We’re back with another ‘what would (blank) do?’ And we’re here with the 5 time World Champions Brazil.
I chose Brazil because they’re the poster boys for world football. The poster boys for flair!
So let’s ask the question, what would Brazil do?
With my experience in watching Brazil, I believe they would build it around their most talented player—Build a team around their number 10, or their number 9. You can develop a team for the next 5 plus years if building around the talented players. And not the most experienced players, which often been the case for Ghana. Developing a team around your most talented players allows you to get the most out of them.
Let’s look at Brazil’s number 9 and 10’s in recent years. As well as the number 9 and 10’s, I took the liberty in adding the traditional holding midfielders next to them. I did so, because found it interesting that all the star players of that generation, and following, from ‘94 won major honours. The only asterisks in the list would be Neymar and Casimero, who either played or missed glory in Rio at the Olympic Games, or the Copa America in 2019 due to injury.
- Romario & Dunga (1994)
- Ronaldo & Dunga (1997)
- Rivaldo & G.Silva (2002)
- *Neymar & Casimero (2016/19)
P.S I’ve not noted your Ronaldinho’s and Kaka’s etc. because they weren’t the no. 9/10 at the time of success. And please note, some of these players would have crossed over into different teams.
I’m going to rephrase the question – What do Brazil do? What gives them their flair?
I looked at a number of things that contribute to their success. Like their population of 213m people.
The 6th highest in the world. But what supports most Brazilians in football being a natural gift is the weather and their personality! It being a sport that can be played all year round to the smile and beat of a drum and samba. Which leads me onto my next point – Beach Football. And alongside that, Futsal. Both sports which have a relation to Football, and have a huge aspect of flair.
Football is like a religion to Brazilians. But as well as a religion, it’s a pathway to success for many who come from disenfranchised backgrounds. Which adds to the drive and connection with the game.
Now back to the question ‘what would Brazil do?’
Following the 2014 World Cup, and the devastating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany. Brazil employed Tite and Edu Gasper to vanquish the ghouls of the 8th July 2014. Edu, now at Arsenal was Brazil’s general manager. And oversaw Brazil win their 12 Copa America title, and their 1st since 2007.
But what does a general manager for Brazil do. For one, Brazil, similar to some African countries have many exports playing in Europe. So that has to be managed well. But what does a general manager for Brazil do?
Tite of course, managed everything on the field. But as coordinator, Edu worked with a large number of Brazil’s staff to plan each international break down to the smallest of details, including sorting out a flight from Madrid to Brazil for those players plying their trade in Europe to travel to the training camp.
With the amount of Ghanaian’s playing in Europe, and for other nations. An Edu like character/role is advantageous.
Looking on, what have Brazil done in recent time to be successful?
It’s funny that, I looked at the Brazil team that lost to Ghana in 2009—in Egypt, in the U17 World Cup final. I recognised none of the starting 11, barring Ganso who failed to live up to his reputation. 5 years later, they were finalists in the 2012 Olympics. And in 2016, they were Olympic champions. So –
- Early talent identification and implemented pathways for players is important. So not only the monitoring and development of players can take place. But change can take place too! We discussed their population. But it’s to this, one of the reasons why they have a big pool of quality players to choose from.
- We raised this in WWND. But they also have a proud identity! A sporting one, and one of pride. To play for Selecao is an honour!
There are other factors, but for me these are some of the key components. It’s with this, they have created an identity, and foundation to build and create from.
‘What would Brazil do’ to improve the circumstances around the current state of our national side? What are the differences in approach?
It must be said, each country would have a different approach due its resources. But whether limited resources, or an insurmountable amount, the general management and co-ordination of both grassroots football and the national team will be the focus—with how can we engage as many Ghanaians to play football as possible. Including Beach Football and Futsal. Both on the rise it must be said. But at the foundation of it all, it’s Talent ID. And the pathways that will provide opportunity for both the player, and the Football Association to select the best players for the national team.
Edu Gaspar’s role, working with a large number of staff, was to plan each training camp and international break down to the smallest of details. These details are important, including which seems to be a sticking point, identifying and attracting the talent in the diaspora – in countries like the UK, Italy, Netherlands, and Germany, Ghana must take advantage of this!
As to bullet point 2, a sporting identity important. In each corner of the world, most countries have an identity and style of football they play. In Spain – Tika Taka. And in Brazil – Flair and Samba. We must find ours.
What would you do? What do you think?
As with our podcast. Like, comment with your views, share and subscribe/follow. We’ll be publishing another article, another ‘what would (blank) do?’ towards the end of October. We’ll posting as usual vía social media keeping up with the stories as they unfold in the coming weeks. As always if you have any questions or queries. Email us at email@example.com or tweet or DM us at @teamghanaeu on IG or Twitter.
Written by Andrew Mensah-Twumasi @andrewmensahjr (IG/Twitter)
- Brazil Squad (https://www.businessinsider.com/)
- Ronaldo (https://www.90min.com/)
- Edu Gasper (https://pt.besoccer.com/)
- Brazil National Anthem (https://www.planetfootball.com/)
- Beach Football (https://theculturetrip.com/)
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