With the World Cup about to begin in Russia, we look at connections between Bristol Rovers Football Club and the 32 participating countries.
In some cases these connections are strong and multiple; in others they are tenuous, at best. Brazil are competing in their 21st World Cup Finals, having appeared in each tournament and have won the trophy on five occasions, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.
The Pirate Brazilian
The only Brazilian born player to play for Rovers was Alefe Santos d’Adabia, who scored once in 7 (+17) matches on the wing for the Pirates between November 2012 and the summer of 2014.
Born in March 1995 in São Paulo, but brought up in Southmead, Alfie’s goal was an equaliser six minutes from time at Mansfield, with a left foot shot from the right side of the box which deflected home off Antiguan Keiran Murtagh.
However, Rovers meekly surrendered their Football League status at the end of a disappointing campaign and he later played for Notts County and Yeovil Town.
The only other Brazilian to score a League goal for Rovers was Swindon defender Raphael Rossi Branco, born in Campines, whose own goal six minutes from time in September 2016 helped Rovers win 2-1 away from home.
A Brazilian Superstar
The only man to represent Brazil in international football and play against Rovers in competitive football was Oscar, who was in the Chelsea side which defeated Rovers 3-2 in the League Cup at Stamford Bridge in August 2016.
Born in Americana in September 1991, Oscar dos Santos Emboaba scored 21 goals in 131 League matches with Chelsea before joining Chinese side Shanghai SIPG in December 2016. He won 47 full caps for Brazil, scoring 12 goals.
Brazilian born goalkeeper Adriano Basso played for Bristol City in both their Football League Trophy matches with Rovers in February 2007; also opposing Rovers were Santos Gaia (Exeter City in 2002-03) and Ricardinho (Oxford United in 2017-18).
Guilherme do Prado Janeiro scored for Southampton when they played Rovers in League One in April 2011 as did Magno Silva Vieira for Northampton Town in February 2004. Argentinian Alejandro Sabella (Sheffield United), Portuguese winger José Dominguez (Birmingham City) and Turkish international Colin Kazim-Richards (Bury) all played against Rovers before furthering their careers in Brazil.
Alan Brazil (Ipswich Town), Derek Brazil (Cardiff City) and Gary Brazil (Sheffield United, Preston North End and Fulham) all played against Rovers during their careers.