Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Kelly's World | What has happened to my Brazil?

Published:Monday | June 20, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Ecuador goalkeeper Esteban Dreer blocks a kick by Brazil midfielder Willian during a Copa America Group B soccer match at the Rose Bowl. The game ended 0-0.

So I've been having a pretty good spring/summer with tons of football.

The Reggae Boyz continue to do what they always do (nothing!) although there are enough signs to be optimistic. Not so much for my beloved Brazil. They got slapped out of the Copa America Centenario currently going on in the United States. Now, even though Stevie Wonder, who has been blind since birth, could see the goal scored by Peru was a handball, mi nuh vex 'bout that. What annoys me is that big, big Brazil doesn't frighten the football world anymore.

In the two games against South American opposition (Ecuador and Peru), they couldn't score. Yea, they had chances but even Jamaica created those. The only team Brazil could beat was poor old Haiti, who defend worse than some schoolboy team. The obvious thing is they can't score without their only real star Neymar. Once him nuh play, dog nyam dem supper! Dunga, who was fired (again!) by the Brazilian football federation, should really try some other work. This football thing nah really work out fi him. For the second time in coaching the national team, he's come with a team that's high on effort and energy, but obviously lacking in that style that made Brazil the team it is (or was?).

Now, in fairness to Dunga, he was not the coach when Brazil was humiliated by Germany in the World Cup semi-final. I go back on YouTube every now and then just to make sure that match actually did happen. I would call the Brazilian play pathetic, but somehow that's too nice a word. While they were not nearly as bad in the Copa, they weren't anywhere near as good as they needed to be. After the World Cup debacle, the team was also dumped from last year's Copa in the quarter-finals (they never looked very comfortable getting that far either). It begs the question - is it possible that the land that gave us legends like Pele, Garrincha, Zico and company has (gasp!) run out of talent?

 

WHAT OF CALIBRE?

 

Think about it. Which Brazilian side you know used to have players from the Chinese league? To be fair, the league has improved, and I know players are just trying to eat a food. But with all due respect, what calibre of players are these guys competing against? Can that level of competition prepare you for 'big man' ball game? I don't think so. You look at last year's Copa winners Chile, and 14-time winners Argentina, and their players are all over Europe, in the big teams. So whe big big Brazil a do wid man weh play inna no-name league? Is not a good look.

I'll say what I said after the 7-1 trouncing from Germany two years ago Brazil needs a total overhaul of their football. There comes a time when you can't keep fixing the car; at some point yuh haffi just dash it weh. Might take a while, and require nuff work, but it's not impossible.

So come on, Brazil. Mi waan dance some samba again.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com