Under Coach Tite Brazil Is Back

Tite Revives the Seleção with New Tactics

Brazil’s new boss, Tite, changed Brazil’s lineup and formation in a brilliant way. He used three central midfielders knowing that Brazil’s famous outside backs would provide plenty of width in the attack while Neymar and Coutinho up top gave the team plenty of creation and free-floating attackers to score and pass.

Let’s not forget that Brazil have found a new Number 9 in Gabriel Jesus. Brazilian soccer had been devoid of dangerous center forwards until Palmeiras’ and now Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus emerge as an excellent striker. Brazil hadn’t had an exciting center forward in years, but now the Seleção has one.

Tite separated himself from his predecessors by starting Coutinho as well, rather than starting Douglas Costa and Willian. Those are two great attacking midfielders or wingers, but Coutinho is a more creative attacking midfielder who is even harder to contain. Tite set both Neymar and Coutinho loose to play as Number 10s or wingers as they saw fit, and both know how to play free-flowing football.

With Casemiro injured,  Fernandinho, Paulinho, and Renato August proved to be a winning trio of central midfielders where Fernandinho played as the defensive midfielder, Paulinho played as the box-to-box midfielder, and Renato Augusto played as an attacking midfielder. Of course the team was really built around Neymar and Coutinho running the attack with Gabriel Jesus being a dream of a center forward. Without Gabriel Jesus, the team’s roles might have lacked enough definition, and he allowed Neymar and Coutinho to play in their preferred roles.

The most surprising thing about Tite as coach of the Seleção is that by going with a formation and a lineup that looked more defensive because it had three central midfielders he was actually taking Brazil back to free-flowing, attacking, and creative soccer. Tite must have decided than Coutinho was too good not to start in an attacking role with Neymar, and Coutinho brings more to the team than Willian and Douglas Costa.

Brazil is back to dominating South American soccer, and the Seleção also appear to be the best team in the world again. Germany, Italy, France, and Argentina will always be Brazil’s biggest competition, but Brazil is back to be the national team par excellence under Tite.


Seven Snubs from the Seleção Copa America Centenario Roster

Seven Snubs from the Seleção Copa America Centenario Roster

Dunga’s Brazil roster for the 2016 Copa America Centenario was good enough, but several players were criminally snubbed from the roster while other snubs were less criminal.

Coaches everyone in world soccer seem to be making bizarre roster and lineup decisions, and these range from Pep Guardiola’s nonsensical Bayern Munich lineups to Jürgen Klinsmann’s misguided coaching decisions for the United States.

Here are Dunga’s snubs from the Brazilian National Team (Seleção):

Thiago Silva (Center Back – Paris Saint-Germain)

Thiago Silva is still the best center back in the world, and he is also the best defender in general in the world. This snub is clearly personal. Any defender can become the scapegoat for a loss or goal, but the snubbing of Thiago Silva is unforgiveable. This is a clear case of a coach rating himself too highly, and it’s a clear case of a coach on a shameless power trip. There’s no universe where Gil or Rodrigo Caio are better than Thiago Silva.

Marcelo (Left Back – Real Madrid)

Marcelo and David Alaba are the best left backs in the world, and for however good Douglas Santos is, he isn’t more deserving than Marcelo and Alex Sandro. It would have made sense if Marcelo and Filipe Luís made the Seleção roster but not Alex Sandro, but it doesn’t make sense than both Marcelo and Alex Sandro were excluded. The Real Madrid left back is a force of nature that has a hugely positive impact on games.

Danilo (Right Back – Real Madrid)

The argument can be made that Dunga snubbed both the starting right back and the starting left back of Real Madrid from the Brazil roster, and that statement already calls into question Dunga’s coaching abilities. Dani Carvajal is sometimes the starting right back for Real Madrid over Danilo, but Danilo is an impressive right back full of non-stop running and excellent two-way play. As a right back, Danilo also has an excellent left foot, and he’s capable of cutting inside toward the penalty box in attack and scoring. Danilo’s speed and overal skill-set make him hard to get past, but Fabinho is an impressive and versatile right back in his own right. Both players are quality, but Danilo is above Fabinho right now.

