The Brazilians aka Seleção Brasileira de Futebol) are known to be the most successful national team on this planet. After a horror exit from the last edition of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 which saw the favourites and host nation Brazil get knocked out in the semifinal against a dominant Germany 1-7, their biggest ever defeat at the World Cup and first home loss in a competitive match since 1975 ,the Brazilians were left humiliated and heartbroken in front of their own fans. Following these results, Scolari announced his resignation. Ever since then they have been on a mission to pick themselves up and dust themselves off and start from scratch. On 22 July 2014, Dunga was announced as the new manager of Brazil, returning to the position for the first time since the team’s exit at the 2010 World Cup. Things finally started to look bright for the Samba boys after going on a winning streak with wins against Colombia (1-0),Ecuador (1-0),Argentina (2-0),Japan (4-0), Turkey (0-4), Austria (1-2) and France (3-2).They followed this with more wins against Chile (1-0), Mexico (2-0) and Honduras (1-0). But unfortunately Brazil were knocked out of Copa America 2015 after they lost to Paraguay 1-1(4-3 on pens) which saw them fail to qualify for the Confederations Cup for the first time in almost 20 years. On June 14th 2016 Dunga was sacked and six days after Dunga’s sacking Tite, who had managed 2015 Brazilian Champions Corinthians was announced as the national team manager.
Brazil faced Ecuador away which was the first qualifier in the Tite era, they started of brightly with a clean 0-3 win with goals from Gabriel Jesus(x2) and Neymar (penalty) which showed the thirst and hunger Brazil had in them. Their first big test came against a strong Colombian side at home soil but Former captain Neymar was there to hit a stunning winner to seal a vital win for Brazil. Brazil grabbed top spot on the CONMEBOL after a seeing off Venuzuela 0-2 in the Merida this was a strong message to all the South American teams and the rest of the World that Brazil wants to regains its status as a team to be feared. They kept their winning streak hot as they faced Argentina but beat them comfortably 3-0 as goals from Neymar,Coutinho and Paulinho spoilt the return of Lionel Messi to the national team. Neymar also reached a milestone 50th goal for Brazil. Brazil ended 2016 on a high with an away 0-2 win against Peru with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Renato Augusto to seal a good win for the Brazilians. They next faced bitter rivals Uruguay next and found themselves chasing after just 10 mins due to a goal from Edinson Cavani, but Paulinho stole the show with a first career hat-trick and another from Neymar and they won 1-4 comfortably in the end and Tite made history as he became the first Brazil National team coach to win 7 consecutive World Cup Qualifier games.
28th March 2017 saw Brazil take on Paraguay and some had still not forgotten their humiliating exit from the Copa America 2015 to them. Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring 10 minutes prior to the break at Arena Corinthians, combining with Paulinho, before Neymar added a second in the 64th minute after missing a second-half penalty. And Marcelo sealed a ninth successive victory for Tite’s CONMEBOL leaders with four minutes remaining, ensuring Brazil became the first nation to qualify for Russia 2018. Under Tite Brazil have not only been dangerous on the attack but have had a solid defensive record which saw them concede just 2 goals in 8 games scoring 24 goals in the process which ensured they were the first team other than host nation Russia to qualify for the World Cup 2018. Brazil then beat Ecuador 2-0 and draws against Colombia (1-1) and Bolivia (0-0) saw them continue their unbeaten run and stretch it out to 11 games.
They then faced Copa America Champions Chile who hadn’t qualified yet for the World Cup yet Paulinho and Gabriel Jesus struck in the space of three second-half minutes at the Allianz Parque. Jesus then grabbed his second, and Brazil’s third, late on after when he walked the ball into an empty net after Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo joined the attack in search of a goal that might have saved the visitors. They were able to wash them aside for 3-0 which saw all hopes of Chile’s qualification vanish who failed qualification for a play-off spot on goal difference. All in all Brazil look to regain World Cup glory as they have won it five times in the past. They have looked more solid and more effective as a team and look more than ready for the World Cup. With a fully fit squad the Brazilians are definitely one of the favourites yet again for the World Cup 2018.
Feature Image Via Remezcla
Neymar Image via Starchop.altervista
Written by Ajay Franklin Skimmer