Brazil, under the tutelage of Dorival as head coach, entered the 2024 Copa America as one of the main favorites alongside reigning winners Argentina. As nine-time champions, expectations were high for the Seleção. However, their journey ended in disappointment, exiting in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout loss to Uruguay. This performance was a stark contrast to their historical dominance in the tournament; leaving fans and analysts to wonder: where did it all go wrong?

Brazil’s campaign began with a series of underwhelming performances in the group stage. An opening 0-0 draw with Costa Rica set the tone for a lackluster run. Following this, they managed their lone convincing win, a 4-1 triumph against Paraguay, and a 1-1 draw with Colombia in the last match. These results placed them in a less favorable position, forcing them into a challenging quarterfinal against Uruguay instead of a potentially easier match against Panama.

With a player sent off, Uruguay managed to hold the Little Canary to a scoreless draw in their quarterfinal encounter. The game went to penalties, where Brazil lost 4-2. Eder Militao and Douglas Luiz missed their spot-kicks, encapsulating the team’s struggles throughout the tournament. This defeat underscored the need for a more cohesive and effective strategy moving forward.

What did Dorival Junior say?

Dorival Junior, who took over as head coach in January, faced significant scrutiny. With only eight matches under his belt, he has been tasked with rebuilding the team. His decision to leave out several big names due to form or fitness issues, including Neymar, who missed almost the entire previous season due to injury, drew mixed reactions.

Dorival has now emphasized the need for patience and time to complete the rebuild, pointing to the long-term benefits of such a process. “We have a lot of room to continue growing, evolving, improving and our main objective now is to qualify for the World Cup. Right now we are sixth in the standings, we are not comfortable with that,” he said.

“I think the Uruguayan national team has a pattern, a very well-defined pattern. They have been working for a long time together. They had some problems at first, they corrected them. Now they are finding great results. I think we will achieve all that as well, not a doubt about it, but we need some time to make such corrections.

“We had some issues at the beginning of the tournament. I think we corrected plenty of mistakes. It is tough given the period of time that we had to work to try to speed up the process. I think we’ll have some more time in the future.”

Huge pressure on Dorival with Brazil

The nation’s aspirations were placed on the shoulders of Real Madrid winger Vinicius, who they saw as the inevitable heir to Neymar. However, he struggled to make a significant impact in the tournament. This lack of influence from a key player highlighted the broader issues within the team, including a disjointed and inconsistent attack.

Brazil’s storied history in international soccer comes with immense pressure. With five World Cup wins under their belts, the country tends to see every setback with alarm. This expectation can create a challenging environment for players and coaches alike. Dorival is acutely aware of this dynamic. He has called for patience and support as he works to guide the team through this transitional period.


Copa América 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Copa!
Copa América Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Copa games live in 2024
Key Dates: Learn All the important dates to mark on your calendar
Copa (United States of) América: South America's biggest tournament comes back to the USA
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer