Brazil World Cup Blog

News, analysis, history, and discussion on all things Verde-Amarela

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Dunga’s False Nine Experiment

If you haven’t already, make sure you read Lisgarfund’s excellent breakdown on Brazil vs Holland from the 1998 World Cup.  In the meantime, here’s a little amuse-bouche to whet your appetite for Brazil vs Uruguay later tonight.  (A 3,000+ word amuse-bouche, because I’m addicted to words, apparently.)  Continue reading

Seleção Classics: 1998 World Cup Semi-final, Brazil vs Netherlands Part 2 by Lisgarfund

Note from Black Matt: This is Part 2 of a guest article written by our own Lisgardfund.  If you haven’t already, read Part 1 here.  Thanks again to Lisgarfund for this wonderful look at one of the most dramatic Brazil matches of all time!  


Second Half:

After an intense but scoreless first half, Brazil re-emerged from the tunnel firing on all cylinders. Continue reading

Seleção Classics – 1998 World Cup Semi-final, Brazil vs Netherlands by Lisgarfund

Note from Black Matt: Our own Lisgarfund has graciously contributed this amazingly detailed guest article about one of the most classic Brazil matches of all time.  This is Part 1, which covers the first half.  Part 2 will appear later in the month.  

Take it away, Lisgarfund!   


Whenever Brazil and the Netherlands meet, there always seems to be a feast of football. Brazil and Netherlands have met four times in the World Cup tournament and each time it has been a classic. Continue reading

Dunga Announces Squad for Uruguay, Paraguay matches

Dunga named his squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.  Full list after the jump. Continue reading

Guest Article: 2016 Wish List by Zetona

Note from Black Matt: I haven’t been able to finish Part II of my “Brazil All-Time XI” series, so February is “Guest Article Month” here on the site.  Kicking things off is our own Zetona, who gives us his thoughts on what Brazil need to do to make 2016 successful.  Later in the month, we’ll feature a two-part “Seleção Classics” article from Lisgar. 

So without further ado, take it away, Zetona! 

2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Brazilian football. Of course, we said the same in 2015, and 2014, and 2013, and 2012, and 2011, and 2010, and you know what, maybe I shouldn’t start this article with the tiredest of clichés. But by my count, between eight World Cup qualifiers, the Olympics, and the Copa America Centenário, we could see some players putting on the yellow jersey over 20 times this year,[1] more than any year since the 90s. The current side is a far cry from the glory days of the late 90s, and after the last two years of tournament disappointments and sub-par displays, there’s plenty of pessimism in the air. If the cards fall just right, though, this year could sweep those bad vibes away.

Here’s what needs to happen this year for it to keep us smiling.[2] Continue reading

Picking Brazil’s All-Time Starting XI, Part One

In a previous article, Five Thoughts on Brazil vs Argentina, I wrote the following:

“Dunga, I’ll always love you for what you did as a player. If I were to name my all-time Seleção starting XI , you’d be in it. I’ll always defend your first tenure as being underrated and under-appreciated.  But it’s time for you to go.”

The line about naming to my all-time Starting XI raised some eyebrows, as these things tend to do.  I still remember the consternation that arose when I put Bebeto in my list of top 20 Brazilians of all time.

So how could I name Dunga into my all-time starting XI?  What exactly is my reasoning?

It’s a fair question.  But rather than simply answer it and move on, I figured that now was as good a time as any for an article I’d long planned on anyway:

My Brazil All-Time Starting XI

In this article (which I’ve broken up into three parts because Part One alone is over 4,000 words) I’m going to not only name my all-time starting XI, but describe the rationale behind my own choices.  In doing so, I hope not only to answer the Dunga question, but provoke some discussion on what your all-time starting XI would be.  Because discussion is what this site is supposed to be about.

But before we start naming names, let’s define what we’re actually talking about here.  Continue reading

Five Random Thoughts on Brazil vs Argentina

Battling a cold, so let’s just jump right into it. Continue reading

The Well Has Gone Dry: Brazil’s Domestic Player Problem

Note: I have a lot of thoughts about Brazil’s insipid performance against Chile, but I think I’ll hold off writing an article about it until after the Venezuela match.  The way I see it, when two qualifiers occur in quick succession, they’re in many respects two halves of a whole story.  So I’ll wait until the second half unfolds before writing about it.  In the meantime…

This article is not about Lucas Lima.

It’s not about Oscar either. Nevertheless, you’ll see those two names more than any other as we discuss one of the largest impediments Brazil has to resuming its place as the dominant superpower in world football.

That impediment is this:

Domestic players have consistently failed to become consistent contributors to the national team Continue reading

Brazil 1 Costa Rica 0 – Match Recap

Note: Rather than try to provide a detailed, comprehensive breakdown of every match, which I don’t have time for (and is covered through readers’ comments anyway) I’ve decided to try something new.  Starting now, match-specific articles will follow a specific template containing the following sections: Starting XI, substitutions, Pre-Match Storylines, Moments of Note, Tactical  Themes, and Five-a-Side (five players who stood out to me, either positively or negatively.)  In this way, I can hopefully:

  • Write recaps more consistently
  • Cover the broad strokes so that anyone who didn’t watch the match would still get a feel for how it unfolded
  • Enable individual readers to dive deeper into the details with their comments

So without further ado… Continue reading

Rafinha: High floor or low ceiling? (Plus a few thoughts on Brazil’s midfield)

Back in March, when Brazil beat France, many of us remarked how Dunga’s side showed an increased commitment to building from the back, to using triangles and short combinations to work the ball down the length of the pitch. It was a welcome sign. Continue reading

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