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FC Bayern's Brazilians

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Samba at Säbener Straße! FC Bayern has been heavily influenced by its Brazilian footballers in recent years. No other overseas nation has provided as many Bayern players in the history of the German record champions in the Bundesliga. That' s reason enough to look back on FCB's Brazilians:

Giovane Élber

He is perhaps the most Bavarian Brazilian on the globe: from 1997 to 2003, goalscorer Giovane Élber captivated Bayern supporters with tricks, flicks and pinpoint accuracy in front of goal - always remaining loyal to the club. Now a club ambassador, he won almost everything there was to win in a Bayern jersey. His greatest success, the  Champions League win in 2001, would have been unthinkable without his two goals in the semi-final against Real Madrid. With 133 goals in 256 Bundesliga matches (including 92 goals in 169 games for FCB), Élber was the most prolific foreign import in Bundesliga history when he hung up his boots, and was duly inducted into FC Bayern's Hall of Fame. In addition to his undeniable sporting talents, it was above all his relaxed and open manner off the pitch that secured the exceptional striker a place in fans' hearts - and also the fact that he identified with the record champions like no other: "FC Bayern is my skin, my blood and my family," Élber said recently.

Giovane Élber at FC Bayern:
266 appearances (140 goals)
Bundesliga winner 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003
DFB Cup winner 1998, 2000, 2003
Intercontinental Cup winner 2001
Champions League winner 2001
Bundesliga top goalscorer 2003

Rafinha

The record holder among the Bayern-Brazilians is Rafinha. From 2011 to 2019, the full-back wore the German record champions' jersey and thus longer than any of his fellow countrymen. In eight years at Säbener Strasse, Rafinha, who also played with Élber, made 266 appearances and collected an impressive 18 titles, making him the most decorated player amongst the Brazilians at FCB. "I am a winner, I win everything," Rafinha said confidently, and he has every reason to be that way. One of the treble heroes of 2013, the champion also won the Copa Libertadores with his next club Flamengo in 2019 after leaving Munich - a feat acheived by only just short of a dozen players worldwide. But it's not just the defender's hunger for success that makes fans and colleagues miss him today. With his sunny disposition, the record-breaking Brazilian sparked a good atmosphere in the dressing room and was also one step ahead of his team-mates in celebrations: During his time at FC Bayern, "Rafinha was clearly the best dancer," confirmed his long-time team-mate Thomas Müller.

Rafinha at FC Bayern:
266 appearances (6 goals)
FIFA Club World Cup winner 2013
UEFA Champions League winner 2013
UEFA Super Cup winner 2013
Bundesliga winner 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
DFB Cup winner 2013, 2014, 2016, 2019

Zé Roberto

Anyone who saw Zé Roberto play believed that eternal youth could actually be something real, not fantastical. The technically gifted midfielder did not hang up his boots until he was the ripe old age of 43, and he always looked as if he'd not ever aged a day. Zé Roberto's most successful period in his career was undoubtedly with FC Bayern, where he was a player from the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2009, barring a one-year break at FC Santos. In addition to elegant one-on-ones and a fine left foot, the all-rounder was known above all for his versatility. After playing on the left hand side for the record champions for years, then-coach Ottmar Hitzfeld frequently asked him to marshal the midfield in the middle from 2007 onwards, where he was able to act as a clever leader in build-up play.

Zé Roberto at FC Bayern:
248 appearances (20 goals)
Bundesliga winner 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008
DFB Cup winner 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008

Lúcio

As a strong central defender, Lúcio embodied world class in defence. But inside the 2002 world champion there was always an attacking player with an irrepressible urge to go forward: "Every now and then I still think to myself: I would have loved to have been a striker," Lúcio once said. He wore the red and white of FC Bayern from 2004 to 2009 and won the double three times with the record champions. When the tall defender stormed into the opposing penalty area with great, long strides, it was not always on the instructions of his coach, but it often was the source of great excitement amongst fans - and Lúcio's twelve goals in 218 FCB matches are testament to his attacking qualities as well as his defensive ability.

Lúcio at FC Bayern:
218 appearances (12 goals)
Bundesliga winner 2005, 2006, 2008
DFB Cup winner 2005, 2006, 2008

Dante

"We win the league, we win the Champions League and the cup tooooo" - with his very special interpretation of a fan classic, Dante sang this to celebrate the treble in 2013. The forever dazzlingly cheerful Brazilian with his famous afro hairstyle moved from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Bayern in the summer of 2012 and, as a central defender with powerful heading skills, earned a regular spot at the heart of the FCB defence. His cheerful manner too also won the hearts of the record champions' supporters. With his goal in the final against Raja Casablanca, he played a major role in winning the Club World Cup for the first time in 2013, earning him a place in Bayern's history books.

Dante at FC Bayern:
133 appearances (5 goals)
FIFA Club World Cup 2013
UEFA Champions League winner 2013
UEFA Super Cup 2013
Bundesliga winner 2013, 2014, 2015
DFB Cup winner 2013, 2014

Paulo Sérgio

When Paulo Sérgio joined FC Bayern in the summer of 1999 at the age of 30, the 1994 world champion had already won the biggest trophy one can win on the international stage. But during his previous stints in Europe with Bayer 04 Leverkusen (1993-1997) and AS Roma (1997-1999), the technically skilled attacker had not yet got his hands on a club trophy - and that was about to change at FC Bayern: "That was a great time. We won everything in those three years," Sérgio recalled of his time in Munich, where he won the Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 2001 as well as the double. The two-footed striker scored 34 times in 125 matches for FC Bayern, including the only goal in an important 1-0 win in the UCL quarter-finals away at Manchester United on the way to Bayern's Champions League triumph in 2001.

