Brazil’s Youngsters Emerge As the National Team Evolves
Currently there seems to be a fresh batch of highly rated and quickly developing players emerging from Brazil. The CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation or the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol as reffered to in Portugese) has managed to bring through so many players from their youth clubs that the Europeans seem spoilt for choice. A variety of Brazilian superstars have left their homeland to join European clubs at a young age, for example Ronaldo who left Cruzeiro for PSV, Ronaldinho who left Gremio for Paris Saint Germain, David Luiz who left Vitoria for Benfica and Alexandre Pato who left Internacional for AC Milan. These are just prime example’s as Brazilian’s produce thousands of footballers who look to take their abilities overseas. Many don’t even make it to Europe, many only make it as far as the Asian Leagues or the Middle Eastern Leagues.
Brazilian forward Hulk (real name Givanildo Vieira de Souza) left Vitoria to play in Japan for Kawasaki Frontale, he was loaned out to second divion side Consadole Sapparo where he scored 25 goals in 38 league appearances. The following season he was loaned out again to a second division team, this time he played for Tokyo Verdy. This time around he proved to be more efficient in front of goal, netting 37 goals in 42 games for Tokyo. Portugese giants Porto bought 50% of his player rights for €5.5 million. To date he has scored 52 goals in 96 games in the Portuguese top flight. His efforts at Porto earned him a regular position in the Brazilian Selecao, or the national team selection. It just goes to prove even if they take the long way around the globe, their efforts are rewarded.
As many people may know Neymar is the new Brazilian superstar. Being only twenty he has many endorsements, one of which are sportswear billionaires Nike. Other endorsements include Volkswagen, Red Bull, Tenys Pé Baruel, Lupo, Ambev, Claro, Unilever and Santander. He is ranked as the 7th richest footballers in the world. On the pitch it is clear to see why he is just more than a face on a label. He is a powerful force, blessed with a range of skill and goalscoring abilities, as shown as he won the FIFA Puskas Award with is awarded to the player who scores the ‘most beautiful goal’. In the same season he led his club side Santos to a Copa Libertadores victory over Uruguayan team Penarol. Not only does he have medals and awards for his club, he has an ongoing list of individual awards, many of them golden boots or best player awards. Regarded as the next Pele, or even to be better than him, it is worth seeing how this already skillful player will develop.
The youngsters emerged as the Dunga era was eradicated due to a poor run in the major international tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the Copa America tournaments. The Brazilian coach Dunga was accused of damaging Brazil’s ‘Joga Bonito’ football style, which promotes skillful play and football moves to the beat of the Samba drum. The beautiful and skillful football was what the Brazilian’s did best, but after Dunga ‘Europeanised’ the team, they were never the same. ‘Europeanising’ means that the teams play for glory and for trophies, rather than playing for pride and joy. As Dunga was removed and Mano Menezes took over, he re-introduced Ronaldinho, Hulk and Robinho, bringing back their Joga Bonito style of play. Menezes’ first game was in charge was against the U.S.A. Their squad was mainly composed of young players who would be his main perogative as they prepared to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Recently Brazil finished runners up in the Olympics with their Under 23 Squad. Their Under 23′s were practically made up of the current first team selection. Next stop is the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by Brazil. They will be looking to get as much tournament practice together as possible before the 2014 World Cup as they will be playing together quite regularly.