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Sao Paulo on Wednesday night will play host to the finest of Brazilian talent, meaning European scouts could do a lot worse than turn their gaze towards Santos - Internacional

By Daniel Edwards | South American Football Editor

By any reasonable judgement, Wednesday's Copa Libertadores encounter between Santos and Internacional is an unmissable match. Bringing together two of the very best teams in South America, no less than the champions of 2010 and 2011 respectively, viewers have the opportunity to watch some of the most talented players on the continent play in this venerable, prestigious competition.

Aside from fans of the Brazilian giants and other aficionados of the nation's football, this clash will have no doubt been penciled in the diaries of the top European teams ever since it was scheduled. Both the Peixe and Inter are full of the talents who are expected to one day do great things across the Atlantic Ocean, with several of the youngsters already subject to interest from sides the caliber of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan and Juventus.

These clubs will have to wait at least until July for another chance to tempt their targets away from their native lands; but in the meantime presents the five prospects who will have more than a few watchful eyes on them come kick-off in Sao Paulo.

LEANDRO DAMIAO | Internacional

Position Striker
Brazil Caps/ Gls.
Transfer value
Interested clubs
Juventus, PSG
Chance of Post-Copa Sale
Inter moved heaven and earth to keep their Brazil international in Porto Alegre over the January window, but with several clubs desperate to add this talented striker to their ranks it was touch and go right until the final hour. Paris Saint-Germain were one of the rumoured suitors for Damiao, but even the presence of Leonardo and the promise of a bumper bid could not shift player or club.

The youngster's attraction to European clubs is obvious. A 2011 haul of over 40 goals are extremely encouraging numbers, and at the tender age of 22 this is his third Libertadores campaign, meaning big-game experience is barely a concern. Strong in the air, accomplished on the ground and with a striker's instinct for goal, Damiao will be Santos' main worry as they attempt to reverse their losing start to the Copa Group 1 and begin their journey to the knockouts.

GANSO | Santos

Age 22
Position Attacking Midfield
Brazil Caps/ Gls. 7/0
Transfer value
Interested clubs
Milan, Inter, R. Madrid
Chance of Post-Copa Sale 40%
For someone with so few years in professional football, the career of this enigmatic playmaker already resembles a rollercoaster. There have been brilliant moments on the pitch, and plenty of trophies and highlights so far. On the other side, injury has been a constant problem for Ganso including a debilitating seven-month lay off; as have the continuous polemics surrounding his future, fueled by a misguided desire to keep his options open and not commit to Santos.

An impressive start to 2012 though, typified in a brilliant cameo towards the end of Brazil's friendly victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina, suggests that after a forgettable last 12 months the real Ganso is ready to emerge and drive Santos in their bid to retain the Copa. He has the eyes of both Milan clubs eagerly watching, but the most pressing concern will be reigniting the at-times magical partnership with Neymar and proving again why Europe's finest were knocking at the door.

NEYMAR | Santos

Age 20
Position Forward
Brazil Caps/ Gls. 16/8
Transfer value
Interested clubs
Barcelona, Real Madrid
Chance of Post-Copa Sale 25%
The Brazilian press have almost run out of superlatives to describe their new favourite son, and if his career continues to take the same meteoric trajectory as seen over the last two years media elsewhere will be rushing to their dictionaries in order to keep the praise flowing. 2011's South American Player of the Year has fended off strong interest from Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona in the last 24 months, and if his form continues only more clubs will join his list of admirers.

Blessed with blistering acceleration, a sparkling array of trickery on the ball and a positional and support play which is criminally underrated compared to his other talents, Neymar is already the first name on Mano Menezes' Brazil team sheet, and it is hard to see him surrendering that place any time soon. Eyebrows were raised when he opted to stay at his hometown club until 2014, but if the 2012 Libertadores unfolds anything like last year's edition, even that guarantee will not stop the lucrative offers flooding in.

OSCAR | Internacional

Age 20
Position Central Midfield
Brazil Caps/ Gls. 2/0
Transfer value
Interested clubs
Barcelona, Juventus
Chance of leaving in January 40%
This cultured, unassuming midfielder has unwitting become one of the most controversial players in Brazil, as the former Sao Paulo trainee and his club find themselves alleged of poaching after Oscar walked out on the Tricolor in his early teens. For now though he remains an Inter player, and both the team and the Copa Libertadores are better for his presence.

Forming a top-class midfield alongside Argentines Pablo Guinazu and Andres D'Alessandro, this youngster's pinpoint passing, brilliant awareness and formidable long-range shooting make him the central midfielder that Brazil have been waiting for. A fact that many European outfits seem to concur with; Barcelona had been reported as keeping tabs on the 20-year-old international,  as have the Brazilian club's Milanese namesakes. But just as with Damiao, Inter's desire held out and a sale did not materialise - a fierce clash in midfield with Elano and Arouca is promised on Wednesday.

RAFAEL | Santos

Age 21
Brazil Caps/ Gls. 0/0
Transfer value
Interested clubs
Roma, Palermo
Chance of Post-Copa Sale
It sometimes feels like hundreds of young Brazilian playmakers and forwards are mooted as the new Ronaldo, Pele or Ronaldinho and put forward to conquer the world. Goalkeepers, on the other hand, enjoy a rather less-enhanced profile, and in the land of the Joga Bonito keep their head down with little fanfare. This talented Santos No. 1, however, may just be the exception to the rule.

Starting 2011 as the Peixe first choice at the tender age of 20, Rafael quickly made his position unassailable with a string of top-drawer performances, most notably in the Copa Libertadores where an outrageous display away to America in Mexico City stands out as a highlight. The youngster is a natural shot-stopper, and feels no timidity when he has to lay down the law to the rather more experienced men in front of him; no mean feat when left-back Leo is old enough to be his father!

Of course these heroics did not escape European eyes, and Palermo and Roma were two teams rumoured to be considering a move for the keeper; Rafael himself implying during the transfer window that a top club had already made a bid. Already in the Brazil set-up albeit without a cap to his name, another brilliant Libertadores would establish this youngster as one of the top goalkeeping prospects in world football.

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