It’s almost a requirement for the Brazilian national football team to play beautiful football.
Dating back to the days of Pele, Garrincha and Jairzinho to the current crop, including Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Douglas Costa, the Selecao is synonymous with artistry and flair.
It’s not always yielded the finest results - indeed, their defensive frailties were brutally exposed by Germany at the 2014 World Cup - but it’s usually fun to watch.
It’s been 14 years since Brazil last won the World Cup. The team of 2002, which featured Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos, was a joy to watch.
But it seems that long-standing traditions aren’t being followed in the South American country.
Brazilian clubs Gremio and Cruzeiro recently met over two legs in the Copa do Brasil semi-final. Gremio emerged victorious with a 2-0 aggregate win but some of the football on display suggests they will be no match for Atletico Mineiro in the final.
Check out the 48-second clip below.
Clearly, Brazilian teams are being influenced by the Stoke City side of 2010.
World Cup qualifiers
The Selecao take on Argentina on Thursday in a World Cup qualifier that promises to entertain.
Brazil lead the South American qualifying but Argentina have some work to do if they want to be in Russia in 2018. Edgardo Bauza’s team is sixth, five points behind Brazil.
Coutinho v Willian
Philippe Coutinho and Willian have both been called up to the national squad, but it’s the Liverpool playmaker who is ahead in the pecking order.
“Why Coutinho instead of Willian? There's a reason he is called the Magician [by Liverpool fans]," Brazil coach Tite explained in October, per Sky Sports.
"It was a difficult decision for me, but right now this is Coutinho's moment. And in football, you have to follow the moment.
"With his passes Coutinho opens the lines, creates space. I like his mobility, he was influential in both games when he came on."
Can Brazil win the 2018 World Cup? Let us know in the comments section below!
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