In my opinion, the squad that Luis Felipe Scolari chose to represent Brazil at their own World Cup was the worst Brazil squad ever assembled. What was supposed to be a sixth World Cup championship on home soil ended in utter humiliation and exposed an assortment of flaws and frailties. Here, I’ll take a look at those who made it, and those who will hopefully be called up in future.
The keepers chosen for the World Cup were Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo) and Victor (Atletico Mineiro)
At the 2010 World Cup, Brazil were coasting to victory against Holland, when Julio Cesar let a Wesley Sneijder cross through his fingers to let Holland back into the game. Brazil would go on to lose and Julio Cesar blamed himself for the defeat. At the 2014 World Cup, Julio Cesar didn’t really put a foot wrong. He was badly let down by the players in front of him and was fighting a losing battle throughout the games against Germany and Holland. He’ll probably be cast aside now, but I for one will always consider Julio Cesar to be up there with Taffarel, Marcos and Dida as top-class Brazilian World Cup keepers.
The other two keepers taken to the World Cup are Jefferson and Victor. Neither have really staked a claim to replace Julio Cesar as the No.1, so I would like to see the next Brazil manager take a punt on Gabriel, the 21 year-old who currently plays for Milan. He may well have to leave Milan to secure regular first team football, but he impressed me during the 2012 Olympics and was the Brazil keeper when they won the 2011 U20 World Cup. If given the chance, Gabriel could be first choice keeper for years to come.
Right-back has been a bit of a problem area for Brazil ever since Cafu retired. The job has been shared over the last 8 years between Dani Alves and Maicon, both of whom were chosen by Scolari for the 2014 World Cup.
Dani Alves is great when he gets forward to link up with the wonderful attacking players that Barcelona have. He is an abysmal defender though, and seems to have lost a yard of pace of late. Take a look at the German defensive line. They play a flat back four, and occasionally, Lahm gets forward; but more often than not they keep their discipline, sit back and focus on their defensive duties. They are not frustrated midfielders or wingers who feel as though they are missing out on the fun just because they have to stay back.