The boys from Brazil
Symbol of exotic Brazil, Carmen Miranda was in fact born in Portugal. When she was young, her family decided to try their luck down South American way.
These days, the flow is in the opposite direction. Bananas, said Carmen, were her business. The business of Braga, meanwhile, is importing Brazilians. The provincial club, who visit Arsenal on Wednesday, are attempting to disturb the peace of Portugal's traditional big three - Benfica, Porto and Sporting - with a squad that includes 17 representatives of the country's former colony.
Perhaps it is payback time. After all, the Portuguese contribution to Brazilian football is considerable - especially in the history of Vasco da Gama, the Rio club dominated by immigrants from the old country.
Elton is one of many Brazilians at SC Braga and throughout Portugese football
Introduced by the British, football in Brazil began life as an elite pursuit. It was transformed by the emergence of Vasco and their policy of selecting poor white and black players. Under constant attack from the established clubs, Vasco's place was assured in 1927 when they inaugurated their own stadium in the working class Sao Januario neighbourhood. At the time, it was the biggest ground in the continent, financed by contributions from the Portuguese small businesses that are so characteristic of Rio.
But it was Vasco's biggest rivals who enjoyed the services of the finest member of Portugal's footballing diaspora. Zico is the son of immigrants, as his nickname testifies. He was little Artur - Arturzinho in a conventional Brazilian family but Arturzico in his home. Shortened to Zico, he remains the all-time idol of the giant Flamengo club.
In the long run, though, it was inevitable that the flow would be reversed. For three reasons.
Firstly, there has been no large scale Portuguese immigration to Brazil in decades. The last wave, of young men seeking to avoid military service in the African wars of the crumbling Portuguese empire, ended in the mid-70s.
And thirdly, there is the rapid development of South American football after the introduction of professionalism in the 1930s and the primacy it achieved in the following decade while Europe had its mind on weightier matters.
Brazilian football was gripped with tactical curiosity at the time, which meant that one of the first things to come back across the Atlantic was ideas.
Flavio Costa, charismatic coach of Brazil in the 1950 World Cup, had some success with Porto a few years later. Far more important, though, was Otto Gloria, the grandson of Portuguese immigrants who carried Brazil's 4-2-4 system with him when he took charge of Benfica in 1954.
Along with huge domestic success, Gloria was also the man behind the finest hour of the Portugal national team. He took them to third place in the 1966 World Cup in England, playing some exhilarating football but also having few scruples about getting his defenders to hack Pele out of the tournament when his team met Brazil in the group stage. Four years later, he turned down the chance to take Brazil to the Mexico World Cup.
Brazilian coaches still come across to Portugal. Far more important these days, though, are the players. Portugal's World Cup squad included three naturalised Brazilians - Deco, Pepe and Liedson - leading then-Brazil coach Dunga to quip maliciously - when the two sides were drawn together in the group stages - that it was Brazil A against Brazil B.
These three are the tip of the iceberg. Last season, 181 Brazilian footballers moved to Portugal. The players union in Portugal is unhappy that more than half the players in the first division are foreign, the bulk of them from Brazil. One club, Maritimo, have even fielded a team made up entirely of Brazilians.
From the point of view of the Portuguese clubs, it makes clear sense to take advantage of the historical and linguistic ties by buying from Brazil.
With the size of the country and the importance of the game to the national identity, it is little wonder that Brazil produces players by the cartload. Many head for Portugal without having made a mark in the land of their birth, which does not necessarily make them mediocre. They could be relatively late developers, like Deco.
Also, Portuguese football can be an interesting stepping stone on the way to one of the bigger European leagues. Ramires is a good example. Benfica picked him up on the day he was first chosen for the Brazil squad and have since sold him on to Chelsea at a huge profit. They were similarly shrewd and successful with the Argentine Angel di Maria, now of Real Madrid.
Given the limitations of their domestic market, this would seem to be a sound strategy for Portuguese clubs and helps explain why they have extended their Brazil connection to take in the rest of South America.
There is no doubt, though, that Brazilian players give the side its flavour. The team that lost 3-2 to Porto on Saturday included only one Portuguese, with seven Brazilians in the starting line-up and another four on the bench.
Some of those have played almost their entire career in Portugal. Others made some impact on the Brazilian game before heading across the Atlantic. Only one, though, is a household name back home - goalkeeper Felipe, recently acquired from Corinthians.
Talented but temperamental, he appears to have struggled to adapt to faster European pitches. Or perhaps a lay-off while he was in dispute with Corinthians has taken the edge off his game. Wednesday would be an excellent moment to rediscover his touch.
A provincial Portuguese side against Arsene Wenger's cosmopolitan giants, Braga have tried to level the playing field by investing in Brazilians. To have much of a chance at the Emirates, it would help if their keeper can find the form that made him an idol with one of Brazil's biggest clubs. If not, then perhaps Braga fans will be dwelling on the title of Carmen Miranda's last film - 'Scared Stiff'.
No space for questions this week - normal service resumes next time. Comments on the piece in the space provided. Questions on South American football to firstname.lastname@example.org.