Sambafoot Sunday: Brasileirão team of the season
Sambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on…
Goalkeeper – Jefferson – Botafogo
Jefferson contributed massively to Botafogo’s lofty league position during the first part of the campaign. His heroics between the sticks made their defence look more solid than it actually was, and he kept them in the race for the top 4 as the rest of his team crumbled in the second part of the season.
Right Back – Mayke – Cruzeiro
The 21-year-old right back aided Cruzeiro’s title win in both attack and defence, scoring two goals and making three assists during the season. Mayke sneaks into the team ahead of Atlético Mineiro’s Marcos Rocha, and Léo of Atlético Paranaense, in a position which was well contested.
Centre Back – Manoel – Atlético PR
Still only 23, Manoel was one of the consistent figures in Atlético Paranaense’s squad effort this season, with only the goalkeeper Weverton playing more league games than him.
Centre Back – Dedé – Cruzeiro
When Dedé came into form, so did Cruzeiro. His partnership with Bruno Rodrigo in the centre of defence saw the team through the period of the season where they went 10 games unbeaten – a run of games which contributed greatly to their title win.
Left Back – Alex Telles – Grêmio
An excellent season from the Grêmio left-back saw the 21-year-old start to fulfil some of his early promise. He was in great form in attacking situations, as he created numerous chances for team-mates throughout the season, contributing with three assists and one goal. These performances haven’t gone unnoticed, and he’s now being linked with a move to Europe.
Central Midfield – Elias – Flamengo
Flamengo’s midfield engine: Elias was one of the better players during an up-and-down season for the Rio club in which they won the cup, but were inconsistent in the league. A good all round display from the midfielder saw him score four goals as well as bagging four assists, often from his defensive midfield position.
Central Midfield – Nílton – Cruzeiro
Nílton had a great season in the heart of the Cruzeiro midfield, contributing in both defence and attack. Alongside Lucas Silva he provided a platform for the attacking players to do their business, and also helped out the defence, ending the season as the player in the Cruzeiro squad with the most interceptions. His seven goals included a well taken volley from a corner in his side’s important top of the table clash with Botafogo.
Attacking Midfield – Éverton Ribeiro – Cruzeiro
Éverton Ribeiro was awarded Brazil’s player of the season award after being the stand-out player in the stand-out side. Cruzeiro’s title win was down to a great performance from their team, and more importantly their squad, but this 24-year-old attacking midfielder came out of nowhere to bring guile, creativity, and trickery to his side’s performances. With 7 goals and a league-leading 11 assists, he played mostly from the right cutting in on to his left foot, and his performances have attracted interest from some of the top sides in Europe.
Attacking Midfield – Andrés D’Alessandro – Internacional
Fans of Internacional won’t want to think where their team might have ended up if it wasn’t for the goals and creative play of this experienced Argentine. D’Alessandro finished the season with 11 goals and 9 assists, 5 goals ahead of their next top scorer – the impressive young midfielder Otávio.
Striker – Walter – Goiás
Walter gained such a cult following throughout this season, that there were eventually calls for him to be included in the Brazil squad. His 13 goals helped Goiás to a sixth place finish, which isn’t bad for a side who were in Série B just last season. The question now is will he stay at Goiás, or will other teams come calling? The player who has spent the last two seasons in Goiânia was on loan from Portuguese side Porto, and will have to make a decision on where he’ll play his football next season.
Striker – Éderson – Atlético PR
The league’s top scorer in 2013, Éderson’s 21 goals catapulted Atlético Paranaense to a Brazilian Cup final, third place in the league, and a spot in next year’s Copa Libertadores group stage. Like Goiás they spent last season in Série B where they were promoted from third place. The 24-year-old striker also laid on 7 assists during his team’s impressive season.