Brazil had not fared too well in the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and worse the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Playing at home in 2014, they are favorites to win their sixth World Cup. Brazil last beat the World in 2002 and the question is the 2014 team better than the 2002 World Cup team?
Playing against the South African national squad in the March 5, 2014 friendly, South Africa failed to test the Scolari squad. Brazil won 5-0 with Neymar scoring a hat-trick and the newly called-up Fernandinho scored from way outside the penalty box.
The 2002 squad had Dida in goal, Cafu and Roberto Carlos as wing backs, Lucio and Rogue Junior were the central defenders.
The 2014 team match up fairly well with the 2002 back four. Both Roberto Carlos and Cafu were dangerous on attack but Dani Alveres and Marcelo are in the same league. But Thiago Silva and David Luiz are superior central defenders than Lucio or Rogue Junior.
The 2002 mid-field with Kleberson and Silva were not extra-ordinary. Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Fernandinho or Ramires stand head and shoulder above that 2002 World Cup mid-field.
What made the 2002 Brazilian World Cup team special was the playmaking ability of Ronaldinho. He was at the top of his game in 2002 and was a destroyer of defenses. In addition, there was the incredible strike force of Ronaldo and Rivaldo. Ronaldo was unstoppable in 2002 and Rivaldo was himself quite a finisher.
The 2014 squad has a decent strike force. Hulk could peak as a player during the World Cup and Oscar is young and capable but he is no Ronaldinho. As in the Confederation Cup of 2014, Neymar is Brazil’s trump card and he functions both as a playmaker and a scorer.
Ronaldinho went back to Brazil with the hope of making the squad but Ronaldino at 33 is not the same player he was at 22.
Brazil will meet stiff competition from Argentina, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Scolari’s squad is almost set. Fernandinho will make the team but Brazil will open the World Cup in June 2014 in Sao Paulo without the young and without the old Ronaldinho, one of the great playmakers in the annals of the World Cup.
On Tuesday June 22nd, ballers from all around the NYC soccer community gathered around the historic Met Oval Field in Maspeth to showcase their flair and skills in an exclusive 3v3 pop up event curated by Futbolr brand and Calculated Creativity. With Ligue 1 Champion and Lille forward Timothy Weah and New York Redbulls Player Kyle Duncan making a special appearance for the event as well as NJ/NY Gotham FC’s own Brianna Pinto and Jennifer Cudjoe, the event was nothing short of a star-studded cast that lit up an awe-inspiring scene with hundreds of players from all walks of life coming together to experience an event that not only highlighted the blazing swagger of the NYC futbolr community -- but also shining light on the key entities and groups that helped sponsor and promote the NYC footy scene.
The beautiful game that we cherish as futbolrs provides us with valuable lessons; sometimes, tragedies are also a part of this complex, beautiful game that we all share. And these tragedies in itself speak on a much greater narrative in regards to the way our societies and communities interact with one another. This past year we saw the movement of athletes empowering others to speak up and have a meaningful voice in social injustice, in communities, and in mental health. For the football community there is more work to be done, and the loss of Seid Visin only reinforces the amount of work that is needed to truly make this game an all-inclusive family. This week’s newsletter pays tribute to the loss of 20 year old adopted Ethiopian-Italian futbolr Seid Visin who struggled with the demons of mental illness. Taking his own life, the former Milan Primavera academy talent was a rising star in the ranks of Italian football before finally withdrawing from his dreams back in 2016-2017.