Elano is an atypical Brazilian attacking midfielder, but one whose work ethic and direct approach appeal to coach Dunga.

He performed an important function as Santos lifted the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2002 and 2004, although his endeavours were often overlooked as the spectacular genius of Diego and Robinho commanded the headlines.

A move to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005 afforded Elano the chance to become an icon in his own right, and that he became, creating and scoring goals on a consistent basis as they won the Ukrainian league in 2006.

Elano joined Manchester City ahead of the 2007/08 season. Initially, he took the exacting English Premier League by storm with his industry, driving runs, inventive passing and long-range shooting. However, he fell out of favour during the second half of the campaign, and was often left on the bench. A similar pattern ensued the following term, with Elano beginning impressively but fading as the season progressed.

Elano made his Brazil debut in 2004 and thrived in a friendly against Argentina in London two years later: he scored two well-taken goals in A Seleção's 3-0 win. He also scored memorable goals in friendly defeats of Portugal and Italy in late-2008 and early-2009 respectively, and has gradually forced his way into Dunga's plans.