7 Brazilian players who achieved success in Portugal

Jardel tem Chuteiras de Ouro levadas na madrugada | eliomar-de-lima | OPOVO+ brasileiros

Brazil and Portugal have a historical connection since 1500, and this connection has been evolving and strengthening over the years, but it has never ceased to exist. In football, for instance, this connection is highly noticeable and fruitful for both countries, allowing for the exchange of ideas, methods, coaches, and players.

Below, we will discuss a bit more about Brazilians who have made history in Portuguese football. Get ready, because some amazing players are coming your way.


The 1.88-meter-tall goal scorer, known for his excellent positioning and powerful headers, was born in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará, and began his career in the youth categories of Ferroviário de Fortaleza. As a youth player, he transferred to Vasco da Gama, where he started his professional career in 1993. At Vasco, Jardel scored 36 goals in 75 games before being signed by Grêmio in 1995.

At Grêmio, Jardel quickly won the hearts of the tricolor fans, and the legendary coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, recognizing Jardel’s potential, built a team capable of serving the center forward. It’s no coincidence that Jardel became the top scorer of the 1995 Libertadores, helping the “Imortal” lift their second title. In less than two seasons with Grêmio, Jardel scored 81 goals in 91 games.

The prolific goal scorer was highly sought after at the time, with several European teams wanting to harness his attacking power. That’s when Porto entered the race, paying around 6 million euros to sign Jardel (the total transfer fee is still unknown, but it is believed that Porto paid a substantial amount). These figures were very high at the time, but all the effort by the “Dragões” was worth it.

Jardel fit into the Porto team perfectly. His positioning and goal-scoring instinct amazed the Portista fans from the beginning. Jardel used his imposing physique like no one else and finished with finesse, scoring goal after goal.

During his time at Porto, Jardel won the Portuguese league title three times (1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999), two Portuguese Cups, as well as two Portuguese Super Cups. Jardel was the top scorer of the Portuguese league in 1996-97 (30 goals), 1997-98 (26 goals), 1998-99 (36 goals), and 1999-2000 (38 goals), as well as the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League in 1999-2000 (10 goals).

Jardel’s goal-scoring ability was so remarkable that he was the top scorer in the Portuguese league for Porto in 1996-97 (30 goals), 1997-98 (26 goals), 1998-99 (36 goals), and 1999-2000 (38 goals), as well as the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League in 1999-2000 (10 goals). In addition, he was crowned with the Golden Shoe award in 1998-99 for his 36 goals in the Portuguese league. He was also considered the best player in Portugal for two seasons, 1996-97 and 1997-98. Jardel left an impressive mark at Porto, scoring 168 goals in 175 matches.

Jardel bid farewell to Porto and ventured to Galatasaray in Turkey, where he stayed for only one season but maintained his goal-scoring instinct, scoring 24 goals in 22 matches. He also won the Turkish Cup and the Turkish Super Cup in 2000. After disagreements with the club’s management, Jardel returned to Portugal, but this time to Sporting.

At Sporting, Super Mário once again made history on Portuguese soil. He won the Portuguese league title in the 2001-02 season, as well as the League Cup in the same season. Jardel’s season was so remarkable that he once again received the Golden Shoe award for scoring an astonishing 42 goals in the Portuguese league in 2001-02. In the following season, Jardel maintained his form but began to face personal problems and ended up leaving Sporting. He never managed to regain such dominance throughout his career.

When it comes to Brazilian players and goals in Portugal, Jardel, also known as Jardelão or Super Mário, is always remembered. Standing at almost 1.90 meters, he seemed to levitate in the air when heading the ball, possessing exceptional positioning and always knowing the way to the goal. Undoubtedly, Jardel was the greatest Brazilian player to grace Portuguese soil, not only due to the numerous titles he won and countless goals he scored, but also because he is the 5th highest scorer in the history of the Portuguese league (Portuguesão) and the foreign player with the most goals in the competition’s history (235 goals).

He achieved the feat of becoming a champion and an idol for two traditional and immense Portuguese clubs.

Jardel tem Chuteiras de Ouro levadas na madrugada | eliomar-de-lima | OPOVO+


The imposing 1,94 meter tall defender was born in the city of Amparo, in the interior of São Paulo, and took his first steps in professional football at Juventus, a traditional club in the Mooca neighborhood of São Paulo’s capital. Soon, his strength and technique were noticed by Cruzeiro, who signed him in April 2000.

At Cruzeiro, Luisão matured and his football skills began to make waves in Brazil and around the world. Since a young age, Luisão has been a threat in aerial duels, even finishing as the runner-up top scorer for Cruzeiro in 2002. In 2003, Luisão was a key player in the historic Cruzeiro team, with his determination, strength, and technique playing a crucial role in the club’s famous “triple crown” victory. Luisão won seven titles with Cruzeiro, including two Copa do Brasil and one Brasileirão.

