A glimpse of Brazilian football emerged on Wednesday, when a Seleção filled with local players beat Argentina’s homeboys 2-0. Ronaldinho seemed to care (and play) again. Neymar dribbled effectively, towards the goal. And starlet Lucas showed a lot of the flair that Mano Menezes’ side didn’t seem to have in the last matches. The crowd of Belém went wild for that. Even so, since the Argentinians sent in a lazy and uncreative lineup, it is hard to predict these players could do well against great opposition. It’s hard to predict they will even have a place in Brazil’s first team, since the stars of European leagues weren’t called up for the challenge.
One of the good points for 2014 World Cup hosts is that forward Neymar does better without the responsibility of a number 10 on the back of his yellow shirt. Ronaldinho isn’t the same genius the world saw at Barcelona, but he can still play some tricks. That lightens the burden for the kid, who tried his best to emulate Ronnie. Some respect always helps and there wasn’t anyone in the team that the Santos player could really look up to. If Kaká comes back in style in the next matches, maybe Neymar could improve even more.
Ronaldinho isn’t the same genius the world saw at Barcelona, but he can still play some tricks.
Thumbs up also for São Paulo FC’s Lucas, who scored a beautiful goal and showed he can have a role in the midfield. Brazil has lost most of its intelligent playmakers and this youngster proved he could do great coming from the back to feed the offensive. Another success in attack was Botafogo’s left-winger Cortês – practically unknown even in Brazil, but a major hit in the team. Real Madrid’s Marcelo, who rejected a call up for Copa Américia only to be forgiven months later, has a decent replacement now.
The road to 2014 is still bumpy for hosts Brazil, but at least the Seleção relieved a bit of the pressure on Menezes. His team had lost to Argentina last year in Qatar. He also suffered defeats to other World Cup champions, such as France and Germany. Not only the win but also the style displayed against the Hermanos suited him very well for now. But to see where Brazil is going for the next World Cup, we have to see how the yellow and green do at the Olympics Games in London. Menezes recognizes only by then he’ll have a better grasp of what the team will look like in the most prestigious football competition.
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