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Consistency, agility, precision and vision: these are the main characteristics of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders in activity, the subject of this text.

In the past, defensive midfielders were better known for their physical strength and lack of skill (with a few exceptions, of course) and yet it was a position that revealed and consecrated players we will never forget, such as Paulo Roberto Falcao, Andreas Pirlo, Andres Iniesta, among others.

best brazilian defensive midfielders

Today, the scenario is more demanding. With technology and advances in fitness techniques, the bar for assessing the best Brazilian defensive midfielders has become much higher.

Having said all that, it’s time to reveal our top 15 best Brazilian defensive midfielders, their numbers and also which ones are the most overpriced on the football market.

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How do you know who the best Brazilian defensive midfielders are today?

We’re going to use the SofaScore platform, which compiles data and information on all active players on the planet, as the basis for our analysis.

  1. Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa (England)

In first place on our list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders is Douglas Luiz. With a score of 7.27, the defensive midfielder has been a starter in 31 matches in the English Championship 23/24, scoring 9 goals and providing 5 assists so far.

AgeHeightStrong points
25 years1,78 cmLong ball
Creating moves
Source: SofaScore
Douglas Luiz, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Bruno Guimarães from Newcastle (England)

In second place in the ranking of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders is ex-Athletico-PR midfielder Bruno Guimarães. With a score of 7.25, the defensive midfielder has started 30 matches in the English Championship 23/24, scoring 4 goals and providing 5 assists so far.

AgeHeightStrong points
26 years old1,82 cmPositioning
High pressure
Creating moves
Source: SofaScore
Bruno Guimarães, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Casemiro from Manchester United (England)

Taking bronze among the best Brazilian defensive midfielders was our star man Casemiro. With a score of 7.18, the defensive midfielder has started in 17 matches in the English Championship 23/24, scoring 1 goal and providing 2 assists so far.

AgeHeightStrong points
32 years old1,85 cmPositioning
Source: SofaScore
Casemiro, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Fernandinho from Athletico-PR

A veteran, but very good on the ball, Fernandinho is fourth among the best Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 7.07, the defensive midfielder was a starter in 23 matches in the 2023 Campeonato Brasileiro, scoring 1 goal and providing 3 assists.

AgeHeightStrong points
38 years old1,79 cmCreating moves
Source: SofaScore
Fernandinho, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Marlon Freitas of Botafogo

In fifth place, Marlon is also among the best active Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 7.07, the defensive midfielder started in 33 matches in the 2023 Brazilian Championship, scoring 1 goal and providing 2 assists.

AgeHeightStrong points
29 years old1,85 cmCreating moves
Long balls
Source: SofaScore
Marlon de Freitas, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Andreas Pereira from Fulham (England)

Andreas Pereira has secured sixth place in the list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 7.04, the defensive midfielder has started 29 matches in the English Championship 23/24, scoring 1 goal and providing 7 assists so far.

AgeHeightStrong points
28 years old1,77 cmCreating moves
Source: SofaScore
Andreas Pereira, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Matheus Fernandes from RB Bragantino

Matheus Fernandes ranks seventh in our list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 7.03, the defensive midfielder started 31 matches in the 2023 Campeonato Brasileiro, scoring 1 goal and providing 3 assists.

AgeHeightStrong points
25 years old1,83 cmDisarm
Positioning
Long ball
Source: SofaScore
Matheus Fernandes, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Gérson from Flamengo

Gérson occupies eighth place in our ranking of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 7.01, the defensive midfielder was a starter in 31 matches in the 2023 Campeonato Brasileiro, scoring 5 goals and 8 assists.

AgeHeightStrong points
26 years old1,85 cmLong balls
Shots from outside the box
Foul tackles
Source: SofaScore
Gérson, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. André from Fluminense

The ninth-placed player on the list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders is from the tricolor carioca, that’s enough, André! With a score of 7.01, the defensive midfielder was a starter in 29 matches in the 2023 Brazilian Championship, hitting more than 90% of all types of passes and with an average of almost 7 tackles per game.

