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How good are Shakhtar Donetsk’s latest batch of Brazilians?

Shakhtar Donetsk have become a go to place for Brazilians to cut their teeth in Europe, but how good are the latest batch?

What do you call a Brazilian in Ukraine?

Whatever their name, there’s a high chance they’re playing for Shakhtar Donetsk.

Willian, Elano, Fernandinho and Douglas Costa are just four Brazilians who cut their teeth in Ukraine before moving on.


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A young Fernandinho before he found Pep

EPA
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A young Fernandinho before he found Pep

Of the starting XI that won the UEFA Cup final in 2009 the entire attacking unit had been shipped in from Brazil.

Luiz Adriano started up front, with a trio of Willian, Jadson and Ilsinho behind him and Fernandinho anchoring the midfield.

A look at their current squad shows no fewer than seven Brazilians. So how good are the latest batch?

When you find out the airline has two for one on return flights to Brazil

EPA
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When you find out the airline has two for one on return flights to Brazil

Taison

Prepare for plenty of ‘Shakhtar pack a punch’ headlines if Taison leads his side to glory domestically or in Europe this season.

The 30-year-old left to Internacional and moved to Ukraine to join Metalist Kharkiv in 2010, spending three seasons at the club.

He was crowned Ukraine’s best new signing, ahead of Willian, mainly due to having this type of finish in his locker…

A further six seasons at Shakhtar opened the possibility of a Ukraine call up thanks to residency rules.

But that was put to bed when Brazil boss Tite included him in his international plans, handing the attacking midfielder five caps.

Right on the kisser

Reuters
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Right on the kisser

Fred

You know that thing Man City do where they spend millions on a position in which they’ve already got loads of players?

Well £50million-rated midfielder Fred is the latest rumoured arrival to join Pep Guardiola’s bunch of merry men.

The 24-year-old, who’s been capped six times by Brazil, is exactly the type of hybrid midfielder Guardiola can mould into whatever he likes.

Manchester bound

Getty - Contributor
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Manchester bound

Dentinho

Dentinho partnered Ronaldo as a youngster when he was coming through the ranks at Corinthians.

Not a bad way to start your career.

He moved to Shakhtar in 2011 but hasn’t ever been able to establish himself as a regular first-team starter, leading to two loan spells in Turkey with Besiktas.

Ronaldo’s former sparring partner

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Ronaldo’s former sparring partner

Bernard

Bernard will go down in history as the player who replaced Neymar before Brazil played Germany in the 2014 World Cup.

But the 7-1 jokes clearly haven’t been getting the 25-year-old down as he’s having his best season in a Shakhtar shirt.

Just ask the City defenders who struggled to contain the diminutive attacking midfielder when the sides met in December.

That’s not a fair fight

Times Newspapers Ltd
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That’s not a fair fight

Alan Patrick

Bucking the trend of one-named Brazilians is 27-year-old attacking midfielder Alan Patrick.

He joined Shakhtar back in 2011 after playing with Neymar, Elano, Ganso and Felipe Anderson at Santos.

Patrick has been back to Brazil three times for loan spells at Internacional, Palmeiras and Flamengo but can now be found warming a very cold bench at Shakhtar more often than not.

He’s got magnets in his shins

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He’s got magnets in his shins

Ismaily

Left-back Ismaily’s route from Brazil to Ukraine has taken him via Portuguese sides Estoril, Olahanense and Braga.

The 28-year-old signed for Shakhtar in 2013 and has now been at the club for five years, opening up the possibility of playing for Ukraine at some point in the future.

Either that or he’ll nudge past Marcelo, Alex Sandro and Filipe Luiz to become a star for Brazil.

Like all Brazilian full-backs, Ismaily does his best work further forward

AFP or licensors
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Like all Brazilian full-backs, Ismaily does his best work further forward

Dodo

One of the last Dodo’s left on the planet, the right-back joined Shakhtar in January, just in time for the blistering winter winds.

The 19-year-old has represented Brazil at Under-17 and Under-20 level, playing at the 2017 South American Youth Football Championships.

He’s taken the no.98 shirt, so we’re already a fan.

A rare sight

REUTERS
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A rare sight

Marlos

Last, but by no means least, is the Brazilian-born Ukraine international.

Marlos moved to Ukraine in 2011, initially with Metalist before joining Shahktar three years later.

In 2017 the winger switched his international allegiance, following in the footsteps of Edmar who was the first Brazilian to play for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s finest

AP:Associated Press
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Ukraine’s finest

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