Samba foot­ball back for bril­liant Brazil

RE­NAIS­SANCE: THAT 7-1 HID­ING CON­SIGNED TO HIS­TORY Sele­cao have been trans­formed un­der coach Tite.

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - INTERNATIONAL - Sao Paulo

Three years ago Brazil were ham­mered 7-1 by Ger­many in the semi­fi­nals of their home World Cup, but af­ter their lat­est win coach Tite said they were back to play­ing like Brazil again and al­most ready for a crack at claim­ing a record sixth World Cup.

“I would like to give more play­ers a chance but I can’t, there’s not enough time,” he said af­ter his side, who eas­ily topped the South Amer­i­can qual­i­fy­ing group, beat Chile 3-0.

The for­mer Corinthi­ans coach has trans­formed the team since tak­ing over the reins in June last year when Brazil were still suf­fer­ing from a World Cup hang­over, had just been knocked out of the Copa Amer­ica and were sixth in the 10-team South Amer­i­can qual­i­fiers.

Un­der his guid­ance, they have won 10 and drawn two of their qual­i­fiers since then and fin­ished the cam­paign a re­mark­able 10 points clear of sec­ond-placed Uruguay. Brazil are pro­duc­ing great foot­ball again, with a solid back four, some steel in mid­field and a deadly front line.

“The foot­ball this team are play­ing has made me happy,” Tite said. “It’s won back what I be­lieve foot­ball is, link­ing ef­fec­tive­ness with beauty and win­ning games, and show­ing that these things aren’t con­flic­tive.

“I don’t have the ca­pac­ity to see what will hap­pen in the fu­ture. I don’t know where the lim­its lie, but against ev­ery dif­fi­culty and ev­ery ri­val the team has shown it­self.”

Brazil have a set­tled first 11, but there is com­pe­ti­tion for places in the 23-man squad for next year’s World Cup in Rus­sia.

Tite said Marcelo, Filipe Luis and Alex San­dro are all in the frame for the two left-back spots. Gil, Je­mer­son and Ro­drigo Caio are vy­ing to back up reg­u­lar de­fen­sive picks Mar­quin­hos, Mi­randa and Thi­ago Silva. There is also de­bate over who will be third­choice goal­keeper be­hind Alis­son and Eder­son.

Dou­glas Costa, Diego Tardelli and Tai­son are all hop­ing to win a place in at­tack, while in mid­field Tite must de­cide whether to take Gremio’s young mid­field­ers Luan and Ar­tur or opt for the ex­pe­ri­ence of Gi­u­liano, Lu­cas Lima or Diego.

As part of their World Cup build-up, Brazil face Eng­land at Wem­b­ley on Novem­ber 10 and Ja­pan in Lille four days later. They will also play Ger­many in Ber­lin on March 27 next year. –

Picture: Getty Im­ages

THUMBS-UP. Brazil­ian coach Tite be­lieves his side is al­most ready to launch a re­al­is­tic as­sault on the World Cup.

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