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Five Things We Learnt From Brazil Copa America Exit

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Brazil have been eliminated from the Copa America 2024 at the quarter-final stage. The last time the Seleção lost their chance at the title, was in the final of the previous Copa America, where they succumbed to eventual winners Argentina. Here we bring you five things we learnt from the Brazil exit.

Five Things We Learnt from The Brazil Exit

Brazil’s Historical Burden is Becoming a Struggle on The Pitch

Brazilian football is synonymous with excellence, flair, and a rich legacy. The yellow and green jersey carries the weight of past glories, iconic players, and a footballing tradition that transcends borders. However, this burden of history can be both a blessing and a curse. In the Copa América quarter-final against Uruguay, we witnessed how this burden weighed heavily on the Seleção, affecting their performance and mental state.

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When you wear the Brazilian national team jersey, you inherit the legacy of legends like Pelé, Zico, Romário, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho. These players set the bar impossibly high, winning World Cups and dazzling fans with their magical skills. Every new generation of Brazilian players faces the daunting task of living up to these lofty standards. The weight of expectations can be suffocating, especially when the world expects you to play ‘the Brazilian way.’

Coach Dorival Might Have Cost Brazil Heavily

Brazil were widely expected to win the 2024 Copa America due to the significant talent both on the field and on the bench. However, they fell short against Uruguay, who hold the record for the most Copa America titles (15), tied only with Argentina. Coach Dorival publicly took full responsibility for Brazil’s loss, and rightfully so, as his mistakes were crucial in Brazil’s unstable Copa America campaign.

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For instance, his decision to play the already booked Vinicius against Colombia can be seen as a tactical error, considering that Brazil had already secured a place in the quarter-finals. This unnecessary move led to the attacker receiving another yellow card, ruling him out as Brazil’s main attacking threat for this important match.

Time Wasting Can Be a Good and Bad Thing

In recent times, we’ve seen players utilize this tactic by using certain tricks like taking an awful amount of time to take a set piece, holding the ball close to the touchline or faking an injury. Sometimes coaches get in on the action by actively instructing the players to cook up ways to run down the clock, but most times these are used when the team is at an advantage, probably a goal or two up which is why it was fascinating to see the Brazilian players do the exact opposite.

In the 87th minute, Andreas Pereira was rolling around on the floor in a weak attempt to force the expulsion of another Uruguayan player. Rather than rolling on the floor, the Selecao needed the ball rolling as much as possible as they looked to break the deadlock.

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The Copa has been marked by the challenge of playing with a man down, shaping the outcomes of many matches, including the United States’ elimination due to an early red card. Although Uruguay also found themselves with 10 men later in the game after right-back Nahitan Nández was sent off, Brazil failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage. Brazil struggled to make an impact throughout the entire game.

Experience Plays a Huge Role

Brazil is known to possess the largest array of talents taking the world by storm with the likes of Vini Jr, Rodrygo, Raphinha and loads more with wonder kids set to dominate the future including Real Madrid’s Endrick, Estevao Willian of Chelsea, and Luis Guilherme who recently signed for West Ham still to come. Regardless, the number of talents still won’t be enough if the experience is lacking. Experience plays a vital role, as it has been a crucial factor in their past performances and success in other major international tournaments.

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Brazil’s experienced players, such as Thiago Silva, Casemiro and Neymar have been instrumental in leading the team to victory in previous editions. Their experience in high-pressure situations, knowledge of the tournament’s intensity, and understanding of the South American football style have given Brazil an edge over their opponents.

However, in the 2024 Copa America, Brazil’s lack of experience in certain positions and absence of key players due to injuries or other reasons may have contributed to their early elimination. Overall, experience has been a significant factor in Brazil’s success in Copa America, and the team’s performance in the 2024 edition serves as a reminder of its importance in achieving victory in high-stakes tournaments.

Brazil’s Conservative Approach Backfired

The strategy of sitting deep and relying on counter-attacks was a key factor in their exit from the tournament. This approach, often referred to as “parking the bus,” involves defending deeply and absorbing pressure, then quickly transitioning to counter-attacks when possession is gained.

While this strategy can be effective against certain opponents, it has its limitations. Against Uruguay, Brazil’s sitting deep allowed the Uruguayans to dominate possession and control the pace of the game. The inability to maintain possession and create meaningful attacks from open play made them reliant on counter-attacks, which were often predictable and easily defended by Uruguay.

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This strategy also highlights Brazil’s lack of creativity and flair in midfield, which has been a criticism of the team in recent years. Without a creative spark to break down Uruguay’s defence, they were forced to rely on long balls and hopeful counter-attacks, which were easily dealt with by the opposition.

Overall, Dorival’s strategy of sitting deep and relying on counter-attacks was too passive and predictable, and ultimately, it cost them the game and their place in the tournament.


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