Any thoughts before the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place match between the Netherlands and Brazil that Luiz Felipe Scolari might be able to save has job have vanished into thin air, just like Brazil’s World Cup aspirations. Brazil tried to rebound after a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany in the semifinal.
The team responded with another lackluster performance against the Dutch, in a game which they still looked a bit shell shocked from the previous outing. There’s no denying that the host nation looked incredibly flat throughout the entire tournament, not showing any of the fire they had when they won the Confederations Cup in 2013.
For most of the tournament, Brazil were lucky enough to have Neymar carry them all the way to the quarterfinals before he received a knee to the back, thus ending his World Cup run. The host nation looked lost without their best player, and had no answer when he went down with injury.
Things will surely change in Brazil, with the obvious (and most popular decision) being to fire Scolari. The manager failed miserably in adapting tactically, and looked almost stubborn in his approach when matches began to change on Brazil. The sacking of Scolari will be one of the many changes that the Brazilian must make to have a chance to change their fortunes in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The team appeared to be struggling at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which was just a sign of the beginning. They were simply outclassed by Germany in the semifinal in front of their own fans in the most embarrassing of ways. After losing to the Netherlands on Sunday without putting up much of a fight, the team must now look for ways to ensure there is no repeat of this year’s World Cup campaign.
The Brazilians are a proud people, whose legacy in world soccer is steeped in their rich history and tradition, and no longer can this team claim to be the best simply based on tradition. From the national team roster selections to the youth national level, even down to the club level, Brazil must rethink and reshape what kind of team they are going into the future. No more selecting players simply because they are the best, but whether or not they fit into the system.
The team need to look no further than the Germans to see how to revamp their squad to fit into the team’s system. Getting rid of Scolari as the team’s manager would be a good start in order to change the team’s philosophy heading into the future. However, it will take a long time to reach the level of success that they used to enjoy.