To balance the Brazil universe, for every player having a season like Gabriel Jesus or Roberto Firmino, there has to a Gabigol – here’s five of the worst this year
5) Gabriel Barbosa – Benfica / Santos
After failing to prove himself at Internazionale, Gabigol made an interesting loan move to Portuguese giants Benfica, where he was expected to prove himself. But he would ultimately get very limited game-time, which forced him to a return to mother club Santos, where he started very well after scoring four goals in the first five games, before slowly starting to fade away again. There is no doubt that the 21-year-old is talented enough to make an impact and revive his career, but so far, he still misses a couple of characteristics, which is preventing him from reaching the next level.
4) Danilo – Manchester City
The 26-year-old has not been too bad, but has not been too good either. After arriving to Manchester City from Spanish giants Real Madrid, for around $30 million, much more was expected from him, especially seeing that Dani Alves and has no back-up for the right-back position. With limited game-time on the right flank, Danilo has not really had the best of seasons, which will quite possibly cost him the chance to represent Brazil at the World Cup in Russia.
3) Diego Ribas – Flamengo
He is the only Brazil-based player on our list. The Flamengo-man has been a major letdown over the past few months, with some club fans going as far as asking for his departure. A while ago, it seemed that Diego was a consistent feature in Tite’s call-ups, but it was no surprise that he was dropped from the two friendlies against Russia and Germany in month. Right now, he looks as far from a World Cup call-up as he has ever been.
2) Lucas Moura – PSG / Tottenham Hotspur
Lucas seemed very optimistic about Neymar’s arrival to Paris Saint Germain, but it was probably down to the fact that they’re countrymen and good friends, much more than anything else. The reality is that Neymar and Kylian Mbappé’s arrivals meant that Moura would be dropped to the bench and would barely get any game-time throughout the majority of the first half of the season. Consequently, the 25-year old decided to take the chance to join, at that time, Champions League side Tottenham in January. But despite a few appearances here and there, mainly in cup games, the situation did not change as Lucas failed to make the desired impact which would force Tite to reconsider his squad selection.
1) David Luiz – Chelsea
It is very hard to think about someone who was very close to earning his World Cup call-up, then suddenly blow all his chances. David Luiz was having an excellent season with Chelsea and was considered as one of the best defenders in the English Premier League, as the voices for his Brazil return had started to rise. But it’s a shame that the Brazilian could not build on that excellent campaign, and has been dropped to Chelsea’s reserves. Some say that he is injured or not completely fit whereas others confirm that Antonio Conte does not rely on him anymore. But either way, the conclusion is simple. What happened to him is a major upset considering all the expectations that he had put on himself.