Last night Brazil defeated Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup final. In truth, the Selecao were the better team from the off and took just 95 seconds to take the lead.
The victory will have come as a shock to the system to world champions Spain.
Spain have not suffered a competition defeat in three years, having claimed victory in Euro 2008 and World 2010 in South Africa.
However, the world champions just never really got started and Vicente Del Bosque’s team never recovered from conceding the early goal.
The Brazilians, roared on by a manic home crowd put in a determined display and straight from the start never allowed the Spanish players to settle on the ball.
Hard work is not something you associate with Brazilian teams, but last night every single player worked their socks off closing down the opposition. The Brazilians out-Spained Spain if you like.
In recent months, Brazil has struggled to find the balance between flair and functionality. Last night they found the perfect balance. Their defensive play may not have been pretty to watch, but going forward they were irresistible at times.
There have always been talented players available to the national side, but in recent years, Brazilian bosses have struggled to fit them into a winning system. Felipe ‘Big Phil’ Scolari may have found a winning formula with the current team.
The Brazil national team have not enjoyed much competitive action in recent years, as they do not have to qualify for next year’s World Cup, as they will be hosting the event. The Confederations Cup took on extra importance because of the lack of competitive matches.
In friendly games the Selecao have looked slightly lacklustre and lacking a competitive edge. However, during the Confederations Cup they seem to have found that competitiveness to their game.
The team look more like a unit and progress has been made during the competition, that progress was highlighted in their final victory over Spain.
The current Brazilian setup contains a number of players that are inexperienced at international level. The likes of Oscar, Paulinho and even Neymar (although he has 39 caps already) to a certain extent are international rookies.
Competitions like the Confederations Cup is a good place for these highly regarded players to pick up experience of proper competitive international football. That experience could be vital to Brazil when the World Cup rolls round next year.
Talking about rolling round, young Brazilian superstar Neymar scored an outstanding goal against Spain and looked dangerous. He has also looked very lively in general for Brazil at the tournament. Many of his critics say he is overrated, but he has the potential to be one of the best players in the world.
To say he is already would be jumping the gun. He has a lot to do to get to the level of the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The youngster will no doubt benefit from playing for Barcelona next season, alongside current Ballon d’Or holder Messi.
The level of competition in La Liga and the Champions League will be of a far higher standard than he is accustomed to in his homeland. Barcelona will be a good testing ground for the youngster.
I just hope that he keeps the theatrics down to a minimum at the Nou Camp, because he does have a tendency for the dramatic. The wonderkid will want people to be talking about his performances, not diving ahead of next year’s big event.
Work in progress
The Brazilian national team is still a work in progress, but from what they have displayed at the Confederations Cup the Selecao could be realistic contenders for the World Cup on home soil.
The home fans will definitely be far more confident in their teams’ ability after their triumph in the Confederations Cup. It looks like Big Phil Scolari has found a winning formula and he will be hoping that Brazil’s current form will carry on into next year’s World Cup.
Has Brazil shown progress during the Confederations Cup?