Lucas (Forward/Wing- Paris Saint-Germain)

Snubbing Lucas wasn’t as bad as the Thiago Silva and Marcelo snubs. Lucas deserved to make the roster, but so did the other players that made the roster instead of him, except for Hulk. At his best, Lucas is unplayable, and he plays on both the right and left wings. Lucas’s 1v1 abilities are world-class, and he isn’t a consistent starter for Paris Saint-Germain only because of Laurent Blanc’s obsession with playing Edinson Cavani, a center forward, as a wing. Snubbing Lucas is understandable given the fact that Hulk can play as a center forward and the fact that Willian, Douglas Costa, and Coutinho are all playing better. Nevertheless, one has to wonder why Hulk and Ricardo Oliveira are on the roster over Roberto Firmino and Lucas. Even if he isn’t starting for Milan, it would make more sense to have Luiz Adriano on the roster over Hulk and to give Lucas a roster spot.

Roberto Firmino (Forward/Attacking Midfielder-Liverpool)

Roberto Firmino isn’t exclusively a center forward, but he has shown well there for Liverpool. He’s proven to be full of running in his off the ball movement and pressing of the defense, and Firmino can score with both feet and his head. Firmino can stretch the defense or combine with teammates, and he can score and create. While Firmino can play any attacking position, he isn’t a False Nine, but rather he can play as a legit Number 9. If Firmino had been on the roster with Gabigol, then Dunga could have been said to be making a real attempt to improve the Number 9 spot for Brazil.

Allan (Central Midfielder-Napoli)

Allan is the type of Number 8 or segundo volante that the Seleção traditionally try to start, but it makes sense to have Elias and Renato Augusto on the roster. The Napoli midfielder provides plenty of ball-winning and attacking forays in Serie A, but his exclusion is a case of two other capable players being selected instead of him. Still, Allan played too well for Napoli to not make the roster. A strong argument can be made that his play in Serie A was more deserving of a roster spot than Elias’ and Renato Augusto’s play domestically in Brazil. Nothing wrong with Elias and Renato Augusto, but Allan got a raw deal here.

Felipe Anderson (Attacking Midfielder/Forward-Lazio)

Felipe Anderson has been designated as an Olympic team player for this summer, but several other players will be selected for both the Copa America Centenario roster and the Olympic roster. The attacking midfielder and wing positions are the deepest for Brazil, but Felipe Anderson is an amazing attacking midfielder that plays in Serie A and plays wide or centrally. It’s fair to say that Felipe Anderson is better than Lucas Lima, who is widely praised in Brazil and a target for Europe’s top clubs. The argument can be made that Brazil’s six best attacking midfielders and/or wings are Neymar, Willian, Douglas Costa, Felipe Anderson, Lucas, and Coutinho. On this roster, Rafinha, Lucas Lima, and Hulk all made the roster while Felipe Anderson and Lucas did not. A questionable decision.


The Best Brazil Lineup Right Now

The Best Brazil Lineup Right Now

Despite Dunga’s recent use of some different formations, for many years now, Brazil has favored the 4-2-3-1 formation with two defensive midfielders behind a line of three attacking midfielders who themselves are behind a center forward.

Let’s look at the best Brazil lineup starting with the goalkeeper.

Now back from injury, Diego Alves is the best Brazilian goalkeeper around, and he showed this over the weekend against Barcelona and their attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luís Suárez, and Neymar. Brazil has several excellent goalkeepers, but Diego Alves is widely-regarded as the best.

Daniel Alves is still the best Brazilian right back, and he proved this when he saved Brazil over Paraguay in the most recent World Cup qualifier when he surged into the penalty box, executed a stepover with his right foot, went left, and curled in a goal with his weaker left foot. That goal saved the draw for Brazil in a game that they couldn’t lose.

That being said, Danilo is a force of nature at Real Madrid, despite often being favored behind Dani Carvajal. Danilo is so talented that he can cut inside onto his weaker left foot and crush shots into the goal from outside of the box. Danilo is even two-footed enough to have played left back for Real Madrid.

Along with Danilo, Bruno Peres of Torino deserves mention as well. The Torino outside back storms the flank like no other, and he’s capable of burning the entire opposition on full-field individual dribbling runs. Like Daniel Alves and Danilo, Bruno Peres is rather two-footed.

