FIFA World Cup: Brazil wait to realise the dream | Football News – Times of India


No World Cup truly begins till Selecao open their campaign. Can Thiago Silva‘s men overcome the pressures & restore the team’s pre-eminence in Qatar?
DOHA: “I cannot bear the responsibility of the last 20 years. I have been coach only for the last four.”
Tite, that broad-shouldered, barrel-chested Brazilian coach with a dancer’s loose limbs, was being asked about legacy. He has been bestowed with the responsibility of delivering the nation’s sixth World Cup title, their first in 20 years. Accused of being workmanlike and pragmatic, eschewing the very soul that makes Brazilian football, well, Brazilian, Tite walks a fine line.
It is not as if he is unaware of what the 20 years and those four years in charge entail. But in the eternal Brazilian pursuit of beauty, one that combines that delicate balance of result and romance, Tite understands what is more quantifiable. In a world that worships numbers, accolade with result trumps recognition without it.

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“We have a beautiful history,” he said, but reminded us, “but that history has a degree of pressure. Brazil is passionate about its football, but for our boys, football is also a tool for education.”
He was drawing the line, but in the paradoxes that Brazilian football instinctively brings with it, he was also telling us to not stop dreaming. “Dreaming is part of our life. We are a people that dream. We dream to be the winner, in case we cannot be, we will try our best to get there, because there can only be one winner. “Then he added, almost as if making a mental note to himself: “It’s good to dream.”
It is World Cup tradition. Till the Selecao Canarinho – the Canary Yellow – line up and pass the ball around to the beat of the Samba in the stands, the World Cup hasn’t truly begun. Others can huff and puff their way around, but this privilege is reserved for Brazil, the spiritual masters of the game even though they themselves seem to have forgotten that exalted status. Whatever they think of their own reality, the world still regards them with this fond, sepia-tinted longing.

In an oddity here then, Qatar is still waiting for them. Quirky minds are claiming that Brazil’s campaign is already underway, since in the scheme of things that could unfold, their biggest rivals are evidently struggling. Thus, well begun. Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday is like a first step already taken by Tite’s men here. It may draw the laughs but also reveals how seriously they take the other’s threat here.
The Brazilians were the last to arrive here in Qatar, on dint of figuring in the bottom half of the draw. It gave the team members a little more time with themselves, longer than most other teams at their camp in Turin. This is a crucial advantage and luxury at a World Cup like this one, where there has hardly been any time for national squads to assemble and plan.
On Wednesday, ahead of their opening game with Serbia, Tite and captain Thiago Silva were telling the world what it meant to be here. “We think of Argentina, but what happened to Argentina serves as a reflection for us,” said the coach. “Also, it shows that they that are no easy moments in the World Cup. ”
Asked about the high ball of Serbia and whether that will cause a problem, Tite replied, “Not at all. But they do not have just that. Quick passes, lot of speed, agility and dribbles, that they have in plenty.”

“Maybe then, it is a match for Vini?” asked someone, referring to the Real Madrid phenom who has run defences in Europe ragged with is speed and direct approach for goal.
The talk of Vinicius puts focus on Tite’s squad, which is brimming with attacking flavour – nine vying for limited seats – but is short on creativity in the midfield and not too confident of its defensive capabilities. The inclusion of Dani Alves has attracted criticism from the experts, who claim, not too incorrectly, that the right-back who is pushing 39 could be over the hill. And that the talk about him is taking away from other serious issues.
Captain Silva was not too perturbed, though. Speaking for himself, he said, “This is the best version of Thiago Silva that you will see. I am fitter than what I was in the 2014 campaign at home. I think I am calmer, better prepared and trust all my colleagues. I am living the best moment of my career.”

Yet, for all his claims, Silva has been far from convincing in his last few matches for Chelsea, before embarking for the challenge in Qatar. Meanwhile, after proving a steady, influential presence as leader in defence at PSG, Marquinhos is known for the occasional howler.
Paqueta and Casemiro form the stark, slim midfield for Brazil, which once used to be the envy of world at past World Cups. Maybe it is this paucity in their chief area of operation that has made Tite select an entire team of forwards. Yet even here efficiency gets the nod over flair, with Richarlison getting picked over Gabriel Jesus.
There is Neymar, and there is Vinicius, highly effective only if the correct supply is provided. Do Brazil have the Toni Kroos and those passes that the Vinicius of Real Madrid so effectively makes most of? Is there an able defence at Qatar to hold in and negate his threat?
“We will dance,” said Tite on Wednesday. “Dance is natural to us, we can vibrate. It is expressing our cultural identity and about respecting ourselves.” Tite was talking about the dream that is Brazil. Whether it will be realized has to be seen.





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