Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

A dearth of talent in A Seleção

They can't even successfully pose for the camera!

Following Dunga’s resignation after the last World Cup, Mano Menezes  appointment as the new coach for the Brazilian National team was supposed to usher in a new set of Samba stars as the South American football-crazy nation looked to build a solid team for the next mundial which would be hosted on home soil.
With less competitive games coming up, The Canarinhas embarked on a World tour of friendly matches to tune up for the 2011 Copa America as well as building a platform for the team for the 2014 World Cup.
A good number of the South Africa band (those who were are the last World Cup in Africa) are still in his team while a new set of younger lads have been added to the freshen up mix.

In Mano’s first eight official games, his team won five, lost two and played one draw. The Brazilian Samba play appeared to be back after the rigid counter-attacking football of Dunga’s tenure. The last two friendlies before the Copa America revealed a different side to Menezes’ team – A goalless drew against their World Cup nemesis Netherlands in Goiania was followed by a labored 1-0 win over Romania three days later.

With their poor display at the 2011 Copa America where they they came as defending champions, A Seleção drew their first two group games against Venezuela and Paraguay and were on the brink of  elimination at the group stage till they  rallied to a 4-2 victory  over Ecuador in the last group game. However  they were sent packing  in the Quarter finals by Paraguay in a game that ended goalless. In the Penalty shootout that ensued, the Brazilians failed to convert a single spot kick. Amazing!

I have taken a critical look at the team. This led to my thought – A dearth of quality in A Seleção

The Samba boys did not entertain us, they played poorly with no co-ordination and there was no satellite in the team how much more a star.

Julio Cesar is a good goalkeeper but his errors in 2011 alone for both club and country makes me have a rethink about his qualities as a reliable last line of defense.

For a country not really blessed with exceptional centre halves, this crop have good ones now (Lucio, Thiago Silva, David Luiz) but still, their strength in defense are their full backs or wings backs who give a lot to the team when defending and attacking as well. No quality replacement for Roberto Carlos and Cafu. Andre Santos is a No for me, Marcelo is manageable. Dani Alves has shown severally that he isn’t in the class in spite of all his Barca’s performances while Maicon’s poor season is inexplicable.

The central midfield pairing of Lucas Leivia and Ramires. Are they best available? No disrespect to either player as they ply their trade in the Barclays Premier League in England but I feel they are not Samba quality. I remember Dunga, Emerson, Gilberto Silva etc.

Kaka', Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Cafu?

The attacking midfielders and forwards which have been Brazil’s weapon in the past calls for scrutiny too. Ganso is not a Kaka’ replacement as he seems a bit slow and relies more on his technical attributes – A Juan Roman Riquelme to me. How much success did Roman bring to his national team? Endless names like Ronaldinho, Kaka’, Rivaldo, Leonardo comes to ones mind.

Highly rated Neymar is a diamond in the dirt. A talent who needs to be nurtured and integrated slowly into A Seleção with less pressure. Elano and Robinho haven’t cut it as expected – they keep blowing hot and cold.
Alexandre Pato is Menezes’ point man in attack but his 6 goals in 16 appearances since he debuted in 2008 cannot give comfort to anyone as Brazil continue to search effectively for Ronaldo Nazirio de Lima’s replacement five years after he stopped featuring for the national team. Some will say Luis Fabiano but where is he today?

No... he can't be seeking inspiration from here

Menezes future is not certain with his team’s poor showing at the COMEBOL tournament. Passionate Brazilians need to look inward to realize that 2014 World Cup dream might be more than a mountain to climb, particularly with Spain’s domination of World football and the likes of Germany getting stronger not to forget their neighbours Uruguay.

The latest FIFA ranking has seen the once table topping A Seleção drop to a lowly fifth place.. yes lowly by their standard! An outcome of the dearth of talents which has lead to poor football display and consequently poor results.

A dearth of quality talent is a reality dawning on A Seleção!

Can Marta lead Brazil to World Cup glory?

Brazilian Superstar

The future of the game is in women football. The FIFA Women World Cup which is the brain child of former FIFA President Joao Havelange has come to stay and potentially challenge the Men’s tournament (my personal opinion while I was watching Germany take on Canada last sunday with a full house at the Berlin stadium).

The seventh edition which is being held in Germany has lived up to its billing with good football and unrivaled passion.

Brazil is a name that spells football, however it is surprising that A Seleção, Brazil women’s national football team, are yet to land the coveted World trophy. Their best shots so far is a bronze medal finish at the 1999 edition and a heart-break final loss to Germany in 2007.

She's collected the trophy every year since 2006...

A Seleção are determined to go a step further than the last time with five-time women’s world footballer of the year, Marta Vieira da Silva in their team. For the super star in particular, the World Cup success is a personal target or accomplishment for her as she has achieved a lot in her career. Not only has she won FIFA’s top individual prize in the last five years, she has also consistently helped her club sides to titles with her phenomenal goal-scoring prowess. At the last World Cup in China, Marta won both the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot with seven goals. The powerful Brazilian has already made it clear to her team that the time has come for Brazil to win the title.

“We really want to win it, it’s a title that we’ve had in our hands in the past but didn’t win because of small details,”

said Marta.

For a long time now, we have shown we have a wealth of talent in our ranks. We’ve reached two Olympics finals and one World Cup final. Now, the time has come to win.

She emerged on the international stage in 2004 when she won the Golden Ball at the under-20 Women’s World Cup. Since then Marta has become a key part of the Brazilian team and wears the coveted number 10 jersey scoring an amazing 79 goals in 69 games for her country. She is the only woman to have left her footprints in the walk of fame at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janiero. In order to make her dreams become a reality, Marta and her compatriots will have to navigate their channels well in the three weeks tournament while expecting fierce challenges from the defending champions and host, Germany and heavy weights like USA, Sweden and Nigeria (Loool. Yes! Nigeria is the dominant name in Africa). The soccer passionate country will be hoping A Seleção’ clinch the World title that has eluded them come July 17 with the huge weight of expectation squarely on the shoulders of Western New York Flash striker.

She'll want a less individual Golden award this time around