Paulo Sérgio at FC Bayern:
125 appearances (34 goals)
Bundesliga winner 2000, 2001
DFB Cup winner 2000
Intercontinental Cup winner 2001
UEFA Champions League winner 2001

Jorginho

After three years at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Jorginho (pitcured right) had no problems getting used to his new employers when he joined FC Bayern in the summer of 1992, thanks to his already very good knowledge of German. The deeply devout Christian, who also read the Bible to his team-mates, was popular with fans and teammates and quickly took his new adopted country to heart. "How often do I long to sit on Marienplatz when I'm in Brazil today, eating a piece of strawberry cake or going for a walk in the winter snow," the former right-back said, looking back fondly on his time in Munich in an interview. The summer of 1994 is probably the most memorable time of his life: Thanks in part to his wonder goal on the last day of the season against Schalke 04 (2-0), the Bavarians became German champions once again after a three-year drought, and Jorginho, together with team-mate Mazinho, became the first Brazilian to hold the Meisterschale trophy high in the air. He also celebrated winning the World Cup title in USA with the Seleção just a few weeks later. At the beginning of 1995, the globetrotter moved on and joined Japanese side Kashima Antlers.

Jorginho at FC Bayern:
80 appearances (6 goals)
Bundesliga winner 1994

Luiz Gustavo

Brazil would not be the great footballing nation it is today if, over the years, there had not been players on the pitch alongside all the magicians, who weren't afraid to get stuck in. Luiz Gustavo undoubtedly belonged in this category, and with his willingness to work tirelessly and his strength in 50/50s, he ensured stability in Bayern's midfield between 2011 and 2013. A hothead on the pitch, the defensive specialist was extremely sociable off it. "With his calm, but always friendly and very professional manner, he has made many friends in our club. You could always rely on Luiz Gustavo," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. His last competitive match for FC Bayern was none other than the Champions League final in 2013 against Borussia Dortmund, which crowned two and a half very successful years in Munich, before the midfielder moved on to Wolfsburg.

Luiz Gustavo at FC Bayern:
100 appearances (6 goals)
UEFA Champions League winner 2013
Bundesliga winner 2013
DFB Cup winner 2013

Douglas Costa

Agile winger Douglas Costa is probably best known by Bayern fans for his speedy dribbling. In two years at the record champions, the Brazil international national won four titles and notched up some serious stats: he had a direct hand in 41 Bayern goals in 77 competitive matches. In the summer of 2017, however, the wide player moved on to Juventus, before returning to the newly-crowned treble winners on a one-year loan for the 2020/21 season.

Douglas Costa at FC Bayern:
77 appearances (14 goals)
Bundesliga winner 2016, 2017
DFB Cup winner 2016

Bernardo and Mazinho

The first Brazilians came to Säbener Strasse in the summer of 1991, in a double bill transfer. But while Bernardo (left) departed FCB for his home country after just six months, attacker Mazinho managed to battle his way into the first team in Munich. In his very first competitive match for FCB, he scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf - in total, the striker scored 12 goals in 33 matches in his first season, which was, however, a very mixed season for everyone at FC Bayern, with the team finishing 10th in the Bundesliga. After scoring four more goals in the following season, Mazinho injured his knee seriously in the summer of 1993 and spent a long time on the sidelines. At the beginning of 1995, he followed his team mate Jorginho to Japan to play for Kashima Antlers.

Mazinho at FC Bayern:
56 appearances (16 goals)
Bundesliga winner 1994

Bernardo at FC Bayern:
5 appearances

Philippe Coutinho

Hardly any other player in the history of FC Bayern embodied the image of a Brazilian magician as much as Philippe Coutinho. In the summer of 2019, the playmaker switched from Barcelona to FC Bayern for a year on loan and enthralled fans with his tricks. The technically gifted attacking player scored 11 goals and provided nine assists in 38 matches. In the Champions League, he was one of only three players to appear for Bayern in all 11 matches of the competition. After the Champions League triumph in Lisbon, Coutinho returned to Catalonia.

Philippe Coutinho at FC Bayern:
38 appearances (11 goals)
UEFA Champions League winner 2020
Bundesliga winner 2020
DFB Cup winner 2020

Breno

As one of the greatest talents in his country, Breno moved to Bavaria at the beginning of 2008 at the age of 19. The physically strong central defender had just been voted the best player in his position in his home country during the previous season, and was also able to show the potential he had at FC Bayern. In order to gain more playing experience, the young defender was loaned out to 1 FC Nürnberg at the beginning of 2010, where he suffered a serious knee injury. Several operations and the long period of rehab followed, throwing Breno off track in his private life. Thanks to the help from FC Bayern, the Brazilian later got back on his feet and was able to continue his career in his home country.

Breno at FC Bayern:
33 appearances
Bundesliga winner 2008
DFB Cup winner 2008

Brazilians in lederhosen? Check out the gallery below for more!

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