Current State of Brazilian Soccer

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Brazil’s men’s national soccer team is currently at its lowest FIFA ranking in its history at the 19th position. It can be argued that this is mainly due to the fact that Brazil has not played any World Cup qualifying matches because they have an automatic bid to the World Cup they are hosting. The qualifying matches have a higher weight in the rankings than international friendlies which puts Brazil at a big disadvantage, but in reality Brazil’s form has been below what it has been in the past. With the recent sacking of Mano Menezes, there is a lot of pressure for Luiz Felipe Scolari, Felipão, to steer the team back to winning ways. The Confederations Cup this summer in Brazil is a great opportunity for Scolari’s squad to train with each other and perfect whatever strategy and formation Scolari decides to implement. So far the squad has featured so many different players that they have had a hard time developing chemistry together because a new team is used for every game. Scolari needs to find his ideal squad for the Confederations Cup and stick to it from now on. Sure, minor changes will be made due to players performances this summer, but the core of the squad needs to remain the same for an entire year before the World Cup so that the players can mesh. While the defense features mostly veterans, the forwards consists of mostly up-and-coming stars who have yet to prove themselves at the biggest stages. This will be the x-factor to Brazil’s success at the 2014 World Cup.

On the contrary, Brazil’s domestic soccer league is at a recent high. With Brazil’s economy booming, the Brazilian clubs have gained spending power to not only retain some of their best players, but to attract quality players from Europe. Many of the league’s clubs have been competitive in the Copa Libertadores, which is South America’s equivalent to Europe’s Champions League. The shining moment for the domestic league is Corinthians beating Chelsea in the final of the Club World Cup giving Brazil an impressive four Club World Cup titles which is the most of any country. Neymar, currently Brazil’s most iconic player, has elected to stay in Brazil to promote the domestic league and prove that the league is good enough to develop players for the World Cup. This has been a huge boost to the league, but it seems like Neymar will be off to Europe this summer. An improvement to the domestic league will be very beneficial for Brazil’s national team as it will help to develop Brazil’s young talent.

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