This is a FIFA World Cup year, which is great news for soccer fans around the world, especially in Brazil, the country with the proudest World Cup record. Not only has the Selecao won soccer’s biggest prize a record 5 times, but they have also produced arguably the best players the tournament has ever seen; Pele, Romario and Ronaldo, to name just 3.
Currently, Neymar is the crown jewel of Brazilian soccer, having scored 74 goals in 119 appearances. He certainly has all the credentials to dominate in Qatar in November and December. But which other samba stars should we look out for? In this article, we rank our top 5 potential winners from Brazil.
FIFA 22 Brazil Players Rankings- Samba Superhero #5: Raphinha
It has been a summer of speculation surrounding the future of Leeds winger Raphinha. Barcelona are favourites to land the Brazilian in a one-off £60m transfer that would see the player earn £5.2m a year. That equates to £100,000 a week, a mega £40,000 increase on the winger’s current weekly wage at the Elland Road club. And while Arsenal and Chelsea have also been heavily linked with the player, it seems that Camp Nou is his preferred destination. But what kind of player would the Catalan club get for their investment?
Well, in short, Raphinha is electric. He played a key role in Leeds’ Premier League safety last season, scoring 11 goals in 35 appearances. This included a vital goal in the win at Brentford on the final day to ensure the Yorkshire club retained their top flight status for another season.
Primarily a right winger who likes to cut across the pitch, the former Rennes player can also line up as a center forward. He runs tirelessly and isn’t afraid to tackle (one of the reasons Leeds fans held him in such high regard). In addition to his pace, one area he excels at is hitting the ball from distance. FIFA 22 players will know that his Shot Power scores an impressive 81 and his Long Shots a decent 74. Don’t bet against him scoring an absolute peach at this winter’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
FIFA 22 Brazil Players Rankings- Samba Superhero #4: Richarlison
Another player who had a big summer was Tottenham’s new £60 million signing, Richarlison. The former Everton striker was loved in the blue half of Merseyside for his bloody play. Last season he scored 10 times and recorded 5 assists in 30 Premier League games; 6 of his goals came in his last 9 games to help Everton avoid their first relegation since the 1950s.
Richarlison is not a typical Brazilian striker. He works hard, never giving defenders a break. And he’s just as happy to score scrappy goals as he is 30-yard screamers. He also plays on the edge – he’s irritable, sometimes guilty of playing the game and prone to moments of recklessness (he’s already been sent off against Everton’s bitter rivals, Liverpool, for a reckless challenge on Thiago). In short, he’s the kind of player opposition fans love to hate.
But he has the potential to play for Brazil and his record is impressive – he has scored 14 goals in 36 international matches. The fact that he can play anywhere in a top three certainly helps his cause.
FIFA 22 Brazil Players Rankings- Samba Superhero #3: Casemiro
Now for a completely different type of player. Casemiro may not have the passing, mazy dribbling or spectacular goals of Neymar, but in his own quiet way, he is just as effective.
The Real Madrid star is an experienced campaigner now 30 years old and there are few better players in world soccer to break up possession. For proof, take a look at his performance in the 2022 UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool: in Los Merengues’ 1-0 victory, Casemiro managed one counter, 3 clearances and 3 interceptions. He also created a chance and won 3 of the 4 tackles of the match. He is a player who gives priority to his teammates and does the dirty defensive work that frees his midfield partners to create opportunities and advance.
FIFA 22 Brazil Players Rankings- Samba Superhero #2: Alisson Becker
The best goalkeeper in the world? There are strong arguments in favor of Alisson Becker. Liverpool’s No. 1 is a sensational stopper who is a calm presence in the Reds’ backline. But perhaps his greatest strength is his ability on the ball. If you need proof of his smooth feet, check out his incredible Cruyff turn under pressure from Bruno Fernandes during Liverpool’s April 2022 derby win over Manchester United. The goalkeeper was in possession of the ball in his 18-yard box with the Portuguese midfielder pressing him. Cool as you like, Alisson turned and brought the ball back to let Fernandes run riot.
And his ability to launch attacks could prove invaluable for Brazil at the World Cup; Alisson Becker has picked up 2 assists for Liverpool since signing in 2018 (impressive stats for a keeper). Neymar and co will undoubtedly thrive on his distribution.
FIFA 22 Brazil Players Rankings- Samba Superhero #1: Thiago Silva
Is there a better defender in world soccer than Thiago Silva? Even at 37, Chelsea’s evergreen central defender is a dominant force. Last season, he played 48 games for the Blues, winning the Super Cup and the Club World Cup. His invaluable experience and leadership qualities have made him a fan favorite at Stamford Bridge, and those attributes will likely be just as important for Brazil in Qatar.
The Selecao skipper’s record speaks for itself. Thiago Silva earned 107 caps and won the Copa America in 2018-19. Obviously, the 2022 World Cup will be his last chance to win soccer’s biggest prize and you can expect him to leave nothing in the tank as he tries.
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