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2022 World Cup: sure of their strength, Brazil begin their quest for a sixth star against Serbia

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A Brazil coach without ambition would be an oxymoron. And Tite, at 61, current holder of the coveted seat on the bench of the Seleçao, hardly lacks certainties. “We reached the World Cup, now it’s time to reach the final and be world champions. This is the truth”asserted the Brazilian technician in June, questioned by The Guardian.

Should a coach keep a low profile? “On the contrary, in Brazil, nobody would understand if our coach was not aiming for the title, retorts former striker Sonny Anderson. The Brazilian people do not want to hear their coach say “we will try to win it”. With a team like this, affirming your intention of final victory is just assuming our status. »

The players – successors of Pelé, Zagallo, Tostao, and other Garrincha – in the yellow tunic struck with five stars know they are expected when entering the competition against Serbia, Thursday, November 24. “It’s the only team that arrives with certainties”, observes Omar da Fonseca. For the former Argentine player, now a consultant for the channels of the BeIN Sports network, Brazil offers guarantees of stability in this World Cup in Qatar (from November 20 to December 18) where uncertainty reigns.

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Autumnal, shoehorned into a compressed calendar, the 2022 World Cup is a dive into terra incognita – and not just because it takes place in Qatar. Between the injuries, the tired players and the lack of preparation, very clever who can anticipate his results. “Many selections are in the same situation of uncertainty as us, like France or Germany. I think it will be a very open tournament”summarized the English coach, Gareth Southgate, before the competition.

However, Brazil is unanimous among observers. “Having watched it in recent years, it’s my favorite”exposed Jürgen Klinsmann. Questioned by FIFA a few days before the competition, the former German player and coach said to himself “really impressed with the way the Brazilians dominated their qualifying phase, while South America is probably the hardest continent to qualify for”.

“Breaking European Domination”

Eliminated in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup by Belgium (1-2), after one match ” so beautiful ” but “hard to swallow” for coach Tite, the Brazilians returned to success by winning the Copa America in 2019, developing a polished game. “It’s a team that concedes very few goals and scores a lot. We have good players everywhere, and they manage to play together.synthesizes Sonny Anderson.

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The former Olympique Lyonnais striker, now a consultant for BeIN Sports, insists on the collective set up by Tite. “It’s no longer an individualistic game around a single player. It’s a very, very strong team. » Almost all of whose players play in the biggest clubs in the world. Driven by the emergence of a talented new generation in attack – from Vinicius to Richarlison via Antony and Raphinha – the Auriverde selection offers Tite a plethora of options.

Enough to forget the time when Neymar was the one-man band, in charge of everything – including the rout, in his absence, in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup at home (1-7). Now everyone plays in unison. “Rodrygo and Vinicius know that in four years they will be the stars of the team. But today, like the others, despite their great talent, they agree to be the musicians in the service of the first violin, Neymar., notes Omar da Fonseca. Spared from injuries for two years, the Brazilians have also been able to work on their ranges, unlike many opponents.

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Since Brazil’s last crown twenty years ago in Japan, European teams – Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018 – have monopolized the trophy designed by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga. Having reached maturity, the Seleçao sees the World Cup in Qatar as an opportunity to “break the curse” and of “break European domination”in the words of the captain of the Seleçao titled in 2002, Cafu.

There remains an uncertainty, which only the field can erase. “For two years, Brazil have not been put in difficulty in a match, they have mastered their subject, exposes Sonny Anderson. But how will they react if they are bullied from the start? » Response from November 24, against Serbia.

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