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Fenerbahce dances to samba beat
by Paul Kennedy, April 1st, 2008 6:45AM

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[IN THE SPOTLIGHT] Brazilians have long had a big impact in countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and France, but their influence has now spread to countries like Turkey, where Fenerbahce, coached by former Brazilian great Zico, is expected to start five Brazilians on Wednesday when it hosts Chelsea in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series.

EDU DRACENA. The 26-year-old defender has been on the fringe of the Brazil national team for several years but immediately stepped into the Fenerbahce lineup when he arrived in 2006. His strength in the air will be a key asset in Fenerbahce's bid to knock off Chelsea.

ROBERTO CARLOS. The former Real Madrid Galactico says it's "paradise" playing for Fenerbahce. The left back is still going strong at the age of 35 and hopes to play two or three more seasons for Fener before retiring.

ALEX. The left-footed playmaker is the Fenerbahce captain and most influential player. Fenerbahce won Turkish league titles in each of Alex's first three seasons. He arrived in 2004 and signed a new contract last summer that will keep him Istanbul for at least two more seasons.

MEHMET AURELIO. Formerly known as Marco Aurelio, Mehmet Aurelio became the first naturalized citizen to play for Turkey when he debuted against Luxembourg in 2006. The defensive midfielder arrived in Turkey in 2001 to play for Trabzonspor and transferred to Fenerbahce two years later.

DEIVID. The 28-year-old forward was a scoring machine in Brazil with such clubs as Santos, Corinthians and Cruzeiro, but he struggled in his first stint in Europe with French cub Bordeaux and then lasted one season at Sporting Lisbon before joining Fenerbahce in 2006. His two goals were instrumental in Fenerbahce's series win over Sevilla in the round of 16.

 



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