The Brazilian top flight -- Serie A, or more commonly known as the Brasileirão -- has always been filled with young talent on the verge of superstardom. And that's still the case, but there has been a recent trend lately with big-name Brazilians making their way back to the league to finish up their careers while still having plenty to offer ahead of next year's World Cup. The level of quality has been evident on the continental stage as well. Aside from Brazilian clubs having won the last two Copa Libertadores, this season we've seen five of the eight quarterfinalists and three of the four semifinalists come from Brazil.
Be it Dani Alves moving to São Paulo in 2019 to the many recent moves with more surely come, the Brasileirão has become once again, and without a doubt, the top league in the Western Hemisphere. With more financial stability than the other clubs in South America and with players craving to come home, here is a look at the five biggest, most recent moves as the league continues to trend upwards. And to think, this list doesn't even include Willian, who is set to join Corinthians after ripping up his Arsenal contract, and central defender David Luiz, who has been linked to Flamengo and Benfica as a free agent.
As always, you can watch the Brasileirao on Paramount+.
1. Hulk, Atlético Mineiro
The striker joined Atlético Mineiro in January, and boy has the move paid off. The 35-year-old forward has turned back the clock with seven goals in his first 15 games after his run at Shanhai SIPG in China, helping Atlético Mineiro to a commanding six-point lead atop the league table, while also helping the Galos reach the Copa Libertadores semifinals. They may just be the favorite in the final with the former Brazil national team striker helping them knock off both Boca Juniors and River Plate in the last two rounds.
His fine form has even earned him a spot on the Brazilian national team for World Cup qualifiers in September after Tite had to find at least nine replacements after the.
2. Douglas Costa, Grêmio
A surprising move back to Brazil in his prime, the former Juventus and Bayern Munich man returned home to Grêmio where he started his career back in 2008. Despite the team trying to find some consistency, the technical star is expected to make a big impact when it comes to creativity in the final third when combining with new striker Miguel Borja.
He's yet to score since returning and left a cup game midweek early with an injury as Grêmio look to climb out of the relegation zone in the league. They'll need rely on his ability to regularly create space with opposing defenses looking to keep a second defender close to him.
3. Diego Costa, Atlético Mineiro
The former Atleti and Chelsea man was acquired by Atlético Mineiro on a free transfer after being a free agent since last year. The Brazilian-born ex-Spain striker signed a deal until Dec. 22, but is aiming to reach full fitness after starting just 43 La Liga games in his last three seasons with Atlético. If he can regain his form, and he has not disappointed with his debut goal, then Atlético Mineiro will have almost an unfair duo at striker in Hulk and Costa as they look to conquer Brazil and the continent.
4. Andreas Pereira, Flamengo
Never able to settle in at one club, the 25-year-old midfielder has undeniable talent. We've seen flashes from him during loans to Granada, Valencia and Lazio, and here's a chance for him in Brazil, where he'll play for the first time in South American soil. Born in Belgium while his dad Marcos Pereira was playing there, Andreas is so technical and creative on the ball, though finding consistent performances through consistent minutes has always been tricky. Despite going into a talented squad in Flamengo, he's already making a strong first impression with a debut goal off the bench. Perhaps this is what he needs to jump-start his career that was once destined for stardom.
5. Kenedy, Flamengo
Another guy who just can't stick in one spot, the winger was another addition to Flamengo, joining on loan from Chelsea. After playing at Watford, Newcastle, Getafe and Granada on loan, he too will hope to meet expectations and get things going on the right track, either to become a factor at Chelsea or earn a full move elsewhere. He played in 44 games for Granada last season and produced, scoring eight goals, but with so much depth at Chelsea, he's again pushed away.
If it goes well, who knows. Flamengo have shown they have the resources to spend to acquire or keep players, just like they did with Gabigol, and here are two more options for them that they hope pay off in silverware.
These are just some of the guys who have moved across the Atlantic to continue or revive their careers. With the influx in talent, the Brasileirão has become must-see soccer, and you can watch the league this weekend with Paramount+. with two big games on Saturday as Santos face Flamengo and Grêmio take on Corinthians.