Copa America 2016: Brazil XI that should have played the tournament
Brazil have just been rather embarrassingly knocked out of the Copa America in the group stage and gloom engulfs the South American nation, even though the demise of the powerhouse of world football has been in progress for the last few years. Germany’s 7-1 demolition job in the 2014 World Cup stunned the host nation into submission and sent shockwaves reverberating throughout the world but in truth, the signs were there in the early stages of that tournament itself.
Keeping aside the administrative shambles that have been laid bare throughout Brazil, especially rampant in the sporting sectors it has to be said, their team heading into the world cup was a pale imitations of the kind they’ve put up in the past and the overdependence on Neymar only brought to light a lack of quality and coherence in the other parts of the field.
It can be difficult following in the footsteps of footballing teams with an illustrious history, of course, you may be good but you’ll always be compared with your predecessors, who in Brazil’s case have won it all.
World Cups and Confederation Cups, Copa America’s and a multitude of that European and World football has to offer. After the Copa America exit, there have been a series of articles and analysis on how Brazilian football has a long abyss ahead of it, and perhaps it does with all the administrative shenanigans around it, but is Dunga also to be blamed for his conservative attitude and not starting several players who could have made a difference?
We’ve compiled a Brazil 11 that should have played the Copa America 2016 for them with a 4-2-3-1 formation, and perhaps stood a better chance of going deep into the tournament and done some justice to the glorious legacy of their country.
The Juve shot-stopper hasn’t had much game time for Juventus this year, but playing second fiddle to Gianluigi Buffon, still one of the best goalkeepers in the world at 38 is hardly damning. He would have been an upgrade over the promising but wobbly Alisson.
A great shot stopper, he caught the eye in his time at Fiorentina and would have been a safer bet in goal.
With Danilo not having sparkled for Real Madrid after his big money transfer from Portugal, Dani Alves is still the best option Brazil have at right-back. He’s still a lot better than people give him credit for, remains excellent at taking on his man and putting the ball in the box and still has tremendous work rate.
His position in the first team shouldn’t be in any doubt.
Thiago Silva (Captain)
Dunga’s constant overlooking of Thiago Silva remains immensely mystifying. Not only does he remain a brilliant player but he a fantastic leader as well. He was widely considered the best defender in the world for several years of his career and is only 31, a fairly good age for a central defender who can play well into their 30’s.
Having a player of his calibre in the team would have made a great difference, and with the array of trophies he’s won in his career, he would have been a great presence in the dressing room as well.
Miranda is another player who gets the nod and played the Copa as well. He’s just come off a great season with Inter and made such a colossal difference to an Inter backline that was porous in the previous season.
Uncompromising and great in the air, his crucial headed goals for Atletico are still fresh in the memory and together with Thiago Silva he’d form a watertight defence.
The Juve left-back was not taken to the United States and despite the quality of Filipe Luis, Alex Sandro could have been a more dynamic option in the defence.
At 25 years of age, Alex Sandro should at this time be settling into his national team and a player who remains a fixture in the team for the next 5 to 10 years. A left back with great technique and skill, his crossing is tremendously accurate and doesn’t let his man get past him easily.