As Brazil thumped Honduras 5-0 this past weekend, one thing was evident in the Brazilian camp.
Well, despite the obvious margin of the victory, something else was clear for anyone who bore keen eyes, the samba was back.
Since the epic days of arguably the world’s greatest player, Pele (a certain Argentine would definitely not agree with this), to those of the mercurial Romario, Bebeto and all through to Ronaldo – Il Fenomino - running down to Kaka, the one thing that has always been present in all those all-conquering sides, the one thing that stayed consistent throughout all those vastly and variously gifted squads, is the togetherness and the infectious, admirable bond within the teams.
Between 2002 and now, that bond has not always been there, and even when it remotely was, like in the Confederation Cup tournament of 2009, it was not as evident for all to see.
Credit has to go to one Luiz Felipe Scolari, the man tasked to restore Brazil’s status. He is their super-hero, called in to the rescue in 2002 and called back in after Mano Menezes’ disastrous reign.
Already, he has started working his magic and Brazil has never looked in better shape, physically, tactically and most importantly, emotionally.
The love is there, the smiles are back and the bond appears unbreakable. From the players on the pitch, to the coaching staff, the medical team and the players on the bench, at any particular time, regardless of who they are playing, they look like the perfect family, Scolari’s family.
Any great time needs this kind of structuring. The great national and even club sides of the game bore this similar trait, a sense of togetherness and brotherhood. From the great Brazil side of the 70’s, to the towering West-Germany team of Ger Muller and Beckenbauer to the ridiculously talented Dutch group of van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.
Even the France team that conquered the world in 1998 through to Brazil’s Scolari-led side of 2002 bore the same characteristic. Closer to home, Spain’s record-setting side of 2008 to date has been the perfect example of what team unity is all about. Vicente del Bosque set about building a side capable of winning, keeping the ball and pulling together. All those have been achieved and Spain are the current European and World Champions.
Brazil won their 13th game in 19 matches, winning their sixth straight game against Chile. They now look like world beaters. Their 3-0 Confederations Cup final win against Spain made the entire world sit up and take notice of this new-look Brazil side.
The verve, passion, talent and camaraderie harmony within the camp forms the perfect blend and as Big Phil heads into the biggest and most important tournament to Brazilians, in their own backyard, all omens suggest July 2014 may very well end up being a very Samba one.
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