Brazilians Abroad: Ramires Steals FA Cup Limelight

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IMarch 11, 2013

Brazilians Abroad: Ramires Steals FA Cup Limelight

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    Another week passes and a whole new array of Brazil-related talking points have emerged right across Europe, with the country's players as influential as ever for their club sides.

    This week's talking points come from England,France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as the phenomenal quality and quantity of Brazilian talent in Europe comes to the fore once more.

    Ramires took the headlines in England for his display in the FA Cup against Manchester United, but will Lucas Moura's injured ankle eventually be the big story of the weekend?

    Let's take a look at just some of Brazil's impact on world football this weekend.

Ramires Seals Chelsea Comeback vs. United

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    Chelsea looked dead and buried at 2-0 down against Manchester United after just 11 minutes at Old Trafford on Sunday but came back in the second half to secure a replay at Stamford Bridge later this week.

    Central to that comeback were Brazilians Oscar and Ramires, with the latter scoring a fine counter-attacking goal to add his side's second of the match.

    Ramires was vital to the Chelsea setup, providing an industrious buffer at the base of the midfield in the first half. According to WhoScored statistics, the former Cruzeiro man made more tackles and interceptions than any of his teammates.

    The introduction of John Obi Mikel, though, freed up the midfielder to influence proceedings in more attacking areas, which he did to great effect.

    Teammate Oscar would also be influential to his side's attack, creating several chances for teammates as well as assisting Ramires' effort. Only Juan Mata would spend more time on the ball than the Selecao star for his team.

    Defenders David Luiz and Rafael also appeared in the cup tie.

Coutinho Still Learning for Liverpool

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    It wasn't a great afternoon for Liverpool's Brazilians at Anfield, despite the club's thrilling 3-2 Premier League victory over Andre Villas-Boas' Tottenham side.

    Recent signing Philippe Coutinho enjoyed a lively start to the encounter and was heavily involved in the flowing attacking move that saw Luis Suarez open the scoring.

    However, the former Inter Milan midfielder quickly faded from the game and his pass statistics of just 47 percent completion will be of concern to manager Brendon Rodgers.

    The ease with which he was dispossessed will doubtless also be looked at.

    Fellow Brazilian Lucas Leiva was also not on his best form this weekend, with sloppy distribution marring some effective contributions in defensive areas.

    Both players, then, will have areas to focus on improving ahead of their next outing against Southampton on Saturday.

Lucas Injury Worry for PSG

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    What is the extent of Lucas Moura's ankle injury? It is an issue that will be on the minds of both Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil supporters as they look ahead to upcoming challenges on the horizon.

    Lucas was left using crutches after a tackle from French midfielder Thomas Mangani in his side's 2-1 victory over Nancy in Ligue 1. Results of an MRI scan on Sunday have yet to be announced.

    Photos were released by Lucas' press team on Sunday showing his ankle badly swollen and he would appear to be a major doubt for Brazil's upcoming friendly fixtures with Russia and Italy.

    For PSG, though, the consequences are potentially much greater, with an important Ligue 1 run-in and a Champions League quarter-final all to come within a matter of weeks.

    Given his impressive start to life in Paris, there is no doubting that they could do with his presence for those challenges.

Kaka Helps Real Madrid to Celta Victory

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    Brazilian midfielder Kaka came off the bench to win his side a penalty and secure all three points in victory over Celta de Vigo on Sunday night in Spain.

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for the visitors, but it was Kaka's run into the box, which saw him felled by goalkeeper Javi Varas, that led to the spot-kick.

    The appearance comes at the end of a good week for the much-maligned Brazilian in which he was recalled to the national team by manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

    Another Brazilian making headlines in the encounter was left-back Marcelo, who was handed the Real Madrid captain's armband on the night.

    It may not have been particularly convincing, but he escapes a difficult first game as captain with a win under his belt and Real Madrid's second-place challenge still in place.

Lima Once More on Target for Benfica

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    Benfica ran out 5-0 winners against Gil Vicente on Sunday night, with Brazilian striker Lima on hand to score his 12th league goal of the campaign.

    The former Santos striker has recently spoken about a possible nationality change in order to represent Portugal, with his ambitions backed by Portuguese icon Luis Figo as reported here on Mais Futebol.

    With the Benfica forward fairly free-scoring in the Liga Sagres for a second consecutive season, it is understandable that his international ambitions should be on the rise.

    In Brazil, though, his reputation remains too low to merit a call to the Selecao.

    Fellow Brazilians Artur and Jardel appeared for the table-toppers in their victory, while Spanish-Brazilian striker Rodrigo remained on the bench.

Amauri Bags Hat-Trick in Parma Rout

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    It's been a quiet few years for Amauri since making his Italy debut in 2010 with goals drying up in spells at Juventus and Fiorentina.

    Back at Parma, the scene of a successful loan spell around that period, the big Brazilian has recaptured some of his past form in bagging nine goals thus far in the 2012-13 Serie A season.

    When on form, he is a formidable threat and it was Torino who discovered that to their cost on Sunday as he scored three times, supported by the lively Raffaele Palladino.

    It could have been worse for the Turin side had the striker not also blazed a golden chance over the bar in the first half.

    Parma lie 12th in Serie A at present, with their win this weekend taking them to within striking distance of a place in the top half of the table.