For Brazil’s two center backs, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos must be considered the two starters. Thiago Silva has been blackballed by Dunga, but Thiago Silva is still considered the best defender in the world. He is called The Monster for a reason.

Marquinhos is something of a prodigy. He’s the young center back that all of the big clubs want as he combines electric pace with excellent technique and defending. Marquinhos is somewhat comparable to the French defender Raphaël Varane, but Varane is better. Unlike David Luiz, Marquinhos doesn’t have a reputation for ill-advised tackles or fouls.

David Luiz is often a convenient scapegoat for Brazilian fans, but David Luiz is an excellent center back in his own right.

Marcelo is the best Brazilian left back, but Alex Sandro of Juventus is coming. In recent years, Marcelo has vastly improved his defending and his right foot. Some people favor Filipe Luís over Marcelo, but Marcelo is a much much impactful player with better skill and attacking play. Marcelo is a hugely disruptive force to opposing teams, and he instantly puts the opposition on their heels and throws them into disarray. You could say that Marcelo’s play opens up more holes and channels for the likes of Neymar to exploit.

Luiz Gustavo has been a reliable defensive midfielder for Brazil, but Casemiro of Real Madrid has been showing better club form with Real Madrid. Casemiro is also a better passer than Luiz Gustavo, and Brazil’s passing and possession have been well below its previous levels. A better ball-playing defensive midfielder can only help Brazil to not only keep possession but play more directly with balls played through and behind the defense.

To be Casemiro’s deputy as the Number 8 or box-to-box central midfielder, consider Allan of Napoli. Of all the Brazilian Number 8s, Allan has to be considered the best one right now. Allan play’s the position the way Brazil wants it to be played, and Allan has proven himself in Serie A. Allan combines ball-winning with forward runs into the attack, and this is precisely what Brazil requires.

In the line of three attacking midfielders in front of the defensive midfielders, there is plenty of competition such that there isn’t room for Felipe Anderson, Coutinho, and Lucas who are all nothing short of world-class attackers. Brazil has an embarrassment of riches at these attacking positions, so there can be no excuse for Brazil’s current slump or unimpressive form. Felipe Anderson, Coutinho, and Lucas were labelled surplus to requirements in the starting lineup, so that leaves the starters: Willian, Neymar, and Douglas Costa.

You could argue that Neymar is the second best player in the world, and that Willian is the best player in the English Premier League. Willian is definitely Chelsea’s best player, and he brings a complete attacking game where he can play centrally or out wide. Willian is world-class in his dribbling, speed, passing, and scoring ability, and on the opposite flank should be Douglas Costa who has been electrifying for Bayern Munich.

Douglas Costa needs to mesh better with Neymar, but Douglas Costa is a world-beater that is simply too good to not start for Brazil. His play can free Neymar up to score even more goals for Brazil. Neymar’s best position for Brazil is centrally where he controls the game more and sees more of the ball, but the left flank is arguably equally as effective of a spot for Neymar.

The striker or center forward spot for Brazil is a weak spot. Firmino has played well in that position for Liverpool where he has shown that he can be extremely active and get behind defenders. Firmino can score with both feet and his head, and of course Firmino combines well with skillful teammates. He may not be the stereotypical center forward, but he is a center forward just like Alexis Sánchez and Sergio Agüero are – even though those two are better.

Theoretically, Pato is supposed to be Brazil’s Number 9 by now. Pato, now with Chelsea, is healthy, and he deserves a shot playing as Brazil’s lone striker. If Pato starts seeing more club minutes, then he is undoubtedly Brazil’s best center forward.

Here is the Brazil lineup proposed above:

Goalkeeper- Diego Alves (Valencia)

Right Back- Daniel Alves (Barcelona)

Center Back- Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain)

Center Back- Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

Left Back- Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Defensive Midfielder- Casemiro (Real Madrid)

Central Midfielder- Allan (Napoli)

Right Wing- Willian (Chelsea)

Number 10- Neymar (Barcelona)

Left Wing- Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich)

Striker- Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)


Brazil’s New Attackers



While the search for the Seleção’s Number 9 continues, two Brazilian attackers stand out as worthy of lining up to the right and left of Neymar.