AgeHeightStrongest points
22 years old1,76 cmPositioning
Long ball
Source: SofaScore
André, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Joelinton do Newcastle (Inglaterra)

In tenth place, Bruno Guimarães’ teammate at Newcastle and also on our list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders, Joelinton. With a score of 6.92, the defensive midfielder has been a starter in 14 matches in the English Championship 23/24, scoring 2 goals and providing 1 assist so far.

AgeHeightPontos fortes
27 years old1,86 cmLong ball
High pressure
Positioning
Source: SofaScore
Joelinton, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Pablo Maia from São Paulo

São Paulo’s Pablo Maia is in eleventh place in our ranking of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 6.98, the defensive midfielder started 29 matches in the 2023 Campeonato Brasileiro, scoring 4 goals and averaging 6.3 tackles per game.

AgeHeightStrong points
22 years old1,78 cmLong balls
Shots from outside the box
Foul tackles
Source: SofaScore
Pablo Maia, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Caio Alexandre from Bahia

In twelfth place on the list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders could not be missing Caio Alexandre. With a score of 6.92, the defensive midfielder started 32 matches in the 2023 Brazilian Championship, scoring 2 goals and providing 2 assists. 

AgeHeightStrongest points
25 years old1,74 cmCreating moves
Source: SofaScore
Caio Alexandre, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Zé Rafael from Palmeiras

In our thirteenth position among the best Brazilian defensive midfielders is Zé Rafael. With a score of 6.88, the defensive midfielder was a starter in 31 matches in the 2023 Brazilian Championship, scoring 3 goals and providing 3 assists. 

AgeHeightStrong points
30 years old1,75 cmLong balls
Source: SofaScore
Zé Rafael, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Matheus Rosseto from Fortaleza

In fourteenth and penultimate place on the list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders, we have the new signing from Fortaleza. With a score of 6.84, the defensive midfielder was a starter in 21 matches in the 2023 U.S. Championship, scoring 1 goal and providing 1 assist.

AgeHeightStrong points
27 years old1,80 cmLong balls
Source: SofaScore
Matheus Rosseto, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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  1. Otávio from Atlético-MG

Coming in thirteenth place, Otávio is also among the best Brazilian defensive midfielders. With a score of 6.80, the defensive midfielder was a starter in 27 matches in the 2023 Campeonato Brasileiro, catching 90% of his passes and averaging 5 tackles per game.

AgeHeightStrong points
29 years old1,73 cmPositioning
Source: SofaScore
Otávio, one of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

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List of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders

  1. Douglas Luiz
  2. Bruno Guimarães
  3. Casemiro
  4. Fernandinho
  5. Marlon Freitas
  6. Andreas Pereira
  7. Matheus Fernandes
  8. Gérson
  9. André
  10. Joelinton 
  11. Pablo Maia
  12. Caio Alexandre 
  13. Zé Rafael 
  14. Matheus Rosseto
  15. Otávio

Best Brazilian defensive midfielders: the most expensive on the market

How does the list of the best Brazilian defensive midfielders look when it comes to market valuation? Check out the values we found on the football market:

  1. Bruno Guimarães – R$ 477.8 million
  2. Douglas Luiz – R$ 407,2 million
  3. Joelinton – R$ 244,3 million
  4. Casemiro – R$ 146,6 million
  5. André – R$ 141,1 million
  6. Andreas Pereira – R$ 105,3 million
  7. Gérson – R$ 84,1 million
  8. Pablo Maia – R$ 73,8 million
  9. Caio Alexandre – R$ 28,2 million
  10. Zé Rafael – R$ 25,5 million
  11. Otávio – R$ 23,3 million
  12. Marlon Freitas –  R$ 18,4 million
  13. Matheus Rosseto – R$ 7,6 million
  14. Fernandinho – R$ 2,5 million

*The values are approximate, depending on the Euro exchange rate.

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