THE SELECAO AND THE SAMBA TRADITION
The Selecao, as the Brazilian national team is known have evented and crafted a beautiful football tradition called Samba for years. The Jongo bonito (the beautiful game) or samba is a brand of football were players display their natural skills and flair caressing the ball with aplomb, grace and panache just for the purpose of entertaining the watching fans.
However, the Brazilians flair for this style and brand of football, and which same was used when they confronted Uruguay in the 1950 grand finale to which the later were 2-1 ran away winners at the Estadio Maracana on July 16th, 1950.
Following the Maracana heartbreak to which they failed to win the world cup, the Selecao continued with their established football philosophy as they subsequently went on to use the samba tradition to win the 1958, 1962 and 1970 world cup.
Prior to these triumphs, the samba football philosophy had become the accepted football pattern amongst notable Brazilian football club sides like Botafogo, Santos, and Corinthians and so on.
But one major point I have to buttress is the chain of amazing talents supplied by these club sides to the Selecao had been mind blowing. And each succeeding generation of Brazilian Squad are exceptionally unique but still with a distinctive touch of the Samba flair that spiced up their play. Interestingly, every generation of Brazilian squad are usually promising, and, that explains the reason why they are usually considered as pre-world cup favorite even before the kick of the first ball.
From the foregoing, it could be said that one major Brazilian squad, and unarguably the greatest Brazilian squad never to have won the World cup, remains the 1982 World cup squad that had talent such as; Socrates, Falcao, Junior, Eder etc.
Going down memory lane, the Selecao were edged out of the quarter final stage of the Espana 82 World Cup – no thanks to the individual brilliance of Paolo Rossi who netted a hat trick to eternally bury the hope and expectation of an entire generation of great talents never to have won the world cup.
This trend of underwhelming performance and perennial failures continued down the years as the Selecao struggled to win the world cup for 24 years. However, a blend of the European brand of football, and, some bit of Brazilian Samba gave answer to their perennial struggles, and of course they eventually triumphed as world champions at the USA 94 World Cup.
Indeed, Critically analyzing contemporary brand of Brazilian football, it is obvious that there is a mix of the European flair and the Brazilian style. And this has helped the Brazilians to contain their more illustrious and technically gifted European opponents who rely on counter attack and fast break to rip off, or punish their opponents. More so, the Brazilians used to be very vulnerable at the back but they’ve adopted the Italian Catanacio style of defending to build an impregnable defensive pattern.
On the other hand, the increasing number of Brazilian exports to European club sides down the years, has seemingly helped to change their mentality and psyche. They still play with a bit of their Samba flair but discipline, purposeful and result-oriented football is the in thing in European club sides who do not give too much room for show boating as peculiar with most Brazilian players.
Finally, there is conscious awakening from Brazilian players and the coaching staff that for the Selecao to win the world cup, and perhaps continue to pull weight with the big guns of world football, there has to be a paradigm shift from the Samba brand of football to a more purpose, technical and tactical style of football that can win them matches. This experiment has worked tremendously as the Selecao has won the World cup twice in the last 24years.