Monday, June 26, 2006

Brazilians miss Felipão

Portugal won Holland, in the penalties shoot outs. The match had eight yellow cards and two yellow cards, the highest number ever in the History of World Cups.

The Portuguese team doesn't have many stars. Figo is still the best, but a little older; Cristiano Ronaldo is the best promise; Brazilian Deco is efficient in the midfield.
There seems to be a big difference from the current Portugal team to the others in recent past: the strenght of will. The players give more, dispute each play, run till the end.

Certainly, much of this is due to the coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, known as Felipão (Big Phil). Felipão was the Brazilian coach in the 2002 Cup. Felipão had seven winnings in a row in 2002, and had four more so far in 2006, setting a new record.

Felipão is doing with Portugal the same that he did in Brazil. Felipão hardly had chances to have an excellent set of players to work with; he was Brazilian champion with Grêmio, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro, always with but a few above average players, but always imposing his philosophy: get the most motivated players, have them to play seriously, give all they can, fight till the end.

To compare: this is NOT the philosophy of Parreira and Zagalo, and has never been. NOt that they encourage players to not fight, but they think that individual talent of players, associated with their ingenuous tactics, are enough to win.
Cafu and Roberto Carlos are known to be old and unmotivated, but, as they were useful in the past, they think they have a secure place in the team. Ronaldo is overweighted and slow, but, as he wants to score more goals to surpass Pelé, there he goes with the team.

It won't surprise me if Portugal and Felipão go farther into the Cup than Brazil and Parreira.


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