Is Fernandinho the greatest Brazilian to grace the Premier League?

Fernandinho helps school United

Manchester City didn't just beat Manchester United at Old Trafford for the third successive time, they once again proved the gap between the two is just getting bigger. It looked on paper like a makeshift City side, as they played without a recognised striker and with Fernandinho at centre-back.

However, these all turned out to be pieces of an exceptionally well-crafted Pep Guardiola puzzle. A puzzle that Solskjaer failed to complete in a diabolical fashion. Players like Fernandinho had the beauty of being at the back and having little defensive work to do. Instead, the Brazilian was allowed to make 64 passes out the back and prove to be one of the most valuable pieces of the puzzle.

In truth, only Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy made more passes for City.

Seven years of brilliance

Fernandinho signed for City back in 2013 and since day one has been underrated, underappreciated and underestimated. At a time where City were ran by the midfield brilliance of Yaya Toure, David Silva and James Milner, the former Shakhtar Donetsk man slotted in effortlessly to the champions' midfield.

In this first season, Fernandinho went onto score five times, which remains his best return for the Citizens. Since, the Brazilian has played 296 times for the club, registering 23 goals and constantly proved to be of vital importance for Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola.

Now, with almost seven years of service and at 35 years of age, the versatile man may just be the greatest Brazilian we have ever seen in the Premier League.

An elite group of Brazilians

If you know football, you know Brazil bring two things to the sport: beautiful culture and unrivalled footballing magic.

They are the men who have perfected and defined the beautiful game for decades and decades. However, sadly, we have not seen that many ply their trade on the shores of England. The likes of Gilberto Silva, Roberto Firmino and Juninho will spring to the mind of the elite Premier League fan, but do any of them come close to Fernandinho?

Liverpool superstar Firmino leads the way as the all-time top scorer in the Premier League from a Brazilian, whilst Silva played 170 times for Arsenal in the top flight, including 35 appearances in the Invincibles year. Elsewhere, Middlesbrough's midfield maestro, Juninho, managed to bag 30 goals in 125 appearances back in the earlier years of the division.

The best ever?

Regardless of your opinion on the subject, Fernandinho brings unrivalled versatility to the table. Initially signed as a defensive midfielder, over time we have seen the 35-year-old step out as a right-back, left and right-sided midfielder and nowadays, as a centre-back.

With his ability to so effortlessly adjust to various positions on the pitch and fill the void left by the instrumental Toure, Fernandinho has put in a serious argument for the greatest Brazilian in Premier League history.

Similar to how we witnessed Michael Carrick's brilliance go unrecognised for many years at United, perhaps we will only fully understand and appreciate the City star's genius when he eventually leaves.

Get a $1,000 Risk-Free Bet!
New users only. 21+. Must be in NY, NJ, AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, MI, WY.