Football is currently the number one sport. The largest championships are constantly under the scrutiny of the press. Television contracts are worth billions of dollars. Fans admire the skill of their idols, demanding entertainment from them. It seems that there is one country that better than others knows how to enjoy the game itself and give it to fans.
It is no coincidence that Brazil is considered the strongest football power, and its players are referred to as "ball wizards". Meanwhile, in this case, it should be said that such expectations are often overestimated.
The image of Brazilian football is based on myths and legends. And a beautiful game alone cannot achieve such a result.
Myths about Brazilian football
All Brazilians learn to play soccer on the beach. Many commentators attribute the skill of the footballers to the fact that they started playing on the beach. There, in difficult conditions of a viscous surface, the technique was perfected. This is one of the most common myths about Brazilian football. In fact, the seaside region has historically always been remote or inaccessible to people from poor or working families. A large number of potential Pele were either born or raised in small towns, far from the ocean and its beaches. Boys in Brazil kick the ball or tied up rags in the streets. Another option for playing is an enclosed space. Futsal develops technology even better than beaches. From beach soccer to the national team, only one made it, the 1970 champion Paulo Cesar, and Ronaldo, Romario and Ronaldinho have a futsal past. Experts believe that the style of play instilled there improves dribbling and passing skills. According to the legends "elastic dribbling" Rivelino was invented by him in the gym.
Anyone can lead a team with such brilliant players. Oddly enough, but such a myth turned out to be harmful. Brazilian coaches fell victim to it. Their successes are underestimated, it is believed that the players did everything themselves to achieve the result. It is difficult for coaches from this country to prove themselves abroad, including because of the language and cultural barriers. In fact, it is true that Brazil is blessed with gifted players, but denying the coach's work is also foolish. The legendary 1970 team was created by the coach. He managed to assemble a team on the field, which was considered unviable in the homeland. For example, coach Mario Zagalo found a place for Tostao by making him a "false nine".
Brazilian footballers lack tactical discipline. After a shocking 3-2 defeat to Italy against Italy (this happened at the World Cup in Spain in 1982), accusations fell on the Brazilians. Critics believed that the inability to defend lay behind the beautiful performance of the Tele Santana team. But that team conceded only six goals in five matches. And at the moment when Paolo Rossi scored the decisive goal, there were only 10 Brazilians on the field. The victory at the World Cup in 1994, when the national team conceded only 3 goals in the entire tournament, finally dispelled this myth. In the playoffs, the national team won by one goal, coolly maintaining a minimal advantage.
The Brazilian military influenced the 1970 team. Between 1964 and 1985, the country was ruled by a military junta that wrote some of the darkest chapters in Brazilian history. The generals used football as a political tool. This led to a boom in stadium construction, which was repeated in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. There is a legend that the president of the country, and concurrently the chairman of the football federation, Emilio Medici, decided to fire the coach Joao Saldanho a few months before the start of the World Cup. But was there more politics or sports here? The reason for the dismissal was the reluctance to include the striker Tostao. But could a ruthless dictator even appoint Saldanha to the post of trainer of an open communist? In those years, the left was openly persecuted by the regime. Yes, and Saldanha actually fought not against Tostao, but for Pele, who could be prevented by a one-sided competitor.
In 1998, a Nike conspiracy lost its chance of winning. The American sports giant has gone to great lengths to sign a historic contract with the Brazilian Football Federation. In 1996, Nike paid $ 200 million, it was rumored that in return, the company even received the right to choose a squad for friendly matches. It was beneficial to her that the maximum number of sponsored players participated. According to the myth, it is Nike who is responsible for the last minute inclusion of Ronaldo before the 1998 World Cup final. But he was experiencing convulsions and was clearly not ready. In fact, the reason for this decision lies in the terrible management of the team by the coaches, and not lobbying for the interests of the main sponsor. And there was no evidence that Nike representatives had any contact with the team that day.
All Brazilian footballers are glamorous stars. It seems that since a person has chosen the profession of a football player, then he leads a rich life and spends time on parties. And although from 2003 to 2011 the money turnover in the first division grew by 300%, huge salaries for most of the players never dreamed of. The Brazilian Confederation said that more than 70% of professional footballers receive no more than $ 600 per month.
