The last World Cup saw the Brazilians humiliated on home soil by eventual champions Germany.
Four years on, there is a distinct buzz around with a feeling of Brazilian success but what has brought that?
Well, under new management since their disastrous 2014 exit and with new ideas, Brazil were outstanding in qualifying for the upcoming tournament. Verde-Amarela were comfortable in truth, topping the South American qualifying table by a clear margin of ten points.
On their route to qualifying for Russia, they only lost one solitary game. That was a result that came against Chile in their opening match way back in 2015. With that negative result put firmly behind them they went on to produce quite destructive form, scoring 41 goals in just 18 games, whilst only shipping 11. Sublime form.
Current Brazil coach Tite, was given the honour of taking charge of his nation back in June 2016. After a poor showing from Brazil at the Copa América Centenario, Dunga was sacked. His misfortunate has since led to Tite’s benefit.
With 16 of Brazil’s squad that hosted the World Cup back in 2014 aged 27 or older, it was always going to be the case that there would be various changes four years down the line. Something that has certainly proved to be the case under Tite’s guidance.
If you were to compare the squad from the past tournament with that of the squad of players who are going to be representing their country in Russia, you would find that just six players remain.
Thiago Silva, Fernandinho, Neymar, Willian, Marcelo and Paulinho.
Another thing that is evident more recently, is the fact there is a mixed factor of experience and youth. It has often been shown that that blend can be quite beneficial. Take for example, Manchester City, a side quite clearly the best in their club division the season just past. They featured more experienced players, such as Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Fernandinho but then allowed youth to shine as well especially in attack. Players like Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and a man who maybe influential in leading Brazil, Gabriel Jesus, were outstanding.
Quality in the ranks
A difference in the squad is all fine and good but if that squad hasn’t improved on what was before it would it really matter? No.
As any footballing fan will know, it has always been extremely tough to improve a national side like Brazil in years gone by but that is exactly what some of these players have done.
This current Brazil selection is packed full of players that have experienced success in the past 12 months. It can never be underestimated the influence of winning trophies at club level and national level. That hunger that it brings. Looking at the World Cup squads selected for the World Cup, it would be very hard to find a side matching Brazil’s 23-man squad for winner’s medals gained last season.
A list of players that won a trophy/s last season:
Ederson (Manchester City) – Premier League, Carabao Cup
Danilo (Manchester City) – Premier League, Carabao Cup
Marcelo (Real Madrid) – UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super cup, Spanish Supercopa
Thiago Silva (PSG) – Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, French super cup
Marquinhos (PSG) – Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, French super cup
Geromel (Grêmio) – Recopa Sudamericana
Casemiro (Real Madrid) – UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super cup, Spanish Supercopa
Fernandinho (Manchester City) – Premier League, Carabao Cup
Paulinho (Barcelona) – La Liga, Copa del Rey
Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) – Ukrainian Premier Liga, Ukrainian Cup
Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) – La Liga, Copa del Rey
Willian (Chelsea) – FA Cup
Douglas Costa (Juventus) – Serie A, Coppa Italia
Neymar (PSG) – Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – Premier League, Carabao Cup
Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk) – Ukrainian Premier Liga, Ukrainian Cup
Absolute quality everywhere you look, running through the Brazil team that are favourites for the 2018 World Cup.
What are your thoughts, can Brazil bounce back from their 2014 embarrassment and take home the trophy?
Let us know in the comments.
By James Miller