Balls of blistering light stalking shady streets, the Eiffel Tower crackling canary yellow and tropical green, classical strings giving way to a jaunty samba beat.

The medium were modern but the sell was decades old when Paris St-Germain teasedA�Neymar’s blockbuster arrival on Twitter in August.

Belle Paris and ‘jogo bonito’ in perfect union.

Marketing spin certainly, but there is truth behind it.

A search through the records of Real Madrid – Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 opponents – reveals a total of 24 Brazilians have pulled on the famous white shirt.

Domestic rivals Marseille have had 28 Brazilian players in their 119 years of existence.

Paris St-Germain, only established in 1970, have had 31

Even withA�Neymar absent with injury,A�their starting line-up on Tuesday could well contain three of his compatriots – Thiago Silva, Dani Alves and Marquinhos.

So how has a city without a common climate or language, lacking either a long history or sizeable expatriate population, become a favourite staging post for Brazilians coming to Europe?

It was a question that Rai was asking himself in November 1993.

A tall, languid playmaker with deft touches and sharp instincts, he had scored twice as Sao Paulo beat Barcelona in the Intercontinental Cup final the previous year, heralding a big-money move to Europe and Paris St-Germain.

“It was so different from Sao Paulo. The training was different, the city was different. I had been there a month before I saw snow for the first time in my life,” the Brazilian midfielder told BBC Sport.

Sports Reporter

Paulmikki Osude is a respected blogger who loves to discuss about sports,

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