Brazil World Cup Blog

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

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What Can We Learn From This Week’s Friendlies?

This week, Brazil plays two friendlies—Friday against Japan in Lille (7 AM EDT / 12 PM GMT), and then Tuesday against England in London (3 PM EDT / 8 PM GMT). These are Brazil’s last games until March, and the second-to-last chance Tite has to observe players before he announces his World Cup squad. Unfortunately, he called up a truly dour list of 25 players. If you need a refresher, here they are, copied directly from the CBF website:

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The Top 10 Brazilian Moves Of The Transfer Window

Due to the site crash, old articles like this one may not display videos and images correctly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

The most bonkers transfer window I can remember slammed shut a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s time to pick up the pieces. Since this is the Brazil World Cup Blog, I will, naturally, examine the most interesting moves for Brazilian players. Yes, our very own BrazilStats already wrote a far timelier list, but our metrics of what constitutes a top transfer are pretty different—not to mention that I’ve also included a second, equally consequential set of players: the biggest non-transfers of the window.

Without any further ado:

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What We Learned From Brazil’s Recent Coaches, Part 2: Rogério Micale and the Olympics

Due to the site crash, old articles like this one may not display videos and images correctly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

It has now been a year since Brazil won the gold medal in men’s football at the Olympic Games. It was one of Brazil’s most significant footballing accomplishments in years, particularly since Olympic gold was the last mountain the Seleção had yet to scale.

And yet, a year down the line, you can argue that it didn’t change a whole lot—at least, not for the better. Coach Rogério Micale showed that long-term preparation, with regular U-23 friendlies to build a cohesive team, could create a winning team capable of playing stylish football; he was fired six months later. Of the breakout stars from that tournament, only Gabriel Jesus really used it as a springboard to Seleção success; players like Luan, Felipe Anderson, Rodrigo Caio and Gabigol spent the ensuing year either underappreciated at the national team level, stagnating at a club that doesn’t appreciate their potential, or both. Weverton is still a regular selection in senior team squads, for some ungodly reason.

That’s not what I plan to argue here, though. Perhaps the Olympic campaign has yet to serve as the referendum on Brazilian football or the springboard for players’ careers that we hoped it might. Even so, it did a world of good for several of Brazil’s key players, gave fans and players some much-needed confidence about the Seleção’s abilities going forward, and taught some important (and occasionally sobering) lessons about tactics and team setup.

Originally, this was meant to be part two of a large-scale look at the work and legacy of Brazil’s recent coaches. It’s been long enough that that feels kind of quaint now, especially since Rogério Micale, naturally the focus of this second part has been fired. Still, I’m going to keep a similar format to part one—which you can find here—and explore the main things we learned or benefited from thanks to the Olympic campaign. Rather than group the lessons by positives or negatives this time, I’m going to start with what we gained from individual players and widen out into the collective and tactical aspects of the team.

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How’d That Wish List Turn Out? A Review of 2016 in Brazilian Football

Note from Black Matt: Many thanks again to Zetona who continues to step up as I take what basically amounts to a leave of absence from the blog.  Take it away, Z.

A year ago, I wrote a wish list of what I’d like to see happen in Brazilian football in 2016. After one of the most eventful, tumultuous years in the national team’s history, it’s time to look back and see how much of that list came to fruition—and to throw out some end-of-year rewards!

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What We Learned From Brazil’s Last Three Coaches, Part 1

Due to the site crash, old articles like this one may not display videos and images correctly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Here’s a special Christmas treat for you, courtesy of our own Zetona!

This summer, Rogério Micale led Brazil’s Olympic to their first-ever gold medal, finally doing away with the one nagging goose egg in Brazil’s trophy cabinet—a significant accomplishment, even if the Olympics are a glorified youth tournament. More pertinently, because it taught us a lot about the future of Brazilian football, in terms of young and upcoming players, forward-thinking tactics, and preparation and mentality. But to properly it into context, first we must remember what we were able to take away from Brazil’s other recent coaches. The reason why is simple: we learned a lot from each of their tenures, but little of it was positive.

Part 1 will be devoted to analyzing the work and legacy of Mano Menezes, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Dunga in their coaching spells post 2010, to provide a basis of comparison when I dive into Micale’s legacy in part 2.

Now that the intros are done, it’s time to take a nice, objective look at our past few coaches, leaving aside personal biases to really focus on what they did well and where they could have done better.

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2016 Wish List

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]

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What’s Next for Number 9? A Look at the Promising Strikers of the Brazilian League

Note from Black Matt:  this is the first guest article I’ve ever put up since taking over the Brazil World Cup Blog a few years ago.  I’m thrilled that the author is our very own Zetona, who has become our resident expert on the Brazilian domestic game.  (His overall knowledge of world football, of course, is equally extensive.) 

True story: a few weeks ago, when Zetona sent me his first draft, I opened it up intending to just glance at it briefly, then return to it when I had more time.  Fifteen minutes later, I had read the whole thing twice, having been hooked from the opening sentence.  I’m sure you will all enjoy reading Zetona’s thoughts as much as I did. 

So without further ado…take it away, Zetona! 

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