Over the years, several Brazilian footballers have set the league on fire.

The Indian Super League (ISL) started in 2014 and has gifted Indian football with several domestic and foreign stars. Some players have created iconic moments in the league with individual and team performances. 

In this article, we will be mentioning the top 10 Brazilian players who have played or are still playing in India’s top tier football league.

10. Raphael Augusto

The midfielder joined the Indian Super League club Chennaiyin FC in 2015 on loan. In the same year, the Marina Machans won the title after defeating FC Goa in the final but Augusto missed the match due to an injury. He signed permanently for the club in 2016. The following season, he penned a two-year contract extension with the Marina Machans. CFC won the title in the 2017-18 season again, with the Brazilian scoring the winning goal. 

In 2019, he signed for Bengaluru FC on a two-year deal. He currently plays for Bangladesh Premier League club Dhaka Abahani.

9. Cleiton Silva

Cleiton Silva in East Bengal colours this season. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The striker joined Bengaluru FC in 2020 on a one-year deal, with an option to extend for another. After a two-year spell with BFC, he joined East Bengal for the ongoing season. Cleiton Silva made his debut for the Red & Golds in the Kolkata derby against ATK Mohun Bagan in the 2022 Durand Cup.

8. Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos has been described as the most offensive-minded left-back in the history of football. The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid player ended his professional playing career with a spell as player-manager of Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos (now Odisha FC) in the 2015-16 season.

7. Mailson Alves

The defender signed for Chennaiyin FC in March 2018. He scored a brace in CFC’s 3-2 win over Bengaluru FC in an ISL game and was named man of the match. Alves captained the Marina Machans in 2019 and led them to the runners-up position. The club also reached the 2019 AFC Cup qualifying play-offs for the first time under his leadership.

6. Bruno Pelissari

Bruno Augusto Pelissari signed for Chennaiyin FC on loan in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League. He rejoined CFC on loan for the 2015 season as well. He scored in the ISL 2015 final and helped CFC to their maiden ISL title. 

In 2016, he joined Delhi Dynamos. Pelissari was a part of I-League club Gokulam Kerala in 2019.

5. Rafael Crivellaro

In 2019, the attacking midfielder signed a deal with the two-time Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC. He was part of the team when they became runners-up in the 2019-20 season. He was named as captain of the club ahead of the 2020–21 season. Later, he was ruled out for the season due to an injury. He is currently a part the Marina Machans as they have extended his contract on a multi-year deal. However, he hasn’t been registered in the ISL squad.

4. Lucio

The Brazilian centre-back signed for the ISL side FC Goa as their marquee player in 2015. He made 14 appearances in his debut season as FCG finished runners-up. His next season with them was not successful, as Goa finished at the bottom of the table. Earlier, the defender had played for Bundesliga and Serie A clubs and even lifted the Champions League with Inter Milan.

3. Joao Victor

The midfielder joined the defending Indian Super League champions Hyderabad FC from a Greek professional football club OFI Crete FC in 2020. Under his captaincy, HFC won the title in the 2021-22 season, defeating Kerala Blasters in the final. The defensive midfielder continues to lead the side this season as well.

2. Elano Blumer

Elano was the first Golden Boot winner of the ISL. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Elano Blumer joined Chennaiyin FC in the inaugural ISL season. He joined as the marquee player of the Marina Machans and scored from a free kick on his debut against FC Goa, making him the first marquee player to score in the competition. He finished the season as the league’s top scorer with eight goals, bagging the Golden Boot in the process.

After the season, he signed for Santos FC. He once again made a return to CFC on loan in 2015 and was part of the team that lifted the title that season.

1. Marcelinho

The attacking midfielder signed for Delhi Dynamos in 2016. He became the league’s top scorer with 10 goals and subsequently won the Golden Boot. After joining a Brazilian top tier club in January 2017, he made a return to ISL in August, signing for FC Pune City (dissolved in 2019).

In 2020, he joined Odisha FC. In January 2021, he swapped clubs with Brad Inman and signed for ATK Mohun Bagan on loan till the end of 2020–21 season. He joined NorthEast United on loan in 2022 and played for the Highlanders till the end of the 2021–22 season. He is also among the five all-time highest scorers of the competition.

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