Brazil’s coach called up a really good squad—maybe the best of his entire tenure, considering the circumstances! Here’s the list of players who’ll be facing Panama and the Czech Republic at the end of March, directly from the CBF:
Alisson – Liverpool (ING)
Ederson – Manchester City (ING)
Weverton – Palmeiras
Daniel Alves – Paris Saint Germain (FRA)
Danilo – Manchester City (ENG)
Miranda -Inter de Milão (ITA)
Thiago Silva – Paris Saint Germain (FRA)
Marquinhos – Paris Saint Germain (FRA)
Éder Militão – Porto (POR)
Filipe Luís – Atlético de Madrid (ESP)
Alex Sandro – Juventus (ITA)
Casemiro – Real Madrid (ESP)
Fabinho – Liverpool (ENG)
Allan – Napoli (ITA)
Felipe Anderson – West Ham United (ENG)
Lucas Paquetá – Milan (ITA)
Arthur – Barcelona (ESP)
Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona (ESP)
Everton – Grêmio
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool (ENG)
Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City (ENG)
Richarlison – Everton (ENG)
Vinicius Júnior – Real Madrid (ESP)
Here are some quick takeaways from this selection.
On Thursday, February 28th, Tite will call up players for Brazil’s friendly games against Panama on March 23 and the Czech Republic on March 26. Ahead of that, here’s a status report on the players in contention for a spot:
For not being a (men’s senior level) World Cup year, 2019 is shaping up to be as hectic as it gets in international football. If all goes well we can look forward to cheering on Brazilian teams in up to seven international tournaments over the course of the year, and in between we’ll have a wealth of club and friendly games, transfer sagas, and the beginning of 2022 World Cup qualifying (!) to look forward to.
Here are a few of the biggest Brazilian football stories to keep an eye on in 2019:
The internet keeps trying to kill this site, but it refuses to die.
First off, I apologize for the unscheduled hiatus. Frankly, I still don’t know what happened. One day the site was working fine; the next day, it’s not. I didn’t change anything in the meantime, nor forget to renew anything, committed no heinous acts offensive to a higher power, etc. etc.
For some reason, the site’s domain (brazilworldcupblog.net) ceased pointing to the site itself. But that wasn’t the real problem. The real problem was that the site itself was just…gone. When I logged into my GoDaddy account, it was as if it never existed in the first place.
Tech support wasn’t any help, so I decided to do what I had intended to do for some time: Move to a new host. Which I did.
As far as I can tell, the site is largely back up and running now. I had to create a new banner, as you can see, as I no longer had the files for the old one. I’m not sure what I think of it, and may indeed create something better soon. Let me know if you like this one and want it to stay.
Disqus should be functioning – if not now, then soon. But all the old content is gone. I still have most of the original drafts, so I should be able to re-post most of it at some point, but it’s not a high priority item for me.
What about the future of the site? Good question.
Prior to the World Cup, Zetona and I had some talks about what we wanted to do with it. Unfortunately, the tournament itself largely sapped most of my enthusiasm for the Seleção, and life itself demanded my attention. (As an aside, it’s been a good year for me. I’ve sold four short stories, got a raise, and one of my sons made the Premier team for the oldest, and in my opinion, best, club in my state.)
At some point soon, Z and I need to resume those talks. In the meantime, rest assured that I will continue paying for this site’s existence, and will do my best to contribute the odd article here and there. Zetona, of course, is amazing, so please go check out his other work.
One thing that will happen soon: I’m going to launch some kind of GoFundMe or Patreon for the site. Many of you have very kindly volunteered to contribute already, which is EXTREMELY appreciated. The site itself, of course, will always be free. (And as free of ads as possible.)
Anyway, that’s all for – oh, I probably should make this at least SOMEWHAT football related, shouldn’t I? Well, here are some random thoughts I’ve had over the past few weeks:
Fred is not, not, NOT national team material. He’s ponderous on the ball and ineffective off it. I’ve never been a fan of his, but I did think he deserved a longer look from Tite. I no longer think so. Arthur, Allan, and Casemiro should be Brazil’s midfield trio moving forward, at least through the Copa America.
On a related note, I’m…intrigued by Richarlison. He’s a tremendous athlete, and while he sometimes looks like a giraffe on the ball, he’s fearless and seeks to impose himself on the game. I’m not saying he should be a starter or that he’s a capital g Guarantee, but he’s interesting.
Been very pleased with Neymar’s play of late. On a related note, the NEYMAR CENTRALIZATION SOCIETY is still accepting new members. All inquiries should be sent care of Saul Goodman.
For…sheesh, decades now, the midfield was Brazil’s big question mark. It still is a question mark, but I think the unthinkable may be happening: Brazil’s biggest weakness is on the wings. Our full-back situation looks increasingly dire to me.
I don’t love watching PSG (outside of Neymar), but Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3/4-4-2 hybrid is smart…and I think it would be interesting to see Tite try something similar.
We know this isn’t going to happen. But it’s fun to think about.
Okay, that really is all for now. Let me know if you run into any problems with the new site. Thanks again for your patience. Tchau!
Yesterday, Grêmio and Atlético Paranaense played out a 0-0 draw in the Brazilian league.
So? Why does this warrant a whole article, Zetona?
To answer that, we have to keep in mind the current coaching situation in the Brazilian league.
Good coaching, let alone attack-oriented coaching, has been something of a rarity in Brazil recently, which owes to a whole number of factors: a large number of “big”, historically successful clubs compete for a small number of actual prizes and titles, which means fans often have unrealistic expectations for success; many clubs give fans opportunities to buy memberships and vote on management roles, which gives them a level of influence that, if they’re impatient or overly demanding, can pressure the management into rapid-fire coaching changes; the resultant culture means clubs move for proven quick-fix coaches instead of trying to implement long-term plans to grow and develop their football, which usually just means hiring Joel Santana for the fifth time; and the CBF’s coaching licenses aren’t valid in Europe, which keeps Brazilian coaches out of big-ticket jobs abroad.
Due to the site crash, old articles like this one may not display videos and images correctly. Apologies for the inconvenience.
It’s World Cup year!
It’s still weird to say that. It feels like there’s remarkably little hype surrounding the coming tournament, even though we’re just a few months out. Living in the United State probably skews that perspective, given how the USMNT hilariously wasted their chance to go to the World Cup. But here on the blog, even though Brazil is arguably in better shape than in 2014 or 2010, there’s just not a lot of hype. The 7-1 loss to Germany in 2014 seems to have instilled a newfound trepidation, a fear that Brazil still has yet to fully overcome the faults that made that embarrassment possible and that something similar might happen again.
With all that said, today’s subject is a simple one. We’re four months out from the World Cup, more or less, and probably about three months out from Tite announcing his final squad for the tournament. One last pair of friendlies, against Russia and Germany, looms at the end of March. Tite and his staff are embarkingon what very well might be their last round of scouting before the tournament this month. We know, if not his exact selections, roughly what his team will look like. Four months out, where does that leave us? I’m going to go through it position-by-position, building from the back.