Without a doubt, Brazil is the greatest power in the history of soccer. Not only because of the five World Cups that support such a statement, but because of the distinguished “beautiful game” that they always knew how to display in all the playing fields where they performed.
Pelé, Garrincha, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and now Neymar are some of the heroes of that total football or happy football.
However, in Qatar 2022, the team led by Tite has other characteristics that their predecessors did not have.
Brazil never had great goalkeepers. Emerson Leão, Dida or Cláudio Taffarel are isolated exceptions. It was always their Achilles heel, but since they owned the ball for most of the game it didn’t show as much.
In this edition of the Cup, the Brazilian manager has one if not three world-class goalkeepers: Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Ederson Moraes (Manchester City) and Weverton (Palmeiras). Three walls.
In addition, it has another surprising quality that goes hand in hand with the modernization of the game: Brazil has the highest average height among the 32 participating teams in the World Cup. The Canarinha squad has an average of 187.92 centimeters, surpassing normally taller countries like Croatia (187.19) and Denmark (186.12). This means that the passing game in attack and defense will be another weapon for a team that traditionally plays the ball against the grass.
Not all are virtues in this 2022 version. If there is something that has always distinguished Brazil, in addition to its excellent number 10, it was its full-backs. The list is huge: Roberto Carlos (the best in history on the left flank), Cafú (for many the best on the right), Carlos Alberto, Junior and Dani Alvés to name just a few.
For some reason the DNA chain was cut and top-level defenders did not emerge. To such an extent that Tite once again summoned Dani Alves (39 years old), who with 42 titles holds the record for being the most winning footballer in history.
To explain the call for Alves, in the face of strong criticism, Tite, Brazil’s coach, praised the ex-Barcelona and dismissed his age: “The criteria is the same as for all the others: combine individual technical quality, physical strength and the mental aspect. In my team, the full-backs don’t play full-backs, they are builders and the technical quality that Dani offers me in that sense is impressive”.
The defense in general is quite experienced and pushes Brazil to have the third oldest squad in the championship (27.9 years on average).
Brazil will always be Brazil. It is one of only four squads that does not have naturalized players (along with Argentina, South Korea and Saudi Arabia). And what continues to be a trademark is his enormous attack power that makes him the favorite to lift the World Cup for the sixth time.