Brazilian talents

Top 10 Brazilian Talents Who Didn’t Make It

Some of these Brazilian talents simply didn't have what it takes.

by Konstantin Simidchiyski

When we talk about football, Brazil will always be one of the most prosperous countries worldwide. Seleção has won the World Cup five times in history, putting them ahead of any other team in the world. Some of the greatest players in the game’s history were also coming from this South American country. But who are the best Brazilian talents who never really made it?

Some players had it all, but somehow, they turned their careers into chaos and never fulfilled their potential. Some were just hyped too much because of YouTube videos. Every case is different, right? Let’s see who are 10 of the most apparent cases of Brazilian talents who got it all wrong at the end.


Speaking of YouTube, that’s precisely how Kerlon became worldwide famous. This boy never did anything significant in his career, but he literally became a football sensation because of videos on the internet. And to be more precise – because of the so-called “seal dribble” in which he was dribbling with his head (yes, that’s actually true). Kerlon was signed by Italian giants Inter Milan but never recorded a single match for the Nerazzurri. He tried his luck in different countries but never really shined anywhere.


When in 2009 Barcelona signed a Brazilian striker named Keirrison, we all thought he was going to be the next big thing. He scored many goals for Coritiba and Palmeiras in his home country, but at the moment he signed for Barca, his career went on the total downhill. Keirrison never made a single appearance for the Blaugrana, while his loan spells to Benfica and Fiorentina didn’t lead to anything significant. In 2010 he returned to Brazil and never went back to Europe again.


In 2001 a young Brazilian player named Geovanni made headlines with his $18 million transfer to La Liga giants Barcelona. He was a quick winger with excellent technique who shined bright with Cruzeiro’s shirt. The expectations were massive, but Geovanni never fulfilled them. He spent just one entire season with Barca’s shirt before being sold to Benfica. He later played for Manchester City and Hull City in the Premier League but obviously never became a household name. One of the Brazilian talents who could have been much more successful.


When Paulo Henrique Ganso was playing alongside Neymar at Santos, fans expected that they would rule football together in the coming years. Neymar became the superstar he was destined to be, but Ganso’s career went on a different path. He tried to prove himself in Europe, but his stint at Sevilla wasn’t successful. Soon after that, he returned to Brazil and continued to play there. Such wasted potential. One of the Brazilian talents we feel some regret for.


Kleberson is a player who was part of Brazil’s World Cup-winning team in 2002. He did so well with the national team he made the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson sign him at Manchester United. The expectations were massive, but his time at Old Trafford was easy to forget. Kleberson played just 20 Premier League games for the Red Devils, and he was quickly sold to the Turkish side Besiktas. He’s always going to be remembered as one of Alex Ferguson’s unsuccessful moves on the transfer market.


Anderson spent his first season in Europe at Porto, and he quickly became one of the most promising young players in the world. This Brazilian kid looked like a complete midfielder who had it all. His talents were evident, so in 2007 he signed a contract with Premier League giants Manchester United. Anderson spent few seasons there but never became the legendary player the fans expected him to be. He spent an unsuccessful loan spell at Fiorentina before finally returning to his home country Brazil. The truth is Anderson also loved to party, and he often had problems with his weight. That’s a pretty bad combination when you’re a professional athlete.

Alexandre Pato

Alexandre Pato’s star shined bright when he became the top player in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007. The ultra-talented striker moved to AC Milan and showed great promise, but he never really won the battle with the injuries. Pato was a player with impressive capabilities, but he was made of glass. Unlucky for him, he was getting injured all the time, which didn’t allow him to reach the top.


Robinho is not actually a failure because the guy had a solid career in Europe playing for clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester City, and AC Milan. At specific periods he was even decent. At the same time, Robinho made 100 appearances for the Brazilian national team and even scored 28 goals – that’s not bad at all. In this case, the problem is the expectations everyone had about Robinho. Pele himself named him his successor at Santos, which didn’t help the kid at all. In the end, Robinho made some good performances during his career but never got close to Pele’s levels.


Young fans barely know who Denilson is, but he was the most expensive football player on the planet at a particular moment. Part of the Brazilian national team who won the World Cup in 2002, Denilson moved to Real Betis for a world record fee of 21.5 million pounds. It happened in 1998, and it was a massive sum for the time. Betis fans hoped that this Brazilian wizard would make them champions, but 18 months later, they were relegated to the second division. Despite his obvious talents, Denilson never made it big. He will always have his World Cup winner medal, but his career was nothing impressive.


There was a short period in Adriano’s career when it looked like he would become the best player in the world. He was just unstoppable. The former Inter Milan striker had a monstrous physique and a terrifying power in his boots, but he messed up big time. His love for nightlife cost him his career, and he never reached his potential. Most of the time, he was overweight while getting pictured at nightclubs with different women. It seems he just never wanted it that much to become a legend.

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