Shakhtar becomes the European club with the most Brazilians recruited thanks to a coach who loves the country

Which European team has the greatest faith in young Brazilian footballers?

Which European team has the greatest faith in young Brazilian footballers? We looked at the data to see which Old Continent teams had the most “green and yellow” athletes in their lineups in previous years.

The study looked at the 120 largest sales in national football history and analyzed them to come up with a list of the teams who recruit the most Brazilians. The Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk is the ranking’s “champion.”

Shakhtar became Europe’s “most Brazilian club,” notably with the arrival in 2004 of Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu, who stayed with the team until 2016. In interviews, the coach has said that his enthusiasm for Tupiniquim football was sparked by the 1970 World Cup, in which he participated as a player and witnessed Brazil win their third World Cup. When questioned about Brazilian football while in charge of Turkey’s national team in 2018, the Romanian said, “I adore them.”

When Mircea first came at the club, which was far from the most dominant in the nation, he considered investing in Brazilian players that he had previously respected and watched. Since then, the plan has shown tremendous results: the club, which had just six recognized championships in its history before then, now has thirty-six and can now be regarded Ukraine’s best.

Fernandinho, Ilsinho, Willian, Jadson, and Luiz Adriano were among the players that helped Shakhtar win big trophies, including the 2009 UEFA Cup, which is regarded as the most important in the Ukrainian club’s history.

European clubs that recruit the youngest Brazilian talents

Check out the list of European teams with the most appearances in the top 120 sales in Brazilian football history.

Number of recruit



Biggest signing (€ million)



9 Shakhtar Ukraine Bernard (25) Atlético-MG 2013
8 Milan Italy Lucas Paquetá (35) Flamengo 2018
7 Barcelona Spain Neymar (57) Santos 2013
6 Real Madrid Spain Vinícius Júnior (45) Flamengo 2017

Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen, France’s Lyon, and Portugal’s Porto tied for fifth place. They each have four signings in Brazil’s top 120. Bayer and Lyon spent €20 million each for Paulinho (Vasco in 2018) and Bruno Guimares, respectively, in the most costly transactions (Athletico-PR in 2020).

The other eight Shakhtar signings were Fred (Internacional), Willian (Corinthians), Ilsinho (Sao Paulo), Fernando (Grêmio), Tetê (Grêmio), Marcelo Moreno (Cruzeiro), Wellington Nem (Fluminense), and Fernandinho (Athletico-PR).

About Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk has become the most well-known Ukrainian club in Brazil. It was founded in 1936 in Donetsk, in the country’s south-east, and plays its matches in the NSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium, which seats 70,000 people.

The protagonist of Ukrainian football is a point of contention between it and Dinamo Kiev, its main competitor. The club has won the Ukrainian Premier League thirteen times, the Ukrainian Cup thirteen times, the Ukrainian Super Cup nine times, and the UEFA Cup one time.

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