I wrote this column before Tuesday’s (8) night match between Brazil and Paraguay, for the World Cup qualifiers. Domingo (13), starts the Copa America, one more, after the last one, two years ago, also held in Brazil. Conmebol and the confederations, concerned with making money and with the excuse of adjusting the calendar, do not care about the pandemic that devastates Brazil and South America.
Brazilian players never said they would not play in Copa América, nor did they clearly state the reason for their discontent, whether it was with the president of the CBF or with the pandemic. They promised to make a manifesto after Tuesday’s game against Paraguay. Athletes, with reason, would also like, after the two matches in the Qualifiers, to enjoy the holidays, a right of all citizens.
The irony of Rogério Caboclo’s removal from the CBF presidency for 30 days, because of accusations of sexual harassment, is that he was the one who created the Ethics Committee, the body responsible for his departure. The concerned CBF sponsors do not want to devalue their products. Tite does a good job and should continue. Besides, he’s a serious professional. When I play with “titês”, I don’t do it for mockery. It’s just an ironic criticism.
It is time for a great transformation in Brazilian football, with the end of the current CBF and with the creation of a new independent, transparent and competent administration.
Football is a collective game. The better the set, the more the athletes shine. On the other hand, the most important thing for a team’s success is the players’ talent.
Whatever the performance and result of Tuesday, Argentina, like Brazil, has evolved as a whole and defined a way of playing, with some alternatives. However, much more than Brazil, Argentina lacks great talent in some positions.
World champions France remain the strongest team in Europe because they have the largest number of special players. A few days ago, a French newspaper published a photo with Mbappé, Benzema and Griezmann together, with the headline: “Everyone Envy France”. The teams of Brazil, Argentina and Portugal, by having Neymar, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, have a trio close to France. What makes the French even more superior is having Kanté and Pogba in midfield.
The great teams in history, in Brazil and around the world, that enchanted and revolutionized football, were the ones that had the most aces. This does not mean that all teams with many exceptional players will be successful.
In Brazil, Flamengo, since Jorge Jesus, is the team that fascinates the most, for having more excellent players than the others. On the other hand, there are, all over the world, teams that stand out much more for the collective game. They play better than expected, like Fluminense, directed by Roger Machado, and Bragantino, led by Maurício Barbieri. The two face off on Wednesday (9), for the Copa do Brasil.
Coaches are very important and are increasingly better prepared. Everyone knows, in detail, the strategies used around the world. What differentiates one from the others are the quality of the players available and the ability to observe objective, subjective and psychological details, to make efficient, fast and bold decisions, and to know how to command a group.
The best coaches are those who have one eye on victory and another on the quality of the show.
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