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Brazil: The Ultimate Bandwagonist Side

06/23/10

Permalink 10:13:03 am, by amilnal
Categories: Sports

Brazil: The Ultimate Bandwagonist Side

Spain may be a lot of folks' favorite for the World Cup, but Brazil remains in the back of our subconscious as the team to truly fear. It sure would be nice to see Spain or Holland win their first World Cup, maybe England get their second, or the Maradona circus keep-up with its early pace. These would be pleasing headlines. But, Brazil hovers above this World Cup like the Nazgûl Ring Wraiths from Lord of the Rings. They descend-upon and devour whatever is in front of them. This Brazil relentlessly hunts for number six..

It never felt like the Ivory Coast had much of a chance in Sunday's match. Sven-Göran Eriksson said that, "to beat Brazil, you must be almost perfect." Well, the Ivory Coast was not perfect, but the Ivory Coast is a team a lot of folks felt was Africa's best chance in the World Cup. The Ivorians seemed very much outclassed in a game that was touted as a marquee match-up in the group phase. It may be that even if you play perfectly and Brazil play flawed, Brazil will still pretty much beat you senseless..

The partying, overindulgences, and lack of focus from Brazil 2006 have been transformed into an efficient Dunga-designed Brazilan Sparta. As routinely described by the Vickapedia, Brazil's physical preparations are meticulous and best-in-class. Their depth and quality of talent are superior to most, bar Spain and the floundering French. Further, this talent is ideal personnel to play an organized defensive counter-acting style of football. Lúcio, Maicon, and Júlio César played pivotal roles for José Mourinho's defense at Intermilan. Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo provide additional protection in front the defense and bite in the midfield. Kaká and Robinho launch counter-attacks at light-speed. And, Luis Fabiano finishes with ruthless execution. Nevertheless, there surely must be some chink in their armor?.

In the Confederations Cup final, the US nearly found a way to beat Brazil but in the end just enraged them, at least if you judge by the second half of the match. Against the Ivory Coast, Brazil's vaunted team discipline slowly eroded away under relentless hacking, dubious tackling, diving, and theatrics from the Ivorians resulting in Kaká being sent-off after two yellow cards, albeit the second from an Oscar worthy performance from Kader Keita. However, this hardly seems like a chink in the armor. Perhaps national pressure boils beneath the surface of a team that is not playing the beautiful football its country craves so much. In its place now resides an effective and at times ugly brand of football. If this pressure is rising, we have yet to see it. Searching for a significant flaw in Brazil's game may be as difficult as trying to catch a fly with chopsticks like Mr. Miyagi..

The closest thing to a flaw may well be that Brazil hasn't figured out yet how to work in Dani Alves to the staring eleven. Macion, the #1 right-back in the world is backed-up by Alves, the #2 right-back in the world. Now there's a real problem? We are grasping at straws here. Instead, let's grasp at some chopsticks. Brazil doesn't have the one person on the planet outside of Mr. Miyagi that can catch a fly with chopsticks. They don't have Lionel Messi. .

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