The Brazilian team at the World Cup in Qatar

game plan

The term neymardependence It has been widely used by the Brazilian press in the last decade and in particular after the eliminations of the last two World Cups. But the emergence of a new generation of brilliant strikers has meant that the expression has largely been forgotten. Today, the coach, Tite, can draw on a large number of young attacking talents.

“At the time of the 2019 Copa América, we didn’t have Antony and Raphinha. Vini (Vinicius Júnior) was still adapting at Real Madrid and Gabriel Martinelli was just training with us,” Tite said in October. “Now this generation has really arrived and wow! The progression of these players is what has allowed us to play with five offensive-minded footballers at the same time.”

At the beginning of last year, Tite did not know Raphinha, but his scouting team alerted him to the then Leeds winger, and now he is set to start in Qatar. If you add players like Richarlison (Tottenham) or Lucas Paquetá (West Ham), who will be in his first World Cup, it is clear that Tite has a lot to choose from.

While the attack has a youthful air, the defense brings experience and confidence. In goal, Alisson will play his second World Cup as a starter, and in defence, Thiago Silva could become the oldest outfield player to play for Brazil in a World Cup. The anchor of the midfield is Casemiro, an apparent 30-year-old rookie, who already has more than 60 international matches behind him. His importance to the Canarinha cannot be underestimated and his absence was key in their elimination at the hands of Belgium in the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals.

Of course, Neymar is still there and he is the undisputed star of the team, but the difference this time is that he will not have all the spotlight on him. A division of responsibilities could help Brazil in its search for a sixth world title.

Brazil Ranking

The G group

The star, the unsung hero, and the selector

Neymar

This will be Neymar’s third World Cup and the PSG striker has a pending issue with the tournament. At the home World Cup he was injured against Colombia in the quarterfinals and missed the humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semis. In Russia four years ago he played well, but his performances were overshadowed by videos and memes of him rolling around on the pitch after fouls. That made him something of a joke. It seems that Neymar has matured since then and will be keen to show that he can be a leader of his generation on the pitch. Unless he changes his mind, this will be his last World Cup.

Richarlison

Playing as Brazil’s number 9 in a World Cup always carries high expectations. Twenty years ago, in Japan and South Korea, Ronaldo was the top scorer in the World Cup, including twice in the final against Germany. Since then, Brazil has not won the World Cup again. In the last two tournaments, number 9 in the canarinha It hasn’t lived up to the performances (Fred in 2014 and Gabriel Jesus four years later), but this time there is hope that Richarlison can shine in the role. The signs are good, as the Tottenham player they call pombo He is the second best scorer in Brazil with 16 goals since 2014, only surpassed by Neymar, who adds one more goal.

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Tite

Tite was hired as a firefighter in 2016, when Brazil occupied an unthinkable sixth place in the South American qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. With seven consecutive victories, he qualified Brazil as the first country with a ticket for the tournament. “My whole career depended on that opportunity,” he said in a recent interview. The 61-year-old coach had been waiting a long time for this opportunity, having been a manager since the early 1990s at scores of clubs in Brazil (Coritnhians three times). This time, the quiet, professorial coach arrives at a World Cup more experienced and having had more time to work with the players. He hopes to go further than in 2018. “The process gives us security and confidence,” he says, though he adds, “But whether that’s going to make us champions or not is another story.”

Position on Qatar

It is rare for Brazilian players to talk about topics off the pitch and political issues in particular. They have not yet commented on the human rights situation in Qatar or the issues related to the situation of workers. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) organizes campaigns to combat racism and homophobia in national football, but has not made any official statement about the host country of the World Cup.

National anthem

The music and the lyrics National anthem It has been composing century by century. Around 1830, when Brazil was not yet a republic, the musician Francisco Manuel da Silva composed the vibrant and triumphant melody, but the lyrics were not written until 1909, when the essayist Duque Estrada won a contest to write the lyrics. It became official in 1922, the year of the centenary of Brazil’s independence from Portugal. The anthem celebrates a country of “heroic people” and a nation “giant by nature”, glorifying its natural riches.

The cult hero of all time

Garrincha during a match against Welsh in the 1958 World Cup.
Garrincha during a match against Welsh in the 1958 World Cup.Central Press (Getty Images)

When Pelé was injured in the second match of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, a man who became known as the “crooked-legged angel” took over and led Brazil to their second World Cup. Garrincha, a right winger for Botafogo, was a synthesis of the Brazilian way of playing football. He was very talented, easy going, loved to dribble and basically had fun on the pitch. Brazil never lost when he and Pelé played together. In the 1962 World Cup he was the best player in the tournament, scoring four goals. Unfortunately, things weren’t that easy for him off the pitch. He battled alcoholism throughout his adult life and died of liver damage at the age of 49.

World Cup career

all selections

Click on each selection to see detailed information
Click on each selection to see its detailed information

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The Brazilian team at the World Cup in Qatar