Brazilian football heads into an uncertain future
Two back-to-back dismal performances first at home the 2014 World Cup and now the Copa America 2016 has put a question mark over Brazil's football future
It is only the second time in the Copa America’s 100-year history, Brazil crashed out of the tournament’s first round after a controversial and improbable 1-0 loss to Peru in Massachusetts, US. Peru forward Raul Ruidiaz scored the only goal of the game on 75 minutes, deflecting an Andy Polo cross into the Brazilian net. However, replays clearly showed the Peruvian striker blatantly used his right arm to direct the ball towards the goal. Some calling it as replica of Maradona’s famous hand of God goal against England during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and others calling it as hand of devil goal.
Fervently accusing the referee for giving Peru for that goal is however not enough for Brazil to mourn yet another loss . They should also remember that they failed to score a goal after getting numerous chances . They showed some attacking instinct too in the match but that did not help .
It looks like team badly missed their play-maker Neymar in the ground, his cunning passes, runs and his composure in front of the goal. The team failed to score against Paraguay and Peru. Losing to the Peruvians for the first time in 31 years and being the only team in Group B to concede a goal to minnows Haiti, they did not deserve to go far in the tournament. Scoring seven goal against minnows like Haiti is no a big deal.
Moreover, the overdependent on superstar Neymar is not a good sign for the side. They have to move on from that. It seems like the ghost of 2014 World Cup semi finals the 7-1 rout by eventual Champions Germany is still in their minds. Time and again, they are repeating the same mistakes. And this is not the first time that is happening in the Brazilian football.
In the last ten years, Brazil is not even shadow of their glorious past. In 2006 and 2010, the team crashed of the World Cup in quarter-finals and 2014 they lost to Germany in the semi-fianals 7-1 in front of their own fans.
In these years Selecaos managed to win three Confederations cup and one Copa America. These teams have heavily depended on one or two players – 2006 it was Ronaldinho and Kaka, in 2010 it was Kaka and Neymar was their trump card in 2014. This kind of dependency is very unusual in Brazilian football. In 1958 Pele was their star player, but there was likes of Vava, Garrincha and Dida were there in the team. The same thing was happened in all the five World Cups they won (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002).
They are losing the midas touch in the ground. The short passes, quick dribbles and third-man runs made the legendary footballer Pele refer football as the ‘beautiful game’. Selecaos once was known for its unique kind of style. In Brazil, football is seen as an art and the players are artists who draw the most vivid pictures on the ‘green canvas.’ Everyone remembers 1982 Brazilian World Cup. Tales of their glories have entered folklore despite the team not winning in the competition. Yet, Socrates, Zico, Falcao, Eder, Junior and Tostao are still worshipped as Gods in their homeland.
Many consider the Brazilian team of 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are one of the best teams that played the game.
But In the last two years Brazil eliminated from the 2015 Copa America at the quarter-final stage, drop out of the qualifying places for the 2018 World Cup – currently they are sixth in Latin America, only four teams directly qualifies from the continent and fifth has only half chance as they have to play in the play-offs – and now be sent home in the very first round of the Copa America Centenario.
Brazil coach Dunga went into this tournament already under pressure, as shown by his surprising choice to play a more attacking and free-flowing system as opposed to his usual cynical, counterattacking style. But after their exit from the tournament it looks Dunga likely to be shown the door. He was already a tried and tested coach in the 2010 World Cup. And it is very difficult to understand what prompted the Brazilian federation to re-appointed him as the national coach after 2014 World Cup.
In a place where football is a passion and a way of life. Brazil Football Association has to sit and rethink about the current situation of the team. Still the country is producing plenty of players who can win big tournaments . But as a team their performance was dismal to say the least.
If they want to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, they will have to change a lot. Otherwise, the football fans from all over the world will witness the first World Cup without Brazil in its 90 years long history.