Lucas Moura and Felipe Anderson are worthy to line up next to Neymar.

The Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) must make sure that Lucas Moura and Felipe Anderson are put on the Seleção. These players embody the spirit of Brazilian soccer, and Neymar could use some more attackers that can shred defenders by themselves.

Time for Brazilian soccer to return to the electrifying and creative style of attacking play that made Brazil the undisputed best national team in the world in the past.

Lucas, Neymar, and Felipe Anderson can take Brazil back to futebol arte.

Assuming Brazil uses two excellent center midfielders and a quality Number 9, then the trio of Lucas, Neymar, and Felipe Anderson should make the Seleção a team to truly fear once again.

Brazil has been falling short of expectations, but the doomsday prophecies of Brazilian soccer are off base.

Brazil’s problems lay with finding a better starting line-up, and the main question marks are in the defensive midfield roles and the center forward position.

After all, Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Marcelo is an excellent Back Four, and Lucas, Neymar, and Felipe Anderson is an outstanding trio of world-class attackers.

While Lucas is a game-deciding attacker, his game is most associated with phenomenal dribbling and speed. Lucas is an excellent passer and finisher, but his speed and dribbling are huge x-factors.

Felipe Anderson combines playmaking with goal-scoring skill, and like Lucas and Neymar, he is virtually unplayable when he’s on his game.

Last season in Serie A, Felipe Anderson was the proverbial man on fire, and he and Lucas should help Neymar and the Seleção bring futebol arte back.


Copa America: What’s Brazil’s Best XI?


Neymar (Photo: AP)
Neymar (Photo: AP)




Readers will immediately notice the absence of Oscar, Willian, Luiz Gustavo, and Elias, but World Soccer Source is backing David Luiz to play as the defensive midfielder with Fernandinho playing as the central midfielder.


This obviously gives Marquinhos the start at center back with Thiago Silva.


By starting David Luiz and Fernandinho as the defensive midfielders, Brazil would have excellent ball-winning in its midfield with the distribution of David Luiz and Fernandinho to release Brazil’s attackers: Lucas, Felipe Anderson, Neymar, and Luiz Adriano.


Using Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and David Luiz down the middle makes the Brazilian defense very difficult to penetrate, and Fernandinho only bolsters this defensive strength.


Although often playing as a defensive midfielder, Fernandinho is an excellent center midfielder full of running, vision, ball-winning, and incisive passes through the defense.


An attack with Lucas, Felipe Anderson, and Neymar is likely Brazil’s most talented, most creative, and most dangerous option, and Luiz Adriano is somewhat the default option to play as the Number 9. Nevertheless, Luiz Adriano’s ability to stretch defenses, attack defenses at pace, outmuscle defenders, and finish is impressive.


Pato is Brazil’s most talented Number 9, and by far the most explosive and deadly, but Luiz Adriano is the best Brazilian Number 9 right now.


Danilo has been a revelation at right back, and he’s the best Brazilian right back since Maicon. Only Bruno Peres is close to Danilo.


At left back, Marcelo is just better than Filipe Luís. For many, Filipe Luís is a more disciplined defender, but Marcelo is too good, too proven, and too experienced to not start in the Copa America.


World Soccer Source’s Best Brazil XI differs slightly from Dunga’s first-choice XI, but starting Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, David Luiz, and Fernandinho together makes the Brazilian defense and defensive midfield arguably the best in the world.


Willian, Oscar, and Neymar is a world-class line of three attacking midfielders, but Lucas, Felipe Anderson, and Neymar is more talented, faster, and more Brazilian.


Below is World Soccer Source’s Best Brazil XI for the Copa America:


Goalkeeper: Diego Alves

Right Back: Danilo

Center Back: Thiago Silva

Center Back: Marquinhos

Left Back: Marcelo

Defensive Midfielder: David Luiz

Central Midfielder: Fernandinho

Right Attacker: Lucas

Attacking Midfielder: Felipe Anderson

Left Attacker: Neymar

Striker: Luiz Adriano



Brazil XI: Diego Alves; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Marcelo; David Luiz, Fernandinho; Lucas, Felipe Anderson, Neymar; Luiz Adriano.



