Brazil must bounce back from disappointing World Cup campaign

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It just goes to show the incredible expectations the Brazilian people had for their side at the World Cup, that a fourth placed finish is being considered a complete and utter failure.

A catastrophic 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-final, followed by a humbling 3-0 defeat to Netherlands in the third place play-off left Luiz Felipe Scolari and his men facing echoing boos and the bitter disappointment of a country that expected nothing less than to become world champions on their own soil.

It was hard to see how Scolari could possibly keep his job even as the referee mercifully brought the slaughter to a close in Belo Horizonte.

When the chance to regain a little honour in the play-off was squandered to a superior Dutch side, it seemed the writing was on the wall for Scolari, as well as many of those deemed 'too mediocre' to play for a Brazilian national team. 

Despite the electrifying young talent of Neymar snatched cruelly away due to a nasty back injury sustained in the quarter-finals, the likes of Oscar, Thiago Silva, Hulk, David Luiz, Ramires and Dani Alves seemed more than capable of achieving success, even without their young star.

However, Thiago Silva was to miss the semi-final through suspension, Dani Alves was dropped due to poor form, David Luiz did little to justify his £40 million price tag as he moves to PSG and the attacking talents of Oscar, Hulk and Ramires were wholly ineffective once Brazil began to face the stronger, better organised sides.

Much of the anger from the crowd in the semi-final was directed at the substituted centre-forward Fred, who was awarded resonating boos and jeers from around the stadium as his image appeared on the big screen.

It seems unlikely he will be given another chance at this level. And, it seems he will not be the only one. With the Brazilian fans at the Estadio Mineirao cheering every German pass and booing every touch of the ball from their own side, every player in yellow must have been dreading the fallout from their capitulation. 

"I would worry that the Brazilian players might never recover from this," Rio Ferdinand is quoted as saying by "Some might not be able to come back from this."

With the country still reeling from their appalling exit and mixed feelings bubbling to the surface over the resignation of Scolari, how does the national team now move forward?

A new manager is, of course, the first order of business, with former Corinthians boss Tite, Sao Paulo's Muricy Ramalho and former Brazil boss Vanderlei Luxemburgo all early favourites to take over in the near future. 

Whoever arrives will have a hard job returning belief to this national side. Far too many under-performed in Brazil and the new boss will have to choose whether to cut them early on and begin the slow process of building around fresh players, or to attempt to solve the problem with the players he already has available.

A new centre forward is critical, following the severe disappointment of Fred and Jo, with perhaps only Alexandre Pato of Corinthians anywhere near the level required, although the initial excitement over his potential has cooled in recent years.

Without a key man at the tip of the spear, the entire attack is significantly weakened and the likes of Oscar and Hulk are unable to express themselves as the world knows they can.

Football is a huge part of life in Brazilian culture and a disappointing finish at their home World Cup led to an expected response of shock, disappointment and anger.

However, there is no doubt the country will quickly rally behind their new manager and Brazil could very well turn up in Russia in four years time eager for retribution.

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