Xtratime Community banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

33,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
by FIFAworldcup.com

Given Brazil’s complicated relationship with its own importance in football, it’s no wonder that Luiz Felipe Scolari has publicly had to deal with contradictory demands from both media and supporters since he took over the helm of the ‘Selecao.’ It’s a never-ending story in the homeland of Pele, to play openly and perhaps expose yourself to avoidable defeat, or to sit back and stifle some of the natural Brazilian flair for the game?
That is the question, the balance, that Scolari is dealing with now. The indication in the aftermath of the 2-1 victory over Turkey is that Brazil may have found a nice equilibrium. Undoubtedly, playing “the three R’s” - Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho – together signals a commitment to attack. Heck there was even a place in the second-half for ball-wizard Denilson.

But, the Brazilians also controlled the defensive end of things, holding a potentially explosive Turkish side to just a handful of chances. So, is the question answered? Given the last 20 years of searching, that’s unlikely.

Football in Brazil is inextricably linked with culture, history, and national psyche. At its peak, the team have flown like a bird, and the country along with them. But, for Brazil in the era of Pele, 1958 to 1970, which included three FIFA World Cup™ trophies, winning was not the only thing.

Jogo bonito, the beautiful game, and some of the best players to ever walk in front of the world pocked those sides. Gerson, Jairzinho, Tostao, Pele, Rivelino. They not only won, but they won with style; some would say they even invented what we call style on a football pitch.

But, after 1970, the cups stopped coming. The attacking mentality stayed through the 1970s, and culminated in 1982, when the team again played the way Brazilians dream, with colour and music. But that side, which included the likes of Zico, Junior, Eder, Socrates and Falcao, unwittingly signalled the end of the Beautiful Game. The match against Italy, when Brazil refused to stop attacking and failed to hold on for a draw to advance to the semi-final, is commonly acknowledged as when the dream died.

Faced with such a team that could not win when it mattered, Brazil began to retreat.

The 1986 team had remnants of 82’s magic, and they went out only on penalties to France in a thrilling match, but the introduction of Branco, a midfield destroyer, was the start of a new mentality for Brazil. After 1982, beauty to take a back seat to results. Pragmatism and cynicism began to rule the heart where flash and spirit used to live.

The debate between glory and results has raged in Brazil ever since.

On the one hand, they look at 1990, when they scored four goals in four matches and went out in the second round despite their more conservative attitude. But, in 1994, when the country won their fourth FIFA World Cup in less than exhilarating terms, that attitude was justified.

For the past eight years, Brazil has settled on something of an uneasy truce, attempting to allow individual players to display their skill, while keeping focus on organisation. The 1998 version was not dour, but hardly thrilling, though they reached the final.

This team is off to a promising beginning, but a loss at some point, whether in this tournament or the next, will likely bring the neurosis back to the fore. Let’s hope that we get some beautiful football before that.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts