Brazilian football has rather been in the doldrums in recent years. Four years ago the Selecao were humiliated by Germany in the World Cup on home turf. The embarrassing 7-1 defeat was quite simply unacceptable.
However, boss Tite has turned things around. The South American giants endured a difficult start to World Cup qualifying. In the end, though, the Selecao finished a massive ten points clear at the top of the South American qualifying section.
Brazil will head into this summer’s World Cup finals, as one of the favourites to lift the trophy at odds of 9/2.
Tite has immense attacking options
The Brazilian boss has an embarrassment of riches, especially in the attacking third. Obviously, the standout star is PSG’s Neymar, who is the darling of Brazilian football. For nearly a decade, he has been the poster boy for the Selecao.
However, a number of other star names, many of them familiar names to Premier League fans will also be in Tite’s squad. Manchester City wonderkid Gabriel Jesus has already made a major impact in the English top-flight.
The youngster has now returned to full training with the Citizens and will spend the next few months aiding City’s bid for world domination. Before his injury, he looked slightly fatigued, but the lay-off may just have been a blessing in disguise for the forward.
The 20-year-old shone brightly in qualifying for the World Cup. Some even claim he was the catalyst for the Selecao’s good form in qualifying. The little forward is bound to be a key player for the South American giants.
One player who I continue to believe is underrated is Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino. The former Hoffenheim star has scored 20 times in all competition. The forward seems to be developing into a very influential player at Anfield.
Due to the presence of Neymar and Jesus in the Selecao’s team, Firmino may not be regarded as an important player in the Brazilian set-up. However, the 26-year-old has the ability and intelligence to help his team to success in Russia this summer. Although, he may not start the tournament in the starting eleven.
Then, of course, there is Firmino’s former Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho, now plying his trade at Catalan giants Barcelona. The playmaker is capable of producing fine moments of magic with the ball at his feet.
Playing at Barcelona alongside a greater standard of player will only improve the attacking midfielder ahead of this summer’s big event.
Does Brazil have much depth?
No doubt Brazil has many attacking options. Their starting eleven is also strong. The likes of Marcelo, Casemiro, Daniel Alves and Thiago Silva are all very good players and likely to start the first game of the World Cup.
The fight for the number spot is a tight one between Roma’s Allison and Manchester City’s Ederson. The consensus is that the man from the Italian club will start the tournament as number one. However, arguably there is not a great deal of difference between the pair.
Tite has already named 15 players that will definitely be in the Selecao squad for the World Cup if fit of course. However, the Brazilian boss seems to lack confidence in other players.
The Brazilian boss has his favourites such as Renato Augusto and Paulinho, so they are likely to start. However, for example in the right-back position, they are still depending on the magnificent but ageing Alves, with a dearth of options available in the position.
Ones to watch
Brazil have always been one of my favourite teams to watch at the World Cup and the Copa America. They have not always produced the most entertaining teams in the last decade. However, every Brazilian team has a few players who are worth the admission fee. The current edition is no different. In fact, I would argue that the Brazilian national team has not had a more exciting group of attacking players in the last decade.
Whether all the key players will turn up in Russia is unclear. However, I for one am looking forward to watching Tite’s men at this summer’s World Cup.
Does Brazil have a good enough team to win the World Cup?
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