Monday, August 15, 2011

The Brazilian Enigma

By Bagga Wilks

The Brazil under 20 edged Spain to reach the semi-final of the World Cup being played in Columbia. They will play Mexico on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 for one of the semi-finals. Mexico won the Under 17 World Cup for which they were the host.

Against Spain, the Brazilian Under 20 were outplayed. Spain had the majority of possession and Brazil kept giving up possession. In the overtime, tied at 2-2, Spain tired and the Brazilians finished strong. Unlike in Copa America when the Brazilian national team muffed all their penalty kicks against Paraguay, the Under 20s converted all four penalty kicks and squeaked through to the semi-final as Spain flunked two of their penalties.

The Brazilian national team not only failed to advance in Copa America, but was thrashed by Germany in an international friendly on Wednesday, August 10, 2011. The final score was 3-2 but the score belies the reality. The Germans completely dominated play and for most of the game the Germans had the Brazilians chasing in futility.

Mano Menezes will not survive as the national coach if Brazil continues to give those sub-par performances. The game has changed and perhaps it would be beneficial to Brazilian soccer to employ a non-Brazilian as the national coach.

After being in charge for a year, Menezes’ team has no chemistry. Danny Alves has not performed as a national player and his fellow full back Andres Santos has been equally lacklusure. Neymar and Pato as strikers do not make a compatible marriage and Lucio and Silva make an odd couple. Further complicating the back line is that Julio Cesa seemed to be rapidly rolling down the hill of Father Time.

The Brazilian Squad needs a blood transfusion and organ transplants to be competitive on the world stage. Menezes, the former Corinthian coach, is out of his depth. The scouting of players abroad in the top leagues will have to improve. Anderson of Manchester United will have to be a main stay in mid-field and once the Tottenham defensive midfielder, Sandro, recovers from his knee surgery, he should help to give that position the defensive and offensive capabilities vital to that position. Robinho is one of the few players in the squad who is playing exceptionally well. There is enough talent inside and outside of Brazil to mold a team that can give Brazil its sixth lien on the World Cup trophy when they play at home in 2014. If that is to occur, the Brazilian Federation has got to get cracking and put to pasture the leftovers from the Dunga era.

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