Luisão’s outstanding football abilities attracted interest from several teams, but it was Benfica who won the battle for his signature. He joined Benfica in the 2003-2004 season for €1 million. Luisão made his debut for the Eagles on September 14, 2003, and immediately showcased his offensive prowess by scoring a goal. Although he wasn’t yet a regular starter in that season, he played in important matches, including the Portuguese Cup final, where Benfica defeated Porto 2-1.

As time went on, Luisão adapted to European football and became a staple in the Benfica lineup. With each tackle and goal, he won the hearts of the Glorioso fans, who even created a nickname for him: Giraffe.

Luisão faced some injuries during his career, but he never let them affect his technique, strength, and physicality. The 2010-2011 season was one of his best at Benfica, as he helped the team win the Taça da Liga and the Portuguese League, and reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League. With an increasing bond between Luisão and the club, his contract was extended until 2016 at the end of the 2011-2012 season. This extension proved to be crucial in the conquest of the Portuguese quad-campeonato from 2013 to 2017.

The Giraffe’s consistent performances, combined with his physical prowess, determination, and exceptional aerial ability, led him to spend a total of 15 years at Benfica. He played 538 matches for the club, making him the second player with the most appearances in the club’s history. He also stands as the ninth-highest scoring foreign player for the club, with 47 goals. All of this was crowned with an astonishing 27 titles won with Benfica in 15 seasons, an absolute record.

It’s no wonder that the Giraffe is one of the greatest idols in Benfica’s history, leaving an indelible mark and being one of the most recognized names from one of the glorious eras of the Eagles.

Brazilian players who achieved success in Portugal.


In 2008, Hulk was signed by Porto for €5.5 million from Japanese football as a promising prospect but quickly became a key player in the team. With an imposing physical presence, exceptional technical skills, explosive speed, and powerful shots, Hulk became a reference, won several titles, and became an idol at the Portuguese club.

In his first season, he won the national championship and the Portuguese Cup, in addition to a strong campaign in the Champions League, where they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Manchester United, who were finalists in that edition.

In the 2010-2011 season, the Brazilian had his most outstanding season. In the conquest of the Portuguese Championship, he was the top scorer (23 goals) and had the most assists (13), earning him the title of best player. Porto also won the Europa League that year, defeating Braga in the final.

The following year, Porto once again became Portuguese champions, and Hulk was once again elected the best player in the league, being the player with the most goal involvements (26), with 16 goals and 10 assists.

In September, Hulk was sold to Zenit for €60 million, at the time the fifth most expensive transfer in football history, behind only Luis Figo, who was signed by Real Madrid from arch-rivals Barcelona for €60 million in 2000. Cristiano Ronaldo (€94 million from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009), Zidane (€73.5 million from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001), Ibrahimovic (€69.5 million from Inter Milan to Barcelona in 2009), and Kaká (€65 million from Milan to Real Madrid in 2009).

The Brazilian won 4 Portuguese Championships, 3 Portuguese Cups, 1 Europa League, and 4 Portuguese Super Cups, becoming a true idol at Porto, capturing the hearts of fans with his consistent performances and captivating charisma.

In the club’s museum, the player has his statue as part of the selection of the 11 greatest players of all time at Porto, being the only player to achieve such a feat while his career was still ongoing.

Tomaz Araujo on Twitter: "Em 2014 fiz o tour no Museu do FC Porto. Na época achei meio “exagerado” ter estátua do Hulk lá como jogador dos 11 maiores do Porto de


Born in Cairu, Bahia, Liedson became a legend at Sporting, as his refined technique, game vision, and goal-scoring instinct made him one of the greatest strikers in the club’s history.

Despite starting his football career relatively late and only becoming a full-time professional at the age of 22, Liedson had a brilliant career. During his 8 years at Sporting, he achieved unimaginable feats. He is the club’s sixth all-time leading scorer and the highest-scoring foreign player with 174 goals, as well as being a two-time top scorer in the Portuguese League.

In 2003, Liedson was signed while playing on loan for Corinthians and quickly won over the fans with his goal-scoring prowess. Between his first year in Europe and 2008, Liedson never scored fewer than 15 goals in a season. In the 2004/05 season, he reached an incredible mark of 25 goals, equaling the tally of the Golden Boot winners Henry and Forlán. However, he did not receive the award due to the lower coefficient of the Portuguese League indicated by UEFA that season.

His high scoring rate caught the attention of the Portuguese Football Federation, leading to Liedson being naturalized as a Portuguese citizen to participate in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. After securing qualification, he was selected to represent Portugal in the tournament, where he scored one goal in the 7-0 victory over North Korea.

In 2011, “Levezinho” (Little Light), as he was affectionately called, ended his cycle at Sporting and returned to Corinthians. The striker won two Portuguese Cups (2006-07 and 2007-08) and two Portuguese Super Cups (2007 and 2008) with the Lions.

