The top 5 Portuguese players to feature in the Bundesliga
Following Joao Cancelo's loan switch to defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, bundesliga.com casts an eye over five of the top Portuguese players - past and present - to have graced the German top-flight through the years.
Currently in his fourth season in the Bundesliga, Silva is having one more top campaign with Leipzig as they challenge on three fronts. With nine goals and six assists in all competitions, the Portuguese striker has featured in every game for Marco Rose’s men in a campaign that promises much.
A scorer of 19 goals in 53 senior internationals for Portugal, Silva landed in Germany at Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019. In his second season with Die Adler, the forward finished second to Robert Lewandowski and ahead of Erling Haaland on the top goalscorers’ list. His 28 goals that term is still an Eintracht club record, Silva surpassing Bernd Hölzenbein's previous club best for a single Bundesliga season.
He switched to Leipzig in 2021 and netted twice during the Saxony-based side’s successful DFB Cup run in his first campaign at the Red Bull Arena. Silva currently boasts 55 goals and 20 assists in 108 Bundesliga games.
Raphael Guerreiro, Borussia Dortmund
“I'm not your typical left-back,” the 2016 UEFA EURO winner once declared, and how that has proven to be correct over the years. A highly versatile player with an eye for a stunning goal and always on the lookout for a clever assist, Guerreiro – who signed for BVB from French side FC Lorient – is currently in his sixth season in Black-and-Yellow.
Having overcome various injury setbacks down the years, the 29-year-old is now one of the Bundesliga’s elder statesmen whose high-level consistency has proved invaluable to Borussia over recent times. A double DFB Cup winner with Dortmund – for whom he has netted 37 goals in 208 appearances – Guerriero has also won the German Supercup with the Bundesliga giants. The French-born full-back added UEFA Nations League glory to his EURO triumph with Portugal in 2019.
Hugo Almeida, Werder Bremen
Almeida initially joined Werder on loan from Porto in 2006/07, the season the River-Islanders reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals. His 10 goals for Bremen that term secured a permanent switch for the 6’3” striker and his immediate task was to fill the considerable gap left by the departing Miroslav Klose, who left for Bayern Munich. Almeida’s 11 top-flights goals in that second season helped the Green-Whites to a second-placed Bundesliga finish, behind Klose’s Bayern.
Now fully settled in at Bremen, Almeida flourished. He was a DFB Cup winner in 2008/09 and helped his team to reach the UEFA Cup final, although he missed the final loss against Shakhtar Donetsk through suspension. He would later help Werder qualify for a second tilt at the UEFA Champions League during his time at the club before saying goodbye to the Grün-Weißen in winter 2010. In all, Almeida scored 42 goals in 124 Bundesliga appearances.
Ricardo Costa may have been part of the 2008/09 Bundesliga-winning Wolfsburg side, featuring 11 times during the title winning season, but his compatriot Vierinha wins the Wolves’ longevity stakes in this battle of the Portuguese. The Guimaraes native moved to Lower-Saxony during the winter transfer window of 2011/12 and would stay for five-and-a-half campaigns, making 163 appearances for the club.
A DFB cup winner in 2015 when Wolfsburg defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the Berlin showpiece, Vierinha scored a hugely important goal for the club two seasons later. In 2017, the Wolves maintained their Bundesliga status with a relegation play-off victory against Eintracht Braunschweig, Vierinha netting in the second leg to keep Die Wölfe up.
Watch: Vierinha's 2017 relegation play-off goal kept Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga
Paulo Sousa, Borussia Dortmund
Injury problems plagued Sousa during his brief spell at Dortmund, during which he made 40 appearances for the club.
However, it just so happened that one of those games in which he lined out for the Bundesliga side happened to be the biggest in BVB’s history: the 1997 UEFA Champions League final. Sousa joined Dortmund from Juventus in 1996, where he had just been crowed a European Cup winner.
With the Black-and-Yellows, he helped Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side achieve the same feat and in doing so, Sousa became one of only two players to lift the famous trophy in successive seasons with different teams.
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