Has anybody seen Brazil?

Seriously, now – has anyone? I don’t honestly recall the last time I watched the Brazilian senior team, and enjoyed doing so.

The Brazilian senior team has attracted a lot of criticism from varying quarters over the past few years, and I feel that it’s merited, but I still can’t explain why Brazil have disappeared. I’ve got a pretty analytical mind, but I can’t piece together what has happened to this team. The only vague idea I can thrust forward is that of bad attitudes. What I mean by that is that a lot of the current generation of Brazilian footballers have fallen by the wayside far too early in their respective careers. The first examples that come to mind are Alexandre Pato and Anderson, although there are many to choose from. Both started their careers in Europe wonderfully, impressing everybody, before rapidly slipping down the pecking order at their respective clubs due to the inability to keep themselves fit, and ended up back in Brazil prematurely. Corinthians are desperate to sign Pato, but contrary to the numerous Football Manager journalists out there, mooting that he’s actually still a good player that big clubs want to buy, the truth is that nobody wants to buy him. I have a theory that the mega-rich owners of Corinthians and Chelsea got together, and it was agreed that Chelsea would loan Pato, purely to put him back in the shop window, although it doesn’t seem to have worked, unsurprisingly! I’d also be tempted to add Lucas Moura to this list, although he’s still playing in France for PSG. The reason I want to add him to this list for a bad attitude is because he’s not improved as a footballer since moving to France. He arrived at PSG as one of the most promising prospects in world football with his outstanding raw pace and close control. However, he’s simply never progressed during his time at the club, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was ousted from the club for it. His decision-making is still pretty awful, all things considered, and if he’s not careful, he’ll be another one that ends up back in Brazil far too soon.

Still, it’s not the first time this has happened, with Brazilian players having succumbed to premature exits from big clubs for decades now with the likes of Rivaldo, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho having all suffered the same fate. Interestingly enough, though, it tends to be Brazilian defenders that outlast the remainder of the outfield players with some of Brazil’s most-capped footballers of all time being Cafu, Lucio, Roberto Carlos, and so on. It’s the attacking players that tend to disappear, curiously enough, but why is that? Are there less talented footballers in Brazil nowadays? It seems unlikely to be the case, but I suppose it’s a possibility. They’ve got some cracking players coming through, but not many. Giovane Elber is the latest former Brazilian international to have laid into the national team, this time taking aim at the Brazil squad for the forthcoming Olympics, claiming that they don’t have the team spirit to win the competition. I can understand gripes with the senior team, but taking aim at the youngsters seems entirely counterproductive to me, so I can’t really say that I agree with Elber’s opinion.

It’s undeniable that Brazil are no longer the team that we all watched and enjoyed as youngsters. They don’t have many players nowadays that you’d want to pretend to be when having a kick around with your friends on a local pitch. A number of their senior squad now ply their respective trades in China, which I think speaks volumes for their priorities, and morals.

If anything, what can be done to salvage the Brazilian national team? Post your thoughts below!

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