From Amisty Nobo

The game football otherwise referred to as, ?futebol? in Brazil is deeply interwoven into the marrow of the Brazilian culture such that the two entities share a common intrinsic identity.

confeb cupThe beautiful game is peerlessly the most adopted and excelled sport in Brazil. Football arrived in Brazil in 1894 courtesy two Britons, Charles Miller and Oscar Cox. Soon football became the game of the people and today Brazil is undoubtedly the greatest nation ever to have taken the game football to the field, winning the FIFA World Cup five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 & 2002). A feat most nation could only dream of but can never achieve.

The Philosophy of Brazilian football since genesis is based around enjoyment, exuberance and individual brilliance. Their style of play simply referred to as ?Samba? is loved by every student-of-the-game.

As Gilberto Preyre wrote in 1959, ?The Brazilians play football as if it were a dance? for (they) tend to reduce everything to dance, work and play alike.?

These in-built characteristics have spilled over into the sporting psyche of the nation and no more clearly do we see them manifest themselves than in the Brazilian approach to the game of football.

Brazil began to truly assert their dominance on the global game in the 1958 FIFA World Cup where they were spear-headed by the young Pele (Arantes de Nascimento), and the bow-legged Garrincha, winning the competition with a swaggering excellence.

Vicente Feola?s side deployed the 4-2-4 tactical formation. Apart from Pele and Garrincha other exciting names worth remembering are; Vava, Zagallo, Didi and Zito. His team combined defensive rigidity with attacking prowess and verve. A tactical blueprint which resulted in one of the finest displays of football ever seen on this planet earth.

At the time, Italian Journalist Thomaz Mazzoni wrote, ?English football, well played, is like a symphonic orchestra; well played Brazilian football is like an extremely hot jazz band.?

The ugly side of football reared it head for the first time in the 1962 World Cup because the Brazilians could not deliver their usual scintillating style of play. The star of the 1958 World Cup, Pele suffered a muscle injury in their first match against Yugoslavia and could not feature for the rest of the tournament but nevertheless, the Brazilians led by Garrancha and Zagallo managed to win the trophy.

It is worth notice that Brazil came to that party with nine players from their 1958 World Cup squad who had been described as an extremely hot jazz band.

The 1970 World Cup in Mexico saw Brazil reach what has since come to be widely regarded as the highest level of football ever achieved by a single team. Captained by defender Carlos Alberto, the Brazil squad of 1970 set about changing people?s conception of the way in which football could be played.

Inspired by the superlative skills of Pele, Revelino, Tostao, and Jairzinho, the selecao?s played the flexible 4-2-3-1 tactical layout. It is that team that the inhabitants of the green and yellow jersey have battled to honor ever since.

The Jules Rimet Cup named after the founder of the FIFA World Cup competition, became Brazilian property outright when the team?s victory in Mexico saw the Cup pass in their hands for the third time in twelve years. That however, was not the end of the saga of the ?Golden Goddess?. The trophy was stolen in Brazil and, unlike England in 1966, was never seen again.

After twenty-four years without a world title, a strangely flat and functional unite re established Brazil at the pinnacle of the world game in US 94 where Brazil represented by the likes of Romairo, Dunga, Marcio Osantos, Captain Dunga and the Baby face Beberto stole the trophy from the then dreaded Italians led by Roberto Baggio.

In 2002, Brazil triumphed again in Japan and Korea but there again the style was more functional except for the individual brilliance from their three R?s, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo da Lima.

Ronaldo, who suffered a famously poor final four years earlier in France, was the hero for the Selecao, scoring both in the 2-0 victory. He ended up with eight goals in the tournament ? the most in a FIFA World Cup since Gerd Muller scored ten times at Mexico 1970.

Again, the Captain of the Brazilian team, Cafu became the first man to play in three FIFA World Cup final matches. Though he was often overshadowed by the flashy skills of the ?Three R?s?, Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, not to mention Roberto Carlos on the opposite flank, Cafu played every minute of every match for the Selecao, and his marauding up and down the right flank was one of their biggest strengths.

Brazil is the highest transporter of talents as far as football is concern with over seven hundred Brazilians playing in Europe, from Spain to the Feroe Islands.

Football in Brazil is, to some extent not seen in any other country, a central part of the social and political texture of the nation, an important component of the national psyche.

In a country where many families struggle to make ends meet football is a way out of poverty, a way to provide for your family, and it is often this motivation that spurs boys on to achieve greater things in the game of football.

But it is worth to note here however that the sweet, flexible and fluid Samba football has gone under a metamorphosis. For instance, Dunga?s team of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was widely criticized by Pele.

His critique focused on the hard working but bureaucratic midfield duo of Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva who are both tough-tackling but not the easiest on the eye, and as the BBC?s Tim Vickery pointed out, ?They barely hold a touch to Clodoado and Gerson, the superlative central pair of 1970.?

But haven?t won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup on home soil in style where Neymar showed the class he is made of, Scolari?s Brazil goes into next summer?s FIFA World Cup as one of the favorite looking forward to triumph in the tournament for the sixth time in the countries glorious footballing history.

Scolari?s biggest problem will be who to select for the biggest soccer fiesta come 2014 in the home of football, Brazil because names like, Oscar, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Lucas Maura have become a house-hold names but the likes of Kaka, Robinho, Ronaldinho, and Ramires are strongly knocking the doors of Filipe Scolari.


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