Pele boycotted the 1974 World Cup in protest against the dictatorship. This myth came about thanks to Pele himself. And how not to believe the King of Football? In fact, his close friends refuted this statement. The fact is that Pele did not have any special political predilections that would force him to boycott the primacy. After the end of his international career in 1971, Pele received an offer from President Ernest Geisel to return to the national team. However, Pele signed a lucrative contract with Pepsi. He was afraid of his breakup. In addition, the footballer's friends explained to him that everyone would blame Pele if Brazil could not win their fourth title. This is exactly what happened - Holland stood in the way with Johan Cruyff. But Pele himself had nothing to do with it.
Football in Brazil appeared thanks to the British. There is a clear date when the history of Brazilian football began. On February 18, 1894, Charles Miller, the Brazilian-born son of a Scottish railroad worker, returned from his studies in Southampton with two soccer balls. And although Miller organized the first official league in Brazil, this game was already known here. Sailors of different nationalities arriving at ports played ball for fun. And football was even part of the curriculum in some Jesuit schools. So don't credit the opening of the game for Brazil to one person. Moreover, it is still impossible to consider him a purebred Englishman.
Brazil has never had strong goalkeepers. It is believed that all the problems of the Brazilian teams are related to the poor performance of local goalkeepers. And in the leading European championships there are not so many representatives of this role. Goalkeepers always cost less on the market than outfield players. The names of the Brazilian goalkeepers are not always well known. Recent examples include Julio Cesar, who reached all the heights with his Inter. Dida won the Champions League twice with Milan. And Claudio Taffarel is considered one of the main creators of the victory at the 1994 World Cup, winning a penalty shootout in the final. And at the next championship in the semifinals, Taffarel repeated his feat.
In Brazil, everyone is literally obsessed with football. It is believed that Brazil is the most footballing country in the world. This is evidenced by at least a record five world titles. And the Brazilian players in recent decades are always in sight in the best clubs. However, the Brazilian championship itself is comparable to the 1980s in terms of attendance. Currently, an average of about 15 thousand people come to the game. At this level, Brazilian football is comparable to the American MLS.
In Brazil, they always play sharp attacking football. There is no doubt that at all times attacking Brazilian players have been valued in international football. The main legends are concentrated precisely in the line of attack: Pele, Ronaldo, Garrincha, Zico, Leonidas, Romario, Vava and many others. It was the forwards who ultimately brought glory to Brazilian football. But connoisseurs of Brazilian football know that they not only attack well here, but also defend themselves. In recent years, the style has become much more pragmatic than in the 60s. And who, if not the Brazilians, became revolutionaries in tactics, increasing the number of defenders to the detriment of the attack. It happened in 1958, that championship was won. And in 1962 - a new revolution from Brazil, this time the attack was weakened by the middle line. And again the victory was won! It's just that the level of the Brazilian strikers, their imagination and artistry gave rise to such a myth. And the phrase: "You will score as much as you can, and we - as much as we want" only reinforced the belief that the Brazilians are exclusively focused on attack.
Brazilian footballers are short on endurance and avoid a tough fight. The style of play of the best Brazilian wing-backs, scurrying along their edge throughout the match, has become a classic. We can mention at least Roberto Carlos and Cafa. These Brazilian defenders had time to attack, defend, insure, pass. Could the Brazilian national team have won the World Cup five times if they dodged the fight and couldn't keep up with the pace of the entire match? In fact, local footballers know how to do everything - to fight, pass, effectively complete combinations. It's just not the tackles that are remembered, but the goals.
Brazil has always had weak defenders. Today, there are few defenders comparable in level and toughness to such defenders as David Louise and Thiago Silva. And the attackers do not shy away from rough work. In the history of Brazilian football, there were not only legendary strikers, but also famous defenders. Today it is believed that these players defend just as well as the classics - Italians and Germans. Brazilians are well built, athletic, aggressive, good head play.
All Brazilians have a discipline problem. It has long been known that football players from this country have problems with the regime. In Brazil, everyone loves carnivals, dances and parties, which has left its mark on football players. It seems that the holiday is in their blood. A footballer who flew home on vacation will almost certainly return late, preferring to pay a fine. In fact, in Brazilian football there are many regimes and professionals with a cold mind. You can remember at least about Pele, Zico, Kaka, Dunga, Zagalo. Nobody could accuse these players of indiscipline. So the myth is only half true.