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Brazil Wins World Cup Opener Without Much Style

Brazil: Where Soccer is the National Language

Brazil wins its first game 2-1 against North Korea.  It wasn’t a beautiful game, for that one should have been watching Germany dominate Australia for 90 minutes, nor was it a completely underwhelming performance.  Maicon’s goal at the beginning of  the 2nd period from an absurd angle proves that Brazil is still capable of creating what looks to be impossible offence, and Robinho’s pass to Elano for his World Cup goal was a reminder that in Brazil soccer is still an art form.  What worries this observer is the lack of firm belief that this group of players has been able to instill in the heart of the fan.  http://www.vcfaz.net/viewtopic.php?t=124882

This is Brazilian coach Dunga’s “Anti All-Star team” – almost as if he wants to prove that Brazil can win the World Cup on its soccer merit and disciplined play and not its Ronaldo, Pelé, Ronadinho star power.  Much like the 2004 Baskeball Olympic team that was full of talent but no cohesion, Dunga feels that the last World Cups were marked by more individual ego than team work, which led to ultimate failure.  But can he prove that teamwork, players with good moral character and defense can win championships as opposed to big name players that get along but aren’t neccessarily best of buds, questionable off-field behaviour but oustanding on-field behaviour and a relentless attack on the goal – as if each game needed to be won by 5 points or more.  If he can prove the latter he will be heralded as a genius – if he doesn’t … well, they do say the summers are lovely in Portugal and he already speaks the language.

Dunga's strategy is meticulously thought out but will it play out as planned.

It’s still early in the competition and although Brazil wasn’t stellar against a much weaker opponent, no team has truly shined with the exception of Germany, though their loss to Serbia was shocking.  It’s safe to say that Brazil can only get better.  Yes, this is the team that kept it close with the US in the Confederations Cup Finals, and played less the convincingly in their final games leading up to the Cup – yet, in all that hankering of the lack of the “beautiful game” one thing remained true – everyone of those matches ended in a victory.   For those of us who want both victory and show, we may have to wait until 2014 when the likes of Neymar, Ganso  and the other new stars of Brazilian national soccer teams- who play with style as well as proficiency- get their chance to put their foot on the ball.

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