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Can Dorival and his soldiers revive Brazil's heyday?

Dorival Jr. he must have been under a lot of pressure to perform well against England on Saturday. At the beginning of this year, in January, he got the position. He was Brazil's first full-time manager since Tite resigned during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where their campaign was halted by a loss to Croatia in the round of 16.

Can Dorival and his soldiers revive Brazil's heyday?

The long sunset of Brazilian football seems to be coming to an end. Brazil played their first match under Dorival Jr. on Saturday at legendary Wembley and started a new era with a fantastic performance against the Three Lions. Beating England in England is not easy! Brazil, five-time World Cup champions, have not been a major player on the international stage for several decades. The last time Korea and Japan won the World Cup was almost 22 years ago. They no longer have the same level of widespread support they had in the Pelé or Ronaldo eras.

 

Then in recent years the situation worsened. They were the hosts and one of the main favorites to win the 2014 World Cup, but lost 7–1 to eventual champions Germany in the semi-finals. In the previous two tournaments, they failed to make it past the quarterfinals. For the first time since 1963, they lost more games than they won in the previous campaign. They drew one, won three and lost five. And those wins came against weaker opposition (Peru, Bolivia and Guinea). The most embarrassing losses were against Senegal and Morocco.

 

Dorival Jr. he must have been under a lot of pressure to perform well against England on Saturday. At the beginning of this year, in January, he got the position. He was Brazil's first full-time manager since Tite resigned during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where their campaign was halted by a loss to Croatia in the round of 16.

 

It would seem natural to find a replacement this way, but it didn't turn out that way in the end. Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was not hired by the Brazilian Football Confederation and two interim managers, Ramon Menezes and Fernando Diniz, were tried at different times. Their president Ednaldo Rodrigues confidently declared in July last year that Ancelotti would take the position ahead of Copa America 2024, so the eggs were covered. After almost a year of consideration, they finally decided on Dorival.

 

His team played an excellent game on Saturday. When teenage prodigy Endrick scored a memorable 1-0 win for the Selecao in the 80th minute, it looked like the international friendly would be headed for a draw. He came on as a substitute and when he was on the pitch, several observers – more specifically former England midfielder Joe Cole – thought he looked a lot like 1994 world champion Romario.

 

Brazil will now travel to Spain for a second friendly on March 27. It will be another formidable challenge for Dorival's boys. Although Spain, like them, are not the same team as they were in 2000 and lost to Colombia on Saturday, they will present a formidable challenge as they play at home (Santiago Bernabeu). Brazil will then play two friendlies in June before the Copa America begins. Dorival hopes the Selecao will return home with two important victories. The confidence these victories will give them will no doubt reinvigorate them and help them return to their former greatness.

 


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