What’s happened to the once mighty Brazil?

Published 06/28/2015, 2:23 PM EDT


“Os ingleses o inventaram, os brasileiros o aperfei oaram.”

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Meaning – The English Invented it, The Brazilians perfected it.

That phrase came up in 2006. Historically, Brazil has been the most successful and consistent teams in world football. Brazil has amassed a total of 5 World Cups (a total 11 finishes in the Top 4), 8 Copa Americas and 4 FIFA Confederations Cups. The country has produced some of the greatest players of the sport across all areas of the field.

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The 2014 World Cup, which was hailed as a homecoming, as Brazil wanted to win their 6 World Cup (their 1 on home soil after infamously losing the 1950 Final to Uruguay), was nothing short of a disaster for them. Germany destroyed the hosts 7-1 in the semi-finals and Brazil lost the 3 place playoff 3-0. Conceding 14 goals in the tournament, Brazil joined North Korea and Saudi Arabia to have conceded 12 or more goals in the current World Cup format. The hosts performed just as good as the way the country prepared for the World Cup.

Dunga, who coached Brazil from 2006-10, rejoined as Coach after the World Cup. Winning 11 in a row, Brazil faltered against Colombia in their first serious test after the World Cup in the Copa America. Neymar was banned for the tournament for violent conduct in that match. Advancing to the quarter-finals without Neymar, Brazil were eliminated against Paraguay on penalties.

Brazil’s current squad is not their all-conquering and majestic playing squad that the world is accustomed to seeing? Is Brazil becoming a one-man team now?

Neymar has been the face of Brazil since he burst on to the stage in 2011, with many of their infamous names of the 21 Century retiring. The World Cup hopes were placed primarily on his shoulders. So were the Copa America as Brazil began to overhaul the squad.

The problem that plagued Scolari and now Dunga, is the lack of top quality players coming. The players are good, but they are not at the level, that the likes of Zico, Pele, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldhino, Kaka, Roberto Carlos, Cafu were (exception being Neymar). There is potential, but it’s not being realised. The players are nervous and let their emotions get the better of them on the pitch. We saw this indiscipine in the World Cup and we have seen it in the Copa America.

In Brazil’s Defence, the combinations are rotated so frequently, the players are not able to form a partnership that naturally comes with playing together. David Luiz is just not going to cut it (it’s a surprise how he made the FIFA Team of the Year). Thiago Silva and Dani Alves are ageing, but the new players are not getting time on the pitch. How can they develop?

Brazil’s Midfield is taking a new look with many youngsters being called up, who were earlier overlooked, but some of the talented players are being ignored. The strikers? Its just Neymar! They are dependent solely on the 23-year old for goals. That’s good, no doubt about it, but when do the others step up? Football is a team game. Brazil was a team, but this time it’s just about Neymar. What happens when he isn’t there? There are no goals in this team. Dani Alves, was the 3 highest scorer in the team behind Neymar and Robinho in the Copa America squad, with 6 goals and he is a defender!

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With Dunga rotating his squad to this extent (almost 60 players have been called up and played in the various internationals in 1 year), there won’t exactly be a steady core and understanding in the team. The older and ineffective need to be phased out and the more dynamic and consistent players need to come back in.

This Brazil team needs to toughen up mentally and not let their emotions get the better of them. This really has resulted in stupid yellow cards and red cards for the team. The squad needs to stop being dependent on Neymar for goals. If a team becomes a one man show, they are gutless when that player is unavailable and Brazil have experienced this twice. The offensive midfielders and other strikers that are selected need to turn up. Brazil has good service providers, the team has to make use of them.

In the Defence, a steady partnership needs to be formed between reliable defenders. Brazil has to address this in identifying young defenders who can be stable. They do have such players in the squad but are not utilized properly.

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Unless Brazil addresses these issues, they are likely to go back to winning just friendlies and slip even lower than 22 in the FIFA World Rankings.

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Gaurav

372 articles

Sports is such an amazing passion. A content writer of NBA

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