GiveMeSport contributor Derek Morriss takes you through a three part series on how Brazil must move on from their World Cup disappointment.
The Brazil squad that Luiz Felipe Scolari chose to represent Brazil at their own World Cup, was the worst Brazil squad ever assembled. Here, I'll take a look at those who made it, and those who will hopefully be called up in future.
The goalkeepers chosen for the World Cup were Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo) and Victor (Atletico Mineiro)
At the 2010 World Cup, Brazil were coasting to victory against Holland, when Cesar let a Wesley Sneijder cross through his fingers to let Holland back into the game. Brazil would go on to lose and Cesar blamed himself for the defeat.
At the 2014 World Cup, Cesar didn’t really put a foot wrong. He was badly let down by the players in front of him and was fighting a losing battle throughout the games against Germany and Holland.
New blood in goal
He’ll probably be cast aside now, but I for one will always consider Julio Cesar to be up there with Taffarel, Marcos and Dida as top class Brazilian World Cup 'keepers.
The other two goalkeepers taken to the World Cup are Jefferson and Victor. Neither have really staked a claim to replace Cesar as the No.1, so I would quite like to see the next Brazil manager take a punt on Gabriel.
The 21 year-old who currently plays for Milan. He may well have to leave Milan to secure regular first team football, but he impressed me during the 2012 Olympics and was the Brazil 'keeper when they won the 2011 U20 World Cup. If given the chance, Gabriel could be first choice keeper for years to come.
Right-back has been a bit of a problem area for Brazil ever since Cafu retired. The job has been shared over the last eight years between Dani Alves and Maicon. Those two were the two chosen by Scolari for the 2014 World Cup.
Dani Alves plays for Barcelona, and is great when he gets forward to link up with the wonderful attacking players that Barcelona have. He is an abysmal defender though, and seems to have lost a yard of pace of late.
Take a look at the German defensive line. They play a flat back four, and occasionally, Lahm gets forward, but more often than not they keep their discipline, sit back and focus on their defensive duties. They are not frustrated midfielders or wingers who feel as though they are missing out on the fun just because they have to stay back.
Compare and contrast this with the Brazil team. Dani Alves, David Luiz and Marcelo all love to bomb forward and join in with the attacks. At most, one of them should do it at any given time whilst the other three defenders stay back. The fact that all three of them go forward at the same time is just one of many reasons as to why Brazil are so weak defensively.
More discipline required
For me, whilst he is a good footballer, Dani Alves is not a great right-back. He is no Cafu, who used to be able to get forward at will, but would always get back to defend at a canter if possession was lost. He was as fit as a fiddle and could also defend.
Behind Dani Alves at the start of the World Cup was Maicon. Four years ago, he was exceptional. He could defend well, but could also time attacking forays into the opposition territory to perfection.
The last two or three years have not been kind to Maicon however, and he is a shadow of the player he used to be. The fact he was a better alternative to Dani Alves in the latter stages of the tournament says more about Dani Alves and the dearth of talent that Brazil have in all positions right now.
Going forward, there are options for Brazil to explore in this area, particularly when you consider the fact that Brazil won the 2011 U20 World Cup, the 2013 & 2014 Toulon Tournaments and had a very promising team at the U17 World Cup in 2013.
However, if you are looking for players who are already established, then surely Rafael at Manchester United could have been given a chance to stake a claim? He seems to have been punished for making a costly mistake in the early stages of the Olympics Final. Another option is Danilo, who is the regular first choice right-back at FC Porto.
So, my verdict is that one of Rafael or Danilo should have been considered for the World Cup squad, and should definitely now be given an opportunity to show they are worthy of a place in the Brazil side.
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