Teamwork makes the dream work

Six South American stars who might switch to Europe subsequent


Europe had its first have a look at Palmeiras‘ and Brazil‘s Endrick through the FIFA dates and preferred what it noticed, with well-taken objectives towards each England and Spain. In the summertime, after all, he strikes to Actual Madrid, and Europe can get pleasure from him each week.

Together with him, there have been different South Individuals who crossed the Atlantic to characterize their nationwide groups. A couple of have caught the attention, and might be nurturing hopes of incomes a transfer to a high European membership.

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Jhon Arias, 26, MF, Fluminense / Colombia

Head of the checklist is Arias, who performed in his facet’s wins over Spain and Romania, scoring within the latter. It’s maybe stunning that he’s nonetheless in South America, the place he was the excellent participant final yr with Fluminense of Brazil, the present continental champions. Manchester Metropolis comprehensively outgunned the facet within the ultimate of the FIFA Membership World Cup, however Arias was excellent in a shedding trigger, carrying the battle to his illustrious opponents.

What makes Arias particularly attention-grabbing is his versatility. He can function in both the midfield or entrance trio of a 4-3-3, as a winger, or tucked in as an all-round, attack-minded midfielder. A squat little determine, he’s sturdy on the ball, wonderful on the flip, combines properly, runs on the protection, and well-able to attain objectives in addition to set them up.

Maybe his age counts towards him. Now 26, he was plucked by Fluminense from relative obscurity in Colombian soccer. However he’s now at his peak, and his current shows for Colombia have boosted his confidence and allowed him to consider that he’s not misplaced among the many elite.

Richard Ríos, 23, MF, Palmeiras / Colombia

One other Brazil-based Colombian taking speedy strides is the midfielder with an attention-grabbing backstory. Ríos was a futsal participant and was found by Flamengo of Rio whereas taking part in in a world event. They moved him to the 11-a-side sport, and loaned him to Mexico, the place his progress was interrupted by damage.

Annoyed at lack of alternatives on his return to Brazil, he ripped up his contract with Flamengo and went to hitch Guarani, a conventional workforce from the state of São Paulo that had fallen on laborious instances. He stood out for them within the regional championship initially of final yr and was picked up by native giants Palmeiras the place, thrown in on the deep finish, he performed an essential position within the membership profitable the Brazilian Serie A.

On the unlikely age of 23, he was a powerful candidate to be the revelation of the season and compelled his manner into the nationwide workforce. These two matches have been by far his greatest in a Colombia shirt. He got here on at halftime towards Spain and, working broad on the fitting, acquired a grip on harmful left-back Alejandro Grimaldo. He performed the complete 90 towards Romania, establishing the objective for Arias with a cross from the fitting, and in addition tucking in and holding the middle. Lengthy-legged and dynamic, he seems to be to have a attention-grabbing future.

Bento, 24, GK, Athletico Paranaense / Brazil

Accidents to each Alisson and Ederson pressured Brazil to play a rookie keeper in high-pressure video games towards England and Spain, and Bento got here by way of the ordeal exceptionally properly. Brazil has turn into a breeding floor for goalkeepers, and Athletico Paranaense can boast an particularly spectacular file. Their newest product, 24-year-old Bento, is tall, athletic, strong and wise.

Towards England he might maybe have been criticized for not coming off his line sufficient to take care of crosses, however a minimum of his possibility to remain on his line was decisive. Nonetheless, towards Spain, he had a number of alternatives to indicate off his virtues as a shot-stopper, producing a sequence of reflex saves and conserving his facet within the sport at instances once they have been at risk of being over-run.

Athletico have been already relying on transferring on Bento quickly. Doing so properly for the nationwide workforce has definitely bumped up the payment.

Fabrício Bruno, 28, CB, Flamengo / Brazil

In entrance of Bento, the center-back Bruno additionally made a sound begin to his worldwide profession. On the age of 28, his choices are restricted, however plainly Marseille are serious about signing him from Flamengo of Brazil.

Not notably elegant or proficient on the ball, Bruno stands out for his mixture of measurement and velocity. He’s a hulking determine who’s fast throughout the bottom, and he earned particular reward from Luis Suárez after the good Uruguayan striker got here up towards him throughout final yr’s spell with Grěmio. The thrice that Spain scored on Tuesday have been the primary objectives {that a} workforce containing Bruno had conceded this yr.

Luciano Rodríguez, 20, FW, Liverpool / Uruguay

Rodríguez solely had a few minutes on as an alternative on the finish of Uruguay’s 2-1 loss to the Ivory Coast, however he had performed all the formally unrecognized sport towards the Basque Nation just a few days earlier, and there’ll certainly be lots extra from him within the sky blue shirt.

The nickname of “The Uruguayan Mbappé” is a stretch, however the highly effective striker was the star man in final yr’s World Cup-winning Uruguay Underneath-20 workforce, claiming the profitable objective within the ultimate towards Italy. Extremely sturdy, Rodríguez can play in broad areas but additionally has the intricacy to function by way of the middle.

For a participant who spent 2022 within the Uruguayan second division, he’s making exceptional progress; final yr he additionally helped little Montevideo membership Liverpool to their first nationwide title. The Metropolis Group have an interest, however they need to face loads of competitors in the summertime.

James Rodríguez, 32, AM, São Paulo / Colombia

Possibly European membership soccer — and specifically LaLiga — has not seen the final of the Colombian. A decade after his star performances within the 2014 World Cup, Rodríguez is at the moment to be present in Brazil, the place his relationship with São Paulo has not been a simple one.

Annoyed with an absence of alternatives, earlier this yr he even thought-about tearing up his contract. His type for Colombia, in the meantime, has been magisterial. His look at halftime modified the sport towards Spain final week, and he orchestrated the play from deep in fantastic type towards Romania. Requested about his future, he made no effort to cover a need to return to Spain, and so, even on the age of 32, there may very well be extra European adventures within the nomadic profession of Rodríguez.