Where are they now? Brazil Serie A’s Best Newcomer award winners

Where are they now? Brazil Serie A’s Best Newcomer award winners

Introduced in 2007, the Best Newcomer award is handed out to the breakthrough young talent in Brazil’s Serie A.

It is an accolade that can pave the way to prestigious European clubs. So what has become of the 10 recipients so far?

2007 – Breno

Age at time of award: 17

Position: Centre Back

International apps: 0

Career path: Sao Paulo, Bayern Munich, FC. Nurnberg (loan), Sao Paulo, Vasco da Gama


Let’s start off with a bizarre story involving the winner of the 2007 Best Newcomer. Shortly after claiming the award, Breno earned a €12m move to Bayern Munich, where he was immediately integrated into the first-team squad.

But after struggling to secure a place in the starting XI at Bayern, Breno was loaned to FC Nurnberg and a serious knee injury sustained while there proved to be the start of the promising defender’s troubles.

In April 2012, Breno was handed a prison sentence of three years and nine months after being found guilty of committing arson on his own house. He was released in December 2014 and has since returned home to play for his first club, Sao Paulo, but currently he represents Vasco da Gama

2008 – Keirrison

Age: 19

Position: Striker

International apps: 0

Career path: Coritiba, Palmeiras, Barcelona, Benfica (loan), Fiorentina (loan), Santos (loan), Cruzeiro (loan), Coritiba, Londrina, Arouca, Coritiba FC, Londrina (loan), Coritiba


After scoring goals on a frequent basis with Coritiba and then Palmeiras, Keirrison earned a dream move to the then-European champions Barcelona, managed by none other than Guardiola himself.

Securing first-team football was always going to be a tough ask, though, with Lionel Messi, David Villa, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all at the club but, unfortunately, Keirrison was unable to make an impact during his numerous loan spells away from Camp Nou, too.

He failed to make a single appearance for Barcelona and, after a litany of loan moves, eventually left in 2014 to return to Coritiba, eventually joining Serie B side Londrina this year.

2009 – Fernandinho

Age: 23

Position: Attacking-midfield

International apps: 0

Career path: Iraty, Daejeon Citizen (loan), Citizen AA (loan), Gremio Barueri, Sao Paulo, Al-Jazira, Atletico Mineiro (loan), Gremio, Hellas Verona (loan), Flamengo (loan), Chongqing Lifan


Nope, not that one. Unlike the Manchester City enforcer, this Fernandinho was an attacking player and a pretty good one at that, scoring goals and providing assists for the unfashionable Gremio Barueri club.

In hindsight, Fernandinho should have stayed put as big moves to Sao Paulo and then Al-Jazira failed to work out and after various loan spells he now finds himself playing for Chongqing Lifan in the Chinese Super League.

2010 – Bruno Cesar

Age: 21

Position: Forward

International apps: 2

Career path: Santo Andre, Corinthians, Benfica, Al-Ahli, Palmeiras (loan), Estoril, Sporting CP

Bruno Cesar

An impressive debut season with Corinthians which yielded 14 goals in 31 games was enough to persuade Portuguese giants Benfica to shell out €6m to bring Bruno Cesar to Europe.

Cesar made a promising start to his career in Lisbon scoring ten goals in 26 Primeira Liga games in his first season, but after slipping down the pecking order the following campaign, he headed to Saudi Arabia.

Now aged 29, he has since returned to Portugal, turning out for Benfica’s fierce rivals Sporting CP, who use him as a utility man.

2011 – Wellington Nem

Age: 19

Position: Winger

International apps: 3

Career path: Fluminense, Figueirense (loan), Shakhtar Donetsk, Sao Paulo (2017 loan)

Wellington Nem

An outstanding season on loan at Figueirense brought Wellington Nem to the attention of Shakhtar Donetsk, who have made a habit of hoovering up the best up and coming talent from Brazil over the past decade.

Nem is still contracted to the Ukrainian side but unlike the likes of Willian, Douglas Costa, and Luiz Adriano, who also donned the amber and black stripes, he is yet to fully showcase his skills on a regular basis.

2012 – Bernard

Age: 19

Position: Attacking-midfield

International apps: 14

Career path: Atletico Mineiro, Democrata-SL (loan), Shakhtar Donetsk, Everton


Everton’s latest signing was perennially linked to a host of Premier League clubs, notably Arsenal and Spurs, before completing his free transfer to Goodison Park.

His scintillating displays at Atletico Mineiro saw him make the move to Ukraine. There, Bernard emerged as a key player at Shakhtar during his three years with the club, without perhaps kicking on as much as was previously expected., His reputation was also tainted by his presence in the Brazil team humiliated 7-1 by Germany four years ago.

2013 – Marcelo Cirino

Age: 21

Position: Striker

International apps: 0

Career path: Atletico Paranaense, Vitoria (loan), Flamengo, Internacional (loan), Al Nasr (loan), Atletico Paranaense


Unlike virtually everyone else on this list, Marcelo’s Best Newcomer award didn’t culminate in a move to Europe as he remained with Atletico Paranaense for a further season.

In total, he netted 30 goals in 108 appearances for the club before joining Flamengo in 2015 where he has been noticeably less prolific, scoring only twice in 38 matches.

2014 – Erik Lima

Age: 19

Position: Striker

International Apps: 0

Career path: Goias, Palmeiras, Atletico Mineiro (loan)

erik lima

The Brazil Under-23 international burst onto the scene in 2014 while playing for Goias, for whom he averaged a goal every three games.

In 2015, despite interest from European clubs including Fenerbahce, Lima opted to stay in Brazil, signing a five-year deal with Palmeiras, where he currently still plays.

2015 – Gabriel Jesus

Age: 18
Position: Striker
International Apps: 22
Career path: Palmeiras, Manchester City

During Pep Guardiola’s first summer in charge, Manchester City’s spending soared past the £100m mark with the £27m capture of highly sought-after Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras. The 21-year-old forward officially linked up with his new club in January after seeing out the remainder of the Brazilian league season with Palmeiras.

Even with his career, at that point, very much in its infancy, Jesus had achieved plenty in the game, scoring 26 goals in 67 appearances for his club as well as three in four for Brazil’s Under-23 side.

As City look to retain the Premier League title, Jesus goes into the new season off the back of a disappointing World Cup. Even so, with 20 goals in 39 Premier League games, many expect this to be the season Jesus solidifies his status as City’s first-choice striker ahead of club legend Sergio Aguero.

2016 – Vitor Bueno

Age: 22
Position: Attacking-midfielder
International Apps: 0
Career path: Botafogo, Santos (loan), Santos, Dynamo Kiev (loan)

Botafogo Futebol Clube (SP), not to be confused with Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas (the club Garrincha made world famous), the young Bueno would ultimately join regional powerhouse Santos where his talents began to shine.

However, it’s in Europe where his immediate future lies, as the attacking midfielder recently signed a two-year loan contract with Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv.

2017 – Arthur

Age: 21
Position: Midfielder
International Apps: 0
Career path: Gremio, Barcelona

A talented controlling midfielder, Arthur was the pivot behind Grêmio’s recent Copa Libertadores triumph, so much so it convinced Barça to make him their first major acquisition ahead of the 2018/19 season.

Though yet to earn a full international cap, many tipped Arthur to make Brazil’s squad at this summer’s World Cup, but a call-up from Tite never materialised but that should change soon.