World Cup
World Cup

Less than nine months have passed since Brazil’s media bemoaned the “death” of the country’s football after the Selecao’s calamitous 7-1 World Cup semifinal loss to Germany. wpid-WorldCuptrophy2-1024x768.jpg
But in the week the Christian world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, Brazilian football can also claim to be basking in the glow of a revival of sorts.
The Selecao’s 1-0 victory over Chile last Sunday was the team’s eighth straight win since 1994 World Cup-winning captain Dunga took over as national coach for a second time last August.
The list of vanquished rivals during that sequence includes Argentina, Colombia and France — all currently ranked in FIFA’s world top 10.
But it’s not just results on the pitch that are helping to heal the wounds inflicted by Joachim Low’s Germany.
Brazil’s production line of world class talent, which had largely stalled over the past decade, is showing signs of regaining its old efficiency.
Last week’s signing by Real Madrid of right-back Danilo for 31.5 million euros from Porto is a case in point.
The move made the 23-year-old the fourth most expensive full-back in history, behind Luke Shaw, Lilian Thuram and Dani Alves.
Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning left-back Roberto Carlos has been among those to publicly sing Danilo’s praises, comparing him to Alves at the same age.
Equally promising is the rapid ascent of Hoffenheim attacker Roberto Firmino, also 23.
Perhaps it was more than just a coincidence that the two combined for Brazil’s winner against Chile at the Emirates stadium.
It was Danilo’s probing run and perfectly weighted pass that allowed Firmino to dart past Chile’s defense before rounding keeper Claudio Bravo.
Like Danilo, Firmino was not even in Brazil’s World Cup squad last year.
He has now reportedly attracted the interest of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, and appears set to leave Hoffenheim in the summer.
Other Brazilians to have flourished since being overlooked by Luiz Felipe Scolari for the World Cup include Paris Saint-Germain’s 20-year-old center-back Marquinhos and 22-year-old Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
Both have also had the Selecao door opened by Dunga and are certain to be taken to the Copa America in Chile in June.
It’s little wonder Brazilians are cautiously regaining their sense of footballing pride after that traumatic Belo Horizonte afternoon last July.

Perhaps renowned Brazilian journalist Juca Kfouri put it best.
“Nobody is saying that the national team is suddenly wonderful,” Kfouri wrote on his blog.
“But it shouldn’t be forbidden to speak well of them, because they can only beat opponents that are put before them. If they had lost those friendlies wouldn’t it have been much worse?” Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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