Brazil play Iraq later today (19.30 UK, 15.30 Brazil) as Mano Menezes tries to avoid a personal crisis and relieve some of the pressure that is rapidly mounting for him to be sacked. He’ll be happy that the match is not in Brazil because in their last home game – a 2-1 win against Argentina in Goií¢nia in the Superclássico das Americas – he was widely booed by the home crowd who made it clear that they don’t want him anymore (and would prefer Big Phil Scolari). Had it not been for Neymar’s late winner, the boos would have been a lot louder.
For the friendly against Iraq and next Tuesday’s game against Japan, Mano has only called up one player from each Brazilian club. Reasonable decision by the coach who (through no fault of his own but rather that of the CBF who are responsible for the chaotic calendar) has already managed to wreak havoc on Brazil’s top teams so far this year with his call ups. According to calculations by Globoesporte, Internacional and São Paulo have been deprived of the services of their star players Leandro Damião and Lucas Moura 14 times (in 28 league games) so far this year. Neymar has missed 13 games for Santos while the likes of Botafogo (Jefferson, 5 times), Vasco (Dedé, 3) and Corinthians (Paulinho, 3) must also be a little pissed off. Can you imagine what Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger would say if that happened in England?
The Brazilian based players in this squad will miss game weeks 29 and 30. I’m not sure of the flying arrangement but they’ll also presumably miss match day 31 since that begins on Wednesday next week (the 17th) and the game with Japan is on the 16th in Poland! Sorry state of affairs really. Shocking. What do you think of the calendar in Brazil, international call-ups and the CBF?
As part of his plan to keep his job, Mano Menezes has turned to Kaká, who looks set to win his first cap since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Kaká had been called up once by Mano for the matches against Gabon and Egypt but had to withdraw from that one with injury. Brazil won both of those games, played quite well and Mano decided not to call him up again. Until now that is, even though he hardly ever plays for Real Madrid. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Next thing we’ll be getting another Ronaldinho recall (something I wouldn’t be against actually because I love Ronaldinho and he is playing some great stuff for Atlético at the moment).
In the midst of all this there is also a first call up for Leandro Castán (Corinthians’ Libertadores winning centre back who seems to have settled in pretty well at his new club Roma).
Judging by yesterday’s training session the likely starting line-up today will be: Diego Alves; Adriano, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Ramires, Oscar, Kaká; Hulk and Neymar.
If this is the case then what was the point in dragging Dedé and Lucas all the way out there? Honestly…
Jefferson (Botafogo), Diego Alves (Valencia), Victor (Atletico Mineiro)
Marcelo (Real Madrid), Adriano (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dede (Vasco da Gama), Leandro Castan (AS Roma)
Sandro (Tottenham), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Fernando (Gremio), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Paulinho (Corinthians), Giuliano (Dnipro), Thiago Neves (Fluminense), Kaka (Real Madrid)
Leandro Damiao (Internacional), Neymar (Santos), Hulk (Zenit)
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Mano’s call-ups being erratic as ever.
Hey Brian! Just want to know your view on Rafaels future with Brazil.
After the olympics he’s apparently being banished to the sidelines. I
thought he had a great olympics apart from that error in the final and
he’s impressed so far this season for United. He seems more mature and
playing with a great determination and with confidence.
Thanks Deon, I’m not a big fan of Rafael’s football and in particular his defending. Seems to fit the headless chicken school of defending like David Luiz. How many goals have United been conceding this season? Look at his position for Clint Dempsey’s goal – he just ball watches and doesn’t pick up his man (which was Bale in this case). United 4 Everton 4 last season – Rafael poor again. The list goes on. Danilo is a far better right back if you ask me. As for what is in Mano Menezes’ mind about Rafael, I’m afraid I can’t answer you on that.
Brian, do you know Cristiano Osvaldo?? O cara está jogando muito. Ney Franco is doing a good job. E Ganso é nosso! Sao Paaaaaaaaaaulo!!! Try to watch the Vasco X SPFC and than tell me what is Rogerio Ceni… Monster? Legend? God
Hey Renato, whatsup!!??
Yeah, I saw that Osvaldo scored last night – I think I’ve only seen him play once (in the match against Vasco at the Morumbi) and he didn’t do much. I’ve heard he’s playing well though. Great win against Vasco. Is 4th place yours now, I wonder?? Seems to be a good partnership him and Luis Fabiano! I like Ney Franco and would give him time especially since Sao Paulo have some good young players coming through. As for Ganso I’m looking forward to seeing him play. Hopefully he’ll take his finger out and start fulfilling some of his talent!
What did Ceni do? Sounds pretty spectacular. Is there a youtube video? Much better than Denis I’m sure!
Apparently Diego Cavalieri played amazingly for Fluminense last night. I can’t believe it!
Here is the match report from the home match against Vasco that I went to see when I was in Brazil.
Seems like you guys have improved a lot since then!
David Luiz rite. I can’t believe he’s only rated 90 on soccermanager. How shite is he? Won champs league CHECK won FA CUP check qualified for CHAMPS LEAGUE and he’s from Brazil!?!?! Perhaps you can shed some light on this Brian? Has his rating not been checked or has it and he’s just shite?
Shite player with shitty haircut if you ask me, but I’m not an expert…
He has been so overrated and shite for so long if you ask me. At least at times last season he was a joke. Gary Neville compared him to a child playing playstation and I thought the analysis was quite good. But, for some reason coaches like him. De Matteo chooses him ahead of Cahill for example. Mano Menezes picks him a lot for Brazil although he kept making mistakesand eventually was dropped. Maybe he’s improved this year – he’s obviously got the talent: quick, tall, athletic, good technique, bad haircut. If he can just be a little more disciplined and less stupid then he’ll be a great player. I’d guess his rating will go up one or two at the next PL review.
Well, that was easy enough. 6-0 to Brazil. I didn’t see the game but according to the match report it sounds like domination from start to finish. Job well done. New formation without a recognised number 9. Neymar playing the false number 9 role that Messi does for Barcelona. He scored one and was involved in creating 4 of the other goals. Kaká scored on his comeback. Oscar scored two. Lucas (who came on as a sub) and Hulk both scored aswell.
Don’t too excited though – this was only Iraq, ranked 80th in the world!
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