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Top 5 South Americans to play for Manchester United in the Premier League

Seventeen South Americans have played for Manchester United
Seventeen South Americans have played for Manchester United
Varun Nair
ANALYST
Modified 16 Oct 2020, 15:51 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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South Americans were the order of the day for Manchester United this transfer window. After a busy deadline day, the Red Devils signed three players from the football-crazy continent.

Manchester United have rarely been one of the favourite destination for South Americans. Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only seventeen players from Latin America has ever played for the Red Devils. It was in 2001 that Manchester United had their first South American after Juan Sebastian Veron completed a move from Lazio.

Let's take a look at the five best South Americans to play for Manchester United


5 Best South Americans to play for Manchester United

#5 Anderson

The first South American to win the Golden Boy award.
The first South American to win the Golden Boy award.

You know that Manchester United has had more South American busts than success when you see Anderson in the Top 5. The Brazilian was one of the hottest prospects in the world when he joined Manchester United. The midfielder's performances for Gremio and Porto had seen him catching the eye of Europe's biggest teams.

Anderson joined Manchester United from FC Porto in 2007. He had an impressive debut season, and was one of the players who scored for Manchester United during their penalty shootout win over Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final. Anderson continued his impressive form into the second season as he became the first Brazilian to win the Golden Boy award in 2008.

It was all rosy in the first two seasons for Anderson. During this period, the Brazilian won two Premier League titles, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and the League Cup. It was from the third season onwards that Anderson started his downfall. Issues with Sir Alex Ferguson over going to Brazil without his permission, and rupturing his cruciate ligament saw the midfielder have restricted appearances.

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The next couple of seasons saw Anderson fall from grace. His appearances dwindled as he struggled with injuries and poor form. The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 coincided with his downfall. The Brazilian made just ten appearances following the retirement of the legendary manager and moved to Internacional in 2015 on a free.

The Brazilian made 181 appearances for the Red Devils and scored nine times in a nine and a half year-long career. Sadly, he never realized the potential that won him the Golden Boy in 2008.


#4 Gabriel Heinze

The man who had the guts to ask Sir Alex to sanction a transfer to Liverpool
The man who had the guts to ask Sir Alex to sanction a transfer to Liverpool

The first South American defender to join Manchester United, Gabriel Heinze, joined the Red Devils in 2004 after an impressive spell with Paris Saint Germain. Signed as the replacement for Everton-bound Phil Neville, it didn't take very long for the Argentine to secure a starting spot.

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Heinze had an impressive debut season and won the Manchester United Player of the Season award, the first non-European to do so. The Argentine had a forgetful second year, missing almost the whole season after damaging his cruciate ligament.

When he returned the following season, the Argentine found it tough to reclaim his left-back position. But, he played most of the matches as a makeshift center back after an injury crisis.

Struggling to dislodge Evra, Heinze asked Sir Alex Ferguson to transfer him to Liverpool in 2007. But, the legendary manager refused and the Argentine moved to Real Madrid instead. Despite his acrimonious exit, Heinze is arguably one of the best left-backs for Manchester United in this millennium.

Sadly for Heinze, the Argentine missed out on the Champions League after the Red Devils won the trophy in 2008. Heinze still made 83 appearances and scored four goals during his stay. He also won the Premier League in his final season at the club.

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Published 16 Oct 2020, 15:51 IST
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