Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brazil in the World Cup 2010

I am back.

This blog will follow on this new campaign.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Juninho: "older players had privileges"

Juninho, from Olympique Lyon, spoke to international news agencies on November 28th, five months after the defeat of Brazil in the Germany World Cup. The link to the report in Portuguese is here.

Juninho, respected not only for being an excellent player but also for his sincerity and good character, said:
"Our preparation was bad planned. We played against a team of Switzerland and the New Zealand team. It would be OK not to play tough matches, but, in such case, we would have to train more intensively, and we didn't do it".
"Some players were not well fit and prepared, but had the chance to play 90 minutes; I had to wait more than three years to have a chance".
"Players from the 2002 World Cup had the feeling that nothing would stain their reputation".
"In the match against French, they were much more willing to win than us; we were only thinking about the final match".

Monday, July 03, 2006

Brazil team faces hostily

Brazil leaves GermanyThe Brazilian team faced some hostility yesterday, when leaving the hotel in Germany; several Brazilians were near the bus, shouting at the players.

Today, a few players arrived in Brazil.
In São Paulo, most of them preferred to leave the aiport through a back door. One of the few who faced the crowd was Cafu (in a quick interview, he said that "experience can win a Cup, as France is showing"), and Brazilians made it very clear how unhappy they were (to Cafu, shouting was "it's time to retire").
In Rio, the most expected was Parreira, but he also preferred to use a back door to escape the crowd and the journalists.

In contrast, in Argentina, the players were warmed welcomed back home.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Interview with Parreira

Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira gave an interview after the match (it looks like this is a protocol determined by FIFA, rather than an spontaneous attitude of Parreira).

A few of Parreira's declarations:
"I have no regrettings. Over these past four years, everything went very good. In the World Cup, we played five matches, and won four".
"We dealt well with the favoritism. The players were not mercenaries and didn't show apathy. France played better. They scored a goal after a free kick; otherwise, the match would be 0 x 0.".
"These players are pure talent, they play in several positions; working with them is complicated, it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience".
"It was hard to live with this Big Brother (constant scrutinizing by the jornalists). But I and the players had a professional behavior, we are all very experienced, we were not affected by this".
"We did what was possible. We had little time, few matches".
"I was not prepared for this moment. I never prepare to lose, only to win".
"This is not time to hunt witches. Let's look back at what we did, there is plenty of good things".

Is it unbelievable? A blog put the actual interview online; check out the entry of July 2nd 2006 of this blog.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Brazil lost to France

It wasn't a surprise.

A few people were forecasting the defeat before the Cup; read the note of May 24th: Brazil is ready for failure.

Then, in the first two matches, Brazil had to struggle much to beat Croatia and Australia. The team played much better against Japan, when Parreira demoted the stars of old (Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Emerson) and went with the new, motivated, players (Cicinho, Juninho, Robinho); but Parreira said that "experience matters; to play beautiful is to win".
Parreira returned the old team against Gana; the team played very bad, but won by 3 x 0, and Parreira was happy.

Then, came the French. Unlike Croatians, Australians, Japanese and Ghanians, the French didn't flinch. They had won Brazil in 1986 and 1998. They knew that Ronaldo, ex-Phenomenon, is fat, Ronaldinho is constrained from doing the same as in Barcelona, Cafu and Roberto Carlos are aged.

Parreira made two changes. He put Gilberto Silva in place of Emerson, who was recovering from an injury. And he put Juninho instead of Adriano; Juninho, strong, swift, had been claimed by all in Brazil; Adriano had been slow in the other matches, but much because his partner was the even slower Ronaldo.
Parreira said that Brazil played well the first fifteen minutes; what he means is that, starting from the 15th minute of the first half, only France played. Zidane had all freedom he wanted; along with his talent, he commanded the French team to a overwhelming dominance over Brazil.

The first half finished 0 x 0. It was clear that it was a matter of time before France scored. What did Parreira do? Nothing.
At 12' of second half, Henry scored. Brazilian Television showed that, when Zidane prepared to cross the ball into the area, Roberto Carlos was near Henry; when Zidaned kicked and Henry ran towards the ball, Roberto Carlos preferred to stay still outside the area, arranging his socks !!!!

