The history of Brazilians playing in Argentina

Rivalries in football can become very intense, to the point of creating a lot of enmity between people. These rivalries range from clubs with a common history that led them to that or with national teams that for one reason or another end up with a great sports rivalry. The case of Brazil and Argentina is one of the best known.

Normally, you would not see a lot of players from one country playing in the other's league. However, the economic gap that has existed for a few years between both leagues means that many Argentines go to play in the Brasileirao. In fact, for the 2023 season, there are more than 30 Argentines playing in the first division of Brazil and four as managers. The interesting thing is that not only currently, but historically, very few Brazilians have played in Argentina.

Next we are going to talk about some of the most notable Brazilians who have played in the Argentine league in recent decades.

Boca Juniors - front of their home ground
Pedro Iarley played for Boca Juniors in Argentina

Pedro Iarley

Iarley is one of the Brazilians who is remembered from his time in Argentine football, especially in Boca Juniors, the only team he played for in that country. During his childhood he practiced different sports, including futsal, where he developed his skill with the ball. His beginnings were in small clubs in Brazil like Ferroviario or Quixada and at the age of 20 he moved to Spain, where he started playing in another humble club, CD Foios, a team from the Valencian community.

Interestingly enough, he did not attract the attention of the important clubs in the region such as Valencia CF or Levante, but he did attract the attention of Real Madrid, which signed him for the reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla (called Real Madrid B at that time). After a couple of years with Los Blancos, where he did not make his debut with the first team, he would play for other lower level clubs in Spain such as Ceuta and Melilla.

He decided to return to Brazil, to play first for Ceara and then for Paysandu, where he arrived to play in the 2003 Copa Libertadores, in which they were eliminated in the round of 16 against Boca Juniors. In the first leg, the Brazilian club won 1-0 at Bombonera with a goal from Iarley. The impression the player left was so good that the Xeneize club signed him that same year, wearing the number 10 shirt. He became a cult idol for Boca fans because he scored important goals against Racing, San Lorenzo and River Plate in addition to helping the team win the Intercontinental Cup against Carlo Ancelotti's AC Milan.

A year later he would go to Mexico, to play with Dorados de Sinaloa and then return to Brazil to win the Copa Libertadores with Internacional de Porto Alegre and, later, the FIFA Club World Cup. His career would continue for several clubs in his country until, in 2014, he retired from professional football at Ferroviario.

Mario Jardel

In this case, despite the quality and level of Jardel, who became European Golden Shoe on two occasions, his time in Argentina was quite disappointing. He started at Vasco da Gama and then had a successful loan spell at Gremio where he won several trophies, including the 1995 Copa Libertadores, which earned him a move to FC Porto. With the Dragons, he played 175 games in 4 years and scored 170 goals.

Despite the interest of big European clubs, Jardel signed for Galatasaray in Turkey where he stayed for only one year, scoring 34 goals. He would return to Portugal, this time to play for Sporting CP, scoring 67 goals in 62 games, coinciding at the club with a young Cristiano Ronaldo, who, legend has it, learned to do headers from Jardel. From there, his career would progressively decline due to depression and drug problems.

Upon leaving Sporting, he would begin a tour of the world that would begin in England (Bolton), then Italy (Ancona) and Argentina (Newells). In the Rosario club, he would only play three games without scoring a goal, although he did manage to be crowned champion of Argentina, in that team led by Ariel Ortega and that had Américo Gallego on the bench as manager. From then on, he would pass through Cyprus, Bulgaria, Australia and the lower divisions of his country.

Guilherme Parede

Parede is a Brazilian striker who currently plays for Vila Nova in Brazil's Serie B, although he is there on loan from Talleres de Córdoba, an Argentine club that signed him in 2020 for 600 thousand euros. His career as a youth player was mostly at Operário Ferroviário, although at the age of 17 he signed for Coritiba, where a couple of years later, in 2015, he would make his professional debut. Due to the lack of minutes, he was loaned on two consecutive occasions, first to J. Malucelli and then to Ypiranga de Erechim.

In 2019 he had a loan to Internacional de Porto Alegre where he achieved some continuity, before being signed by Talleres. Although he began to have minutes with the Córdoba club almost from his arrival, he was loaned to Vasco da Gama and later returned to Talleres where he again had continuity until a torn cruciate ligament kept him away from the pitches for 237 days. When he recovered he was loaned to Juventude and the following year to Vila Nova, where he is currently.

Paulo Silas

Silas is a true legend in San Lorenzo de Almagro and is in the discussion to be the best Brazilian to ever play in the Argentine league. His professional career began in an outstanding way, first with Sao Paulo, with the Brasil national team under-20, then with Sporting CP and eventually playing with the senior national team in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He would have a brief spell at Central Spanish from Uruguay, as part of a "bridge" transfer to reach Italian football, something common in the early 90s.

The Italian Serie A was the best league in the world at that time and Silas played for Cesena and Sampdoria before returning to his country to play for Internacional Porto Alegre and Vasco da Gama. In 1995, he signed for San Lorenzo in Argentina, where he would leave an enormous example of his talent, playing more than 100 games in 2 seasons and scoring 25 goals, some of a quality at the level of very few. He came to be considered the best 10 of the 90s in Argentine football, something that is saying a lot for a Brazilian. For various reasons, he decided to return to his country to play there for the rest of his career, except for one season he played in Japan.