The Best Brazil 23 (February 2015)


Neymar (Photo: AP)
Neymar (Photo: AP)





Below is the best Seleção 23-man roster as of February 2015:


Goalkeepers: Rafael, Diego Alves, Jefferson


Center Backs: Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marquinhos, Miranda


Right Backs: Danilo, Bruno Peres


Left Backs: Marcelo, Filipe Luís


Defensive Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Ramires


Attacking Midfielders: Oscar, Willian, Felipe Anderson, Coutinho


Forwards: Neymar, Lucas, Luiz Adriano, Pato



Does Brazilian Football Require an Overhaul?


Neymar, Brazil's brightest star. (Photo: Getty Images)
Neymar, Brazil’s brightest star. (Photo: Getty Images)




Does Brazilian football really need an overhaul?


Yes and no.


Brazil continues to have an abundance of world-class players at every position, but many former and current players, journalists, pundits, and the like have all gone on record lamenting the problems with the running of the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) and the problem with young Brazilian players in Europe being made less creative and dynamic by their European coaches.


Domestically, the CBF needs to listen to the advice of all of the great Brazilian soccer minds, coaches, players, and ex-players that have specific ideas of what they want changed and how to do it, and these ideas need to be put into action.


Abroad, European teams want to get Brazilians while they are young, but they often want to take the Brazilian characteristics out of the players. Europeans want Brazilians because of their skill on the ball, but they want Brazilians to adapt to the European way of playing.


The problem with this approach is that many of the very best and most successful European players like Zinedine Zidane played like Brazilians – or even better. The elements that have made Brazilian players the most highly sought after are what European teams are paying for, so they need to be careful to not ruin their Brazilian players.


Since Brazilian players develop fantastic technical skill on their own outside of any organization as young children, there’s no real problem with Brazil’s development of players, minus the absence of a better striker on the 2014 World Cup team.


The reason for this particular absence was because the striker phenom, Pato, was supposed to be the striker on the 2010 and the 2014 Brazil World Cup squads. In theory, Brazil had been grooming Pato to be the Number 9 since he was a teenager. Injuries and some inconsistent club form because of the injuries have derailed this plan until now, but Pato is only 24 going on 25 years old.


If Brazil’s World Cup squad had used a stronger and more creative attack consisting of Lucas, Oscar, Neymar, and Pato, the attack might have been much effective and exciting, which likely would have pressured Germany too much in the back to allow Germany to score seven goals in a World Cup semifinal.


There might have never been the 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinal, and the subsequent crisis might have never been.


Hulk and Fred in particular were like dead weight for the Seleção in the World Cup, and the failure to include better options on the roster or to drop Hulk and Fred when they were underperforming were major problems.


From a purely soccer standpoint, there is no shortage of technical, creative, and athletic Brazilian players at every position, and the non-structured manner in which many Brazilians learn to play is in fact the reason that they are so good.


Therefore, any changes to Brazil’s academies and youth development need to be done in such a way as to not eliminate the unique way in which Brazilian kids learn how to play soccer with such skill and creativity with the ball.


There are problems with the management of the CBF, but these problems don’t affect the early development of world-class Brazilian players that learn to play by playing pick-up soccer, juggling, and just practicing with the ball.


It’s important to remember that Brazil did just reach the semifinals with an impressive group of world-class players, so many of the arguments about Brazilian football being in a state of complete crisis are just mass hysteria and exaggeration.


The two big takeaways from Brazil’s performance in the 2014 World Cup are: 1.) the Seleção needed to give Neymar and Oscar better attacking partners; and 2.) Brazil needed to recollect themselves after conceding an early first goal to Thomas Müller of Germany in the semifinal game.


Brazilian football isn’t going to drop out of elite status because of one embarrassing goleada, and Brazil did use a tactically sound 4-2-3-1 formation where there was a defensive midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, a playmaker, two wide attacking midfielders that looked to cut inside, and a striker. Plus, the Brazilian defense featured four defenders that almost anyone would consider world-class.


In the wake of the 2014 World Cup, Neymar and many others have said that Brazil needs to catch up with Germany in how they train and prepare, but the thing that Brazil has that no one else has is still there: a bottomless pit of world-class players with a unique and creative way of mastering control over a soccer ball.