His time at Sporting will always be remembered with fondness, as he personified the passion and greatness of the club in every match. The humble boy, who worked as a packer in a supermarket in his hometown, is living proof that hard work, talent, and a love for the game can propel a player to become a true reference in a prestigious club like Sporting.

Liedson completa 40 anos e recebe homenagem do Sporting; Veja


The eternal captain, Helton, was signed by Porto in 2005, coming from União de Leiria, and arrived with a difficult task of competing for a spot with the legendary Vítor Baía. He quickly gained the trust of the fans with his secure and impressive performances, and by 2006, the Brazilian was already the undisputed starting goalkeeper.

His agility, sharp reflexes, and imposing presence in the box distinguished him as one of the best goalkeepers in the club’s history. In addition to his technical skills, Helton was also known for his leadership. He was an example of professionalism and commitment both on and off the field. The eternal captain had a silent leadership that inspired his teammates.

The consistency and reliability throughout his career at Porto were remarkable. He displayed unwavering composure even under pressure, showcasing a strong mentality and the ability to make quick and accurate decisions.

The Brazilian stayed at Porto for 11 seasons and won a series of titles: UEFA Europa League in 2010/11; Portuguese Cup in 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11; Portuguese Super Cup in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; and the Portuguese Championship in 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/2013.

Helton is the player with the most appearances at Estádio do Dragão and the second foreign player with the most games for Porto (374).

After 11 years at the club, the goalkeeper left Porto in 2016, and his tenure is etched in the history of the club, as he was one of the great players. He is revered and will always be remembered fondly by the Porto fans.

Rival do Porto, Sporting procura Helton, que pode virar a casaca | LANCE!


In 2014, Benfica announced the signing of Jonas, who was available on the market after terminating his contract with Valencia, and quickly won over the fans with his goal-scoring abilities, scoring 31 goals in 35 games in the 2014/15 season. With his refined technique, game vision, and sharp goal-scoring instincts, he established himself as one of the greatest goal scorers in the club’s history and became an iconic figure in the red club.

The striker is the second highest foreign scorer in the club’s history, only behind Paraguayan Óscar Cardozo, and played a crucial role in winning several titles for Benfica. During his tenure, he won four Portuguese Championships (2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, and 2018/2019), one Portuguese Cup (2016/2017), and 2 Portuguese Super Cups (2014/2015 and 2015/2016). His ability to decide important games with crucial goals was one of the qualities that made Benfica a force to be reckoned with.

He was the top scorer in the Portuguese Championship twice (2015/2016 and 2017/2018), and during his time with the Eagles, he has an impressive goal-scoring average, scoring 137 goals in just 183 games.

After some injuries in the 2018/19 season, Jonas decided to retire, leaving behind a beautiful story at Benfica. He leaves a legacy, and his tenure will always be remembered with fondness and gratitude by the fans.

Jonas: aniversário, 150 jogos pelo Benfica, goleador da Europa e prêmio | GZH


Anderson Luís de Souza, or simply Deco, was born in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil. Since he was young, he showed great affection and respect for the ball. After playing for various clubs in the youth categories, he turned professional at Corinthians and soon set off on his journey as a player in Portugal.

Before joining FC Porto, Deco had a brief stint at Benfica but never played for the Lisbon-based team. As a young player, after impressing with Salgueiros in the city of Porto, the intelligent midfielder caught the attention of the Blue and Whites and was signed in 1999. Upon his arrival, he helped the Dragons, alongside the prolific goalscorer Jardel, win the Portuguese League in 1998-1999.

Deco quickly won the hearts of the Porto fans. His ball control, dribbling skills, precise passing, and constant awareness on the field were intrinsic qualities that made the “Magician” dominate not only Portugal but the world with the ball at his feet.

Deco’s standout performances at Porto led him to acquire Portuguese citizenship and represent the national team. He was part of the historic campaign of the Portuguese national team in the 2004 European Championship, where they narrowly missed becoming champions.

With Porto, Deco won everything. He was a three-time Primeira Liga champion in 1998-99, 2002-03, and 2003-04, three-time winner of the Supertaça de Portugal in 1999, 2001, and 2003, three-time winner of the Taça de Portugal in 1999-00, 2000-01, and 2002-03, and also won the UEFA Cup in 2002-03. The most significant conquest was the infamous UEFA Champions League title in 2003-04.

In the season when Porto became European champions, Deco was exceptional. He practically did it all on the field, and it’s no surprise that he was considered the best player by UEFA in that season.

For the Portuguese, Deco is synonymous with leadership and the true art of playing football. For Brazilians, he represents the eternal sentiment that the Brazilian national team missed out on having one of the greatest midfielders in the history of the sport.

Escrito nas estrelas? Coincidências apontam para título do Porto na Champions League - Mercado do Futebol

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Written by Henry Miller and João Felipe Miller.

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Tags: Exclusives, Highlights, International Football

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