Dante's impressive form for FC Bayern München earned him a place in Brazil's 2014 World Cup squad
Dante's impressive form for FC Bayern München earned him a place in Brazil's 2014 World Cup squad

Bayern's Brazilian rock

Since joining FC Bayern München after three years at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2012, Dante Bonfim Costa Santos, better known simply as 'Dante', has gone from strength to strength for both club and country.

Fixture for the Foals

Born on 18 October 1983 in Salvador da Bahia, in north-eastern Brazil, he moved to Europe as a 20-year-old and after stints at Lille, Charleroi and Standard Liege - whom he helped to the Belgian league title in 2007/08 - made the switch to Germany and Gladbach in January 2009.

Dante quickly settled into the relegation-threatened side and as well as his stabilising influence in the centre of the defence, he chipped in with a couple of goals against Energie Cottbus and Borussia Dortmund in his debut Bundesliga campaign as the Foals eventually steered clear of the drop.

A contract extension duly followed in the summer of 2010 and he went on to establish himself as the team's defensive lynchpin. He played in 33 of Gladbach's 34 league games in their astonishing 2011/12 season, which ended with the club reaching UEFA Champions League qualification rounds. In total, he made 93 league appearances for the Foals, scoring eight goals, before FC Bayern came calling.

Up to the next level at Bayern

Brought on board in Munich to add depth to the defensive ranks, his distinctive afro instead became a regular and popular sight at the Allianz Arena as he established himself in the first team from the off. 2012/13 turned out to be a record-breaking campaign as Bayern stormed to an unprecedented Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League treble and Dante was a virtual ever-present along the way.

The personal and professional success story carried over into the following season, which ended with another domestic double for Munich's finest, in the interim crowned 2013 FIFA Club World Cup champions for good measure. In March 2014, he extended terms with Bayern through to 2017.

Brazil calling

Dante's impressive club form led to a debut call-up for Brazil at the start of 2013 and that summer he helped the Selecao to victory in the 2013 Confederations Cup on home soil. That tournament served as a sampler for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, where FC Bayern's defensive rock earned his only appearance against his adopted home Germany in the semi-finals, only to be on the receiving end of an historic 7-1 humbling.