If you’ve played Football Manager in the past then you’ll already be aware that Brazil is a hotbed for young talent and it’s a league that you need to make active in your game. If you didn’t know this already, then you’ve been missing out on some fantastic, cheap talent in the past.
The great thing about these wonderkids is that a majority of them play in the Brazilian league and, thus, won’t be valued too highly. However, they’re non-EU players and work permits may be hard to acquire if they don’t have much experience. So, set the Brazilian First Division as playable and check out my top ten Brazilian wonderkids aged 20 or under. We’ve included their age, value, position, wage, current and potential ability.
Caíque, 18, GK, Vitória (£550k, £650 p/w, CA 1.5 – PA 4.5)
As I’ve said, the great thing about Brazilian wonderkids is that they’re often extremely cheap and, at most, Caíque will cost you £5.5m. For a young goalkeeper, Caíque possesses all the attributes to become a star in the future. His reflexes (15) are already of a high standard, plus he’s strong in one-on-one situations (14) and he has a jumping reach of 19, meaning he can command his area effectively.
Diego, 20, RB, Botafogo (£1.3m, £3.6k p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 4.5)
It’s surprising to see that Diego is only 20-years-old as he has the ability to play in the top-flights of European football. Best suited as either a fullback or a wingback, Diego defends well (tackling 11, positioning 13 and marking 13), as well as offering a threat in attack with his dribbling (14), crossing (17) and passing (14). Mentally, his attributes will improve naturally with exposure to first team football, though he’s already composed and focussed (both 13). The only drawback is his low determination (7), which may hinder his future development.
Lyanco, 19, CB, São Paulo (£975k, £950 p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 4)
Whilst Lyanco’s heading and marking (both 12) are solid for a young player, his tackling (10) is a concern given it’s necessity as a central defender. However, with some loan moves and focussed training, this can be improved rapidly. Lyanco’s mental attributes are the most impressive, however. Boasting determination and decision-making of 15, coupled with bravery of 14 and composure of 13, Lyanco is already mentally attuned to the game, which will only aid his development. He’s best as a central defender, so if your team plays out from the back, it’s a signing to avoid.
Jorge, 20, LB, Flamengo (£1.1m, £6k p/w, CA 3 – PA 4.5)
Like his compatriot Diego, it’s surprising that Jorge is still only 20 as, again, he’d be comfortable in a top-flight European side. This is because he can defend (tackling 11, marking 12, positioning 11) and attack with ease. His attacking attributes are most impressive though, with dribbling of 15, finishing of 15, crossing of 17 and passing of 14. He’s also got great technique (15). Mentally, Jorge is solid across the board as most of his attributes are above 13, namely his 14-rated vision, work rate and anticipation.
Douglas, 19, DM/MC, Fluminense (£1m, £5k p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 4)
In Douglas, you’d be picking up a strong (15) and fit (14) ball-winning midfielder capable of playing as an anchor man in front of the back four, or slightly more advanced in the centre of midfield. Wherever you choose to play Douglas, he will excel. This is because of his solid base attributes for the role: marking 13, tackling 13 and positioning 12. Whilst Douglas is fairly hard working (12), his determination (10) lets him down slightly, perhaps hindering his future development. Douglas offers more than just a defensive option, however, as he can pass (13) and has good vision (14), meaning he’s a threat going forwards too.
Thiago Maia, 19, DM, Santos (£3.4m, £5.5k p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 4.5)
If you’re looking for a potentially world class defensive midfielder, then Thiago Maia is your man. The 19-year-old Santos wonderkid is practically ready made for first team top-flight action and is an absolute steal, even at £18m. This is because his base attributes for the ball-winning midfielder role are fantastic; tackling 15, marking 15 and positioning 14. Moreover, Maia is hard working (13), determined (16) and brave (15), attributes that will also aid his future development.
Lucas Fernandes, 18, MC/CAM, São Paulo (£1.4m, £4.5k p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 4.5)
Whilst Lucas Fernandes’ attributes aren’t necessarily the most impressive right now, remember that he’s only 18-year-old and has plenty of time to improve and develop, which will be aided by his determination (12) and work rate (12). To begin with, though, Fernandes can pass (13), has good technique (14) and vision (14), underpinning his suitability as an advanced playmaker. Work will have to be done to improve his first touch (11) and finishing (11), however, but some focussed training will resolve these issues easily.
Leandrinho, 19, MC/AM LC, Botafogo (£1.5m, £5.25k p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 4.5)
Leandrinho is one of those players who’s just consistently solid in all of his attributes, meaning he can play either as a winger, an advanced playmaker or a central midfielder. For example, not only can Leandrinho cross (13), he can dribble (14), finish (13), pass (14) and even tackle (12). Moreover, Leandrinho is hard working (12), brave (14) and can pick an accurate pass with his vision (15). For roughly £3.9m, you’d be getting a very versatile player who will perform in just about any role you ask him to play. Overall, a great signing, especially as he’s first team ready at just 19-year-old.
Matheus Pereira, 20, AM RLC, Sporting Lisbon (£1.8m, £2.6k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
Now this is a Brazilian name that’s already appeared on previous FM games, so players should be fairly familiar with what the 20-year-old offers. Pereira represents great value for money as he’s versatile enough to play anywhere across the front three, but his best position is a right-sided inside forward. This is because he cross (13), dribble (15) and finish (12). He can also pass (13) and he’s a threat from distance with his shooting (13). His high level of flair (17) and technique (17) underpin his skilful approach to the game. Sporting don’t want to sell the player so expect to pay over the odds if you want to sign him.
Marcos Guilherme, 20, Atlético Paranaense, CAM, (£2.3m, £9.5k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
Marcos Guilherme is a pacey attacking midfielder most adept playing as an advanced playmaker behind your striker; pace 16 and acceleration 17. Speed and flair (15) underpin his flamboyant style his play, as is common in the Brazilian league, a league in which individual expression is very much encouraged. His general attributes are, moreover, very solid across the board, most of which are either 12 or 13. For instance, Guilherme can finish (13), dribble (13) and pass (12). Additionally, he’s determined (13) and composed (12). With the right guidance, this 20-year-old could become one of the world’s best.