After their disappointing 0-0 draw with Venezuela on Sunday at least Brazil fans have something to smile about: Argentinaâ€™s woes at the competition.
The Copa America 2011 is fast turning into the Copa America of surprizes; a week into the competition and none of the favourites (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) have managed a win yet. Hosts Argentina drew for a second time last night against Colombia. This time they didnâ€™t even manage a goal and the best player in the world, Messi, once again failed to deliver in an Argentina shirt. Argentina now have two points from two games and may need to beat Costa Rica in their last group match to secure third place in the group and passage to the quarter finals.
As for Brazil, their attentions are firmly focused on Paraguay who they face on Saturday (4pm Brazil / 8pm UK). Despite the frustrations of the opening game against Venezuela it seems that Mano Menezes is going to stick with the same starting eleven and formation against Paraguay. This would mean a 4-2-3-1 (or 4-3-3 depending on how you look at it) of Julio CÃ©sar, Dani Alvez, Thiago Silva, LÃºcio, AndrÃ© Santos, Lucas Leiva, Ramires, Ganso, Robinho, Neymar and Pato.
Mano Menezes did try out two alterations midway through yesterday’s training session though: Elano and Lucas Moura replaced Ramires and Robinho respectively. There has been a discussion going on about Brazilâ€™s options in midfield on the previous post. Feel free to join the debate.
In addition to that, pretty much everyone I speak to in Brazil is fed up with Robinho and wouldnâ€™t mind seeing him dropped. Lucas Moura would be a direct replacement and operate on the right flank. For a glimpse of his talent, see his goal at this link. He is being sorely missed at SÃ£o Paulo (who have lost their last three games in his absence) but is the 18 year old really ready for such a big challenge? What about Jadson? Nobody is mentioning him.
Although this is a Brazilian Football Blog while discussing the Copa America I think it does make sense to talk about Argentina and Messi. The question is: if Messi doesnâ€™t find his form for Argentina and they donâ€™t win this competition â€“ can he still be called the best in the world? Is club form alone enough to decide the best player in the world?
Itâ€™s also ironic that a squad with so many world class strikers (Messi, Tevez, Higuain, Milito, Aguero, etc) Argentina are struggling to find the back of the net. What exactly is Argentinaâ€™s problem? Do they have too many good strikers? Is that possible? I was really impressed with Colombia by the way. Watch out for them in the quarter finals.
Whatever the case, Dani Alvez and Neymar donâ€™t seem to care. They both said in a press conference yesterday that instead of watching Argentina vs. Colombia, they would be watching the nine o clock Brazilian soap opera instead.
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