There used to be a time when Brazil was at the absolute peak of international soccer. The samba soccer, the distinctive jerseys, the intricate skills – Brazil had it all. But over the years the rest of the world has started to catch up with the Seleção. That’s not to say that Brazilian players are not still in demand though.
There are precious few top soccer clubs around the world that don’t have at least one Brazilian player in their squad. Even with players like Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo hogging the headlines in recent seasons, there are always a few Brazil internationals picking up major trophies as well.
So, as the Champions League betting markets start to become very interesting as the competition progresses, we thought we would take a look at some of the big winners of the tournament over the years. Specifically, those that still call Brazil home even if they have not lived or played there for years.
When it comes to top Brazilian soccer players the mind automatically goes to the likes of Neymar. But whereas that iconic superstar has only ever won one Champions League title, there is a defender who is now winding down his career that has won it the most amount of times.
Marcelo has now returned to his native Brazil to see out his career at hometown team Fluminense. But it was during his time with Real Madrid that the defender won an incredible five Champions League titles. One of the most exciting defenders of his generation, he still can’t seem to stop winning, as he has just won the Copa Libertadores with his new club.
Another Brazilian who won five Champions League titles alongside Marcelo is the Manchester United midfielder Casemiro. Still only 31, he played almost 100 times for São Paulo before leaving for Spain. He spent some time on loan at Porto before becoming one of the most dependable players in the Real team.
Casemiro famously won three titles in a row from 2016 to 2018 and then rounded his time off in Madrid by claiming another in 2022. Now a firm favorite with the Old Trafford crowd, he may not get a chance to add to his tally with Manchester United. But he will go down as one of the greats.
Although a Brazilian defender is not to be confused with defenders from anywhere else in the world, Daniel Alves is another great example of a player who breaks free from the stereotype of his country solely producing attacking goal-scorers. That’s not to say Alves didn’t enjoy getting forward and trying his hand at scoring, of course!
Alves is actually the most decorated professional soccer player of all time, with an incredible 43 official titles won. He has won those in his native Brazil, as well as with major clubs in Spain, Italy, and France. But it was while he was with Barcelona that he won his three Champions League medals.
Here’s yet another Brazilian defender. Roberto Carlos actually began his career as a striker but spent most of his life as a left back – and that is the position he is best known for. After leaving Brazil, Carlos joined Inter in Italy before his most successful period of his career at Real Madrid.
It was with Los Blancos where Carlos won his three Champions League titles as part of the famous galacticos team. Even though there were bigger names in the Real team of the time, it was Carlos who ensured that no goals would be scored – and he even pitched in with a few of his own.
Sometimes you don’t have to be the most well-known soccer player to be one of the most successful. A Brazil international in the mid-1990s who made 21 appearances for his national side, Sávio also happened to sign for Real Madrid just as the club was moving into another successful period in its history.
He won’t go down as one of the best Brazilian footballers of his generation, let alone of all time, but Sávio has three Champions League winners’ medals at home to prove just how successful he was. After playing for a number of other Spanish clubs, Sávio returned to Brazil before retiring in 2010.
Another unsung member of successful club and national teams, Danilo has one more Champions League title than Neymar and has enjoyed a career that has seen him play for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Now at Juventus, he is still a hugely important member of the Serie A side’s squad.
Danilo has also won league and cup titles in Portugal and England, but it is his time at Real Madrid that warrants his inclusion here. In just two seasons at the La Liga club he won the Champions League twice, as well as a league title, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Just to show that it is not just outfielders that have excelled in Europe, we give you Dida. He played 91 times for his country, winning a World Cup and a Copa America in that time. But it was with Serie A giant, Milan, that he won the Champions League – on two occasions.
Brazilian keepers don’t always have the best reputation. But after starting his career in his home country, Dida played over 200 times for Milan and was as recognizable a name on the team sheet as any of the star outfield players. He won’t be the last Brazilian to win the Champions League – but he is definitely the most successful keeper to do so.