The Seleção needs to continue to use creative and technical players at every position, and it needs to combine the somewhat recently improved caliber of its center backs and defensive midfielders with the types of outside backs, creative midfielders, and attackers that can score, keep possession, and display creativity like no other national team.


Going forward, Dunga needs to make sure that he uses players that look to quickly pass and combine with one another, so that Brazil can exploit its greatest asset: creative and highly technical players.


One thing to keep repeating is that Brazil did in fact reach the semifinals, which it lost terribly without two of its best players: Neymar and Thiago Silva, the most important attacker and the most important defender.


Brazil is a soccer crazed country of over 200 million people that consistently produces the best players, so maybe, just maybe, all this talk of jogo bonito being dead is just the overreaction of a country with unrealistically high expectations of its players and huge overreactions to its losses – even really embarrassing losses.


Hulk and Fred didn’t work out, so it’s time to give their spots to different players that can help Neymar and Oscar to put the opposition on its heels.


Dunga needs to take stock of the talent pool and use the best players at each position in the 4-2-3-1 formation, or perhaps the Brazilian 4-2-2-2 formation.


Brazilian football is still alive and well, and Neymar is its king.


Seleção: Who Will Make the World Cup Roster?


Neymar will be Brazil's biggest star in the World Cup (Photo: Getty Images)
Neymar will be Brazil’s biggest star in the World Cup (Photo: Getty Images)




Unlike Dunga or Mano Menezes, a Brazilian coach of Felipão’s success and knowledge can be trusted to pick the very best Brazilian roster available to him.


World Soccer Source has previously proposed 23-man Seleção rosters that mostly mirror Felipão’s picks with a few exceptions that are this writer’s personal preferences, but the roster prediction below is an attempt to guess the actual Seleção for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


The main position that is a question mark is the Number 9 or first striker position, as only Fred (when healthy) appears to be the clear-cut first-choice Number 9 for Felipão and Brazil.


Furthermore, it is unclear whether or not any of the following three players will make the roster: Ronaldinho, Kaká, and Robinho. Robinho was actually included on the Panini strickers for the 2014 Brazil World Cup roster.


On a final note, Lucas is another player that may or may not be included on the World Cup roster.


Most of Felipão’s player preferences are well-known by anyone who follows the Seleção, but there are still some uncertainties.


Below is World Soccer Source’s best guess at the 23-man Seleção World Cup roster:


GOALKEEPERS (3):  Júlio CÉSAR (Toronto FC), VICTOR (Atlético Mineiro), JEFFERSON (Botafogo)


CENTER BACKS (4):  THIAGO SILVA (Paris Saint-Germain), DAVID LUIZ (Chelsea), DANTE (Bayern Munich), DEDÉ (Cruzeiro)




LEFT BACKS (2):  MARCELO (Real Madrid), ADRIANO (Barcelona)






ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS (5):  NEYMAR (Barcelona), OSCAR (Chelsea), BERNARD (Shakhtar Donetsk), WILLIAN (Chelsea), ROBINHO (Milan)/LUCAS (Paris Saint-Germain)


FORWARDS (3):  FRED (Fluminense), HULK (Zenit St. Petersburg), JÔ (Atlético Mineiro)



Below are several dark horse selections:


RONALDINHO (Atlético Mineiro)

KAKÁ (Milan)

PATO (São Paulo)

MAXWELL (Paris Saint-Germain)





The Best Seleção XI For the World Cup (April 2014)


Neymar, Brazil's brightest star. (Photo: Getty Images)
Neymar, Brazil’s brightest star. (Photo: Getty Images)




Below is World Soccer Source’s Best Seleção XI for the 2014 World Cup. Two positions (right back and right wing) differ from Felipão’s first choices.


Brazil’s Starting XI is well-known, but World Soccer Source’s version offers a few changes along with some comments and observations about each Starting XI spot.


Here is Brazil’s Best XI for the 2014 World Cup:





Júlio César is still the best Brazilian goalkeeper, and the concerns over his form are overrated. Júlio César always seems to play well for O Canarinho.




