There is nothing better for boosting your worldwide profile than establishing yourself at a top club: just ask Luiz Gustavo. One of the countless players who leave Brazil so early as to be virtual unknowns in their own homeland, the hard-working midfielder has gradually forged a reputation on the Old Continent and forced himself into reckoning for A Seleção Brasileira.

A youth product of humble Alagoas state outfit Corinthians-AL, the rangy holding player earned a loan transfer to German up-and-comers Hoffenheim in 2007 - a move that came with a considerable change in both climate and culture. But the Sao Paulo state native did so well that, within a year, his signing had been made permanent, Gustavo’s performances in midfield being a key part of the club’s promotion to the Bundesliga and historic all-time high of 7th place in the top flight in 2008/09.


None of which escaped the attention of Bayern Munich, for whom the player signed in July 2011 and where he has been a regular ever since. Given his achievements with the Bavarian giants, it is only natural that Brazil recognition should follow. And, right from his first call-up back in 2011, the tall, composed left-footer, an adept ball-winner and passer, has been a frequent face in the Verde e Amarelo set-up.