Then, Parreira changed. Fist, he took out Juninho and put Adriano !?!? The team needed speed, and he added slowness.
Fifteen minutes before the end, Parreira did what Brazilians were asking: put Cicinho and Robinho. The team got noticeable better; indeed, only in the final minutes did Brazil manage to shoot against the French goal.
It was too late, though. Actually, Brazilians knew that if the match lasted longer, France would probably score more.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Brazil beats Ghana

Brazil won Ghana today by 3 x 0.

Still, the team did not convince many Brazilians that they are capable of winning the Cup.
Parreira started the match with the same eleven players that started playing against Croatia and Australia: Dida, Cafu, Lucio, Juan, Roberto Carlos, Emerson, Kaká, Ze Roberto, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Adriano.
It looks like Parreira, differently from the vast majority of Brazilians, didn't like the team which started against Japan, which included younger (and more motivated) Cicinho, Gilberto, Gilberto Silva, Juninho and Robinho.

The team was fortunate to score a goal early, at 5', in a quick counter attack with Ronaldo.
Then, during 40 minutes, Ghana dominated the game. They easily controlled the actions, and lost many chances to score. At 45', Adriano scored again.
In the second half, Brazil kept playing Very Slowly. TV Globo replayed the third goal a few times, showing that it took more than 20 passes and longer than one minute for the ball to reach Zé Roberto, who scored; Globo says that this is an evidence of how well the team coordinates passes, but I say this shows how incompetent the team is to reach the adversary's goal quickly.

At the end of the game, Parreira, not surprisingly, was satisfied: "to play beautiful is to win, and we won". Part of the media agrees with him.

Ronaldo was very happy, because now, with 15 goals, he is the player with most goals in a World Cup; he surpasses Gerd Muller, who had 14.
Also, Cafu was very happy, because now he is the Brazilian player with most participations in World Cups.

Brazil will play next against France.
Brazil loose to France in 1986 and in 2002.

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.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The most watched woman in Brazil

Fatima Bernardes
The name of this woman is Fatima Bernardes.
She is anchor-woman of Jornal Nacional, the most watched News Program of Brazilian TV, which airs around 8 pm in TV Globo; her husband, William Boner, is the anchor of the same News program.

Besides being very intelligent and talented, Fatima is nice and has a huge empathy. In 2002, Fatima was invited to be a "guest commentator" of the World Cup, and it so ended up that she was the one who most pleased TV Globo audience; despite not being an specialist, she had the ability to express what Brazilian fans were feeling.

This time, Fatima was sent to Germany from the beginning, to follow the Brazilian team. She appears every night in prime time, speaking about the most important events of the day in Germany.

She is, for sure, the most watched Brazilian woman during the World Cup.

Brazil beats Japan

Brazil won Japan yesterday by 4 x 1.
The Japanese team scored first. Ronaldo scored his first goal in the Cup at the last minute of first half; Juninho, Gilberto and Ronaldo again scored in the second half.

The Brazilian team changed five players from the first two matches. Cafu out, Cicinho in; Roberto Carlos out, Gilberto in; Emerson out, Gilberto Silva in; Zé Roberto out, Juninho in; Adriano out, Robinho in.

It is a general consensus that the team played much better.
Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Emerson are the oldest players in the team.
For some time now, Cicinho (who now plays in Real Madrid) has been outperforming Cafu.
Gilberto was still a little unknown, but he performed better than Roberto Carlos (Roberto Carlos has the most powerful shots of Brazil, but it is been long since his last goal; Gilberto entered and scored).
Emerson is known for his physical force.
Zé Roberto had been doing OK, but the problem here is that Juninho has been one of the best players in training, and was also one of the best in the match against Japan. If there is one unanimity about who should enter the team, that's Juninho (just to remember: before Juninho arrived in Lyon, five years ago, the Olympique had never been French champion; since his arrival, Olympique has been the champion for five years in a row now).

Robinho had entered the first two matches, and improved the team performance. It is becoming a growing consensus that Ronaldo and Adriano don't play well together, as they have similar roles.
Thanks to his fundamental participations in past Cups, Brazilian still give much credit to Ronaldo, despite his recent bad performances.