Daniel Alves is a phenomenal right back that is everyone’s pick as the starting right back for Brazil. World Soccer Source favors Maicon, nicknamed “The Colossus.” Maicon the Marauder is an absolute beast of a right back who is a better defender than Daniel Alves. Maicon bombs down the sideline with even more conviction than Daniel Alves, and The Colossus is more effective at sprinting straight through and around defenses. Maicon is a creature of the outside of the right foot that only scores golaços.




The best center back in the world. Thiago Silva is nicknamed O Monstro (The Monster). “Monster” is a term frequently used in Brazil to describe phenomenal footballers, but Thiago Silva is “The Monster.”




Dante of Bayern Munich has a bone to pick here, but David Luiz is a fantastic center back (also a defensive midfielder) that ran amok during the 2013 Confederations Cup. Easily one of the top five center backs in the world, and he’s used to playing with Thiago Silva.




Marcelo, along with David Alaba and Philipp Lahm (who plays on both sides and as a defensive midfielder), is the best left back in the world. Marcelo used to be one-footed but not for a few years now. Marcelo is excellent at collecting the ball out of the back and immediately torching opponents down the sideline. Marcelo scores goals as well. Marcelo’s speed is almost unmatched in world soccer.




Fernandinho has a strong case for this spot. Paulinho and Luiz Gustavo have strong chemistry, and Luiz Gustavo is a true defensive midfielder unlike Fernandinho who is more of a box-to-box midfielder. Luiz Gustavo is a disciplined defensive midfielder who stays deep without exposing his back line by making attacking forays. The left-footed player is an excellent tackler and defender who plays his position like it’s supposed to be played. Luiz Gustavo allows Paulinho or Ramires the freedom to roam and attack.




Paulinho isn’t necessarily better than Ramires who brings so much skill, defending, non-stop running, and some ridiculously good goals. Maybe Brazil should start Paulinho and Ramires together with no midfield destroyer like Luiz Gustavo. Paulinho and Ramires are pretty equal, but Paulinho has been used more frequently by Brazil. Paulinho and Ramires are an embarrassment of riches at the central midfielder position. Two excellent footballers with no weaknesses.




Hulk is the actual Felipão starter at this position, but Willian has been torching people for Chelsea with incredible two-footed skill and electrifying speed and quickness, and for World Soccer Source, the Brazilian winger is just way too good to not start.


NUMBER 10: OSCAR (Chelsea)


A few years ago, Ganso seemed destined for this role, but then Oscar emerged and blew every Brazilian playmaker away. Oscar is the clear starter for Brazil, and the Chelsea playmaker is a goal-scoring playmaker who combines very well with Neymar. Neymar and Oscar communicate telepathically. Neymar wears the Number 10 jersey, but Oscar is the Number 10. Oscar was dubbed “OSCRAQUE” by Neymar.




Arguably the world’s best player, Neymar is a one-man show that delivers in the big games with dribbling, passing, and amazing goals. The best Brazilian since Ronaldinho. Neymar’s career could eclipse Lionel Messi’s, even if the stats don’t.


STRIKER: FRED (Fluminense)/JÔ (Atlético Mineiro)/LEANDRO DAMIÃO (Santos)


Take your pick.


Fred is the first-choice Number 9 for Brazil by default, but Leandro Damião and Jô are quite good in their own right. The most talented, the fastest, and the most ruthless Brazilian Number 9 is still the young Pato who is a very dark horse contender for the Seleção roster. Fred is an excellent striker even by Brazilian standards, but Pato is a prodigy.






Seleção: Should Diego Be Oscar’s Back-Up as the Meia-Armador?


Diego (left) is another Number 10 option for Brazil. (Photo: AP Photo)
Diego (left) is another Number 10 option for Brazil. (Photo: AP Photo)




Oscar of Chelsea – dubbed OSCRAQUE by Neymar – is the starting meia-armador for the Seleção.


Although Neymar has been given the Number 10 jersey for Brazil, Oscar is playing the Number 10 role as the meia-armador, which is the Brazilian Portuguese term for the Number 10 or playmaker role.


In the United States, this position is called the central attacking midfielder, but regardless of the position’s name, there is a silent race going on between Ronaldinho and Kaká to be Oscar’s back-up, but is there another contender?

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