality have made him a firm fan favourite. He has so far amassed 450 appearances and a trophy collection up there with the very best: four LaLiga titles, four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups, three Uefa Super Cups, three Spanish Super Cups and two Copas del Rey.
Brazilian by birth but Portuguese by nationality, the defender was purchased for a 30m-euro fee which, at the time, seemed to be a risk. However, in his 10 seasons at the heart of Los Blancos' defence, he more than justified his price tag. A figure loved by Real's supporters - if less popular among rival fans - he made 334 appearances for the club and helped the team to win three LaLigas, three Champions Leagues, two Club World Cups, two Uefa Super Cups and two Spanish Super Cups.
He was one of the world's top players when he arrived at Real Madrid, but never lived up to that billing in the white shirt, utterly failing to reproduce the form he had shown for AC Milan. After four years in Spain in which neither Manuel Pellegrini nor José Mourinho was able to get the best out of him, he rejoined the Rossoneri.
Signed for the Castilla squad, he played just once for the first team before going on to Monaco, where his displays earned him a big-money move to Liverpool this summer.
Casemiro is establishing himself (if he hasn't already) as one of the great anchormen in Real Madrid's history. After being brought to the club from Sao Paulo, he was loaned to Porto in 2014 and, following his return from that year-long spell in Portugal, has become a vital defensive presence in Real's midfield. After 151 competitive games for the club, his medal collection already boasts four Champions Leagues, one LaLiga, one Copa, two Uefa Super Cups, one Spanish Super Cup and two Club World Cups.
Willian José (2013-14)
Like Fabinho, he was bought for the 'B' team, only appearing for a few minutes for the seniors in a game against Celta Vigo. Since leaving in search of first-team football, he has followed up spells at Las Palmas and Zaragoza by establishing himself as a regular for Real Sociedad.
Lucas Silva (2014-)
One of the great Brazilian flops of recent times at Real Madrid. His failure to settle saw him forced to look elsewhere for game time, with loan moves first to Marseille and then to Cruzeiro, the club who had originally sold him to Real. His progress was also hampered by a heart problem. He is to remain on loan at Cruzeiro until the end of June 2019.
The latest player to fall victim to the apparent curse on Brazilian right-backs at Real. Although he picked up a decent haul of medals at the Bernabéu - two Champions Leagues, one LaLiga, one Club World Cup and one Uefa Super Cup - he struggled to make an impact and in summer 2017 departed after just two seasons, joining Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.
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