Brazil's Decline and Path to Redemption at FIFA World Cup 2026

Author : FIFA World Cup Tickets | Published On : 10 Jul 2024

In FIFA World Cup 2026, the Selecao may have experienced Copa America disappointment, but it never seemed destined to be a triumphant campaign. Ronaldinho said it. Brazil isn't very good. Not only are they not very good, but they're also not particularly entertaining. This illustrious footballing nation, five-time FIFA World Cup champions, all of which had been won playing the kind of football that was the admiration of the rest of the sport, had lost its direction.

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Joga Bonito, Chinga, samba it has many names. It's a lost art. The Brazil legend said on Instagram it's becoming difficult to find the enthusiasm to watch the matches. This is perchance one of the most awful teams in recent years, it has no reputable leaders, only normal players for the most part. That was on June 15, and even though the validity of his claims has since been questioned, the point remained this is not the Brazil that the greats knew.

They were ultimately proved correct. The Selecao faltered through Copa America, winning just one of their four matches, and failing to score in two of them. Perhaps even worse, this was, as Ronaldinho had foretold, an exceptionally unwatchable team. Despite all of the talent, there was certainly plenty in the squad.

Brazil's Reset Lessons from Copa America and the Road to FIFA World Cup 2026

Brazil was a largely stagnant entity, playing sluggish football, with no trademark samba confidence to be seen. Still, despite the dramatic failure, the tournament itself was something of a wash for the Selecao. Nothing was assured here, nor was it anticipated. Without Neymar, and guided by a manager who had only two international coaching games on his record when the tournament began, this was never going to be a triumph.

There are certainly lessons to be learned, but a tournament victory was never feasible. It is now time for a reset ahead of what will be a much more significant FIFA World Cup 2026 cycle. Ronaldinho wasn't the only skeptic in South America. With a depleted squad that lacked established stars such as Thiago Silva, Casemiro, and Neymar, expectations were, perhaps, refreshingly modest in the illustrious footballing nation.

New manager Dorival Jr had been audacious in his squad selection, removing underperforming European stars and entrusting Brazilian top-flight regulars and promising youngsters with positions in the squad. Brazil, after all, were likely third or fourth favorites heading into the competition.

Argentina, coming off back-to-back major tournament victories, were seen as the clear frontrunners and really should win their next two fixtures to complete a third consecutive triumph. Meanwhile, improvements for both Colombia and Uruguay made this a difficult path to glory for a Brazil squad undergoing significant change.

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Brazil's Neymar Dilemma: Disappointment and Future Hopes in FIFA World Cup

In theory, there was an acknowledgment - but not quite acceptance - that Brazil would fall short of their usual standard in the 2024 tournament. Perhaps the biggest issue was the absence of Neymar. The attacking midfielder and key player tore his ACL in an October FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying match and was ruled out for a full year almost immediately.

Fans and players alike knew that they would be without their one true game-changer and established star for the national team. It also, more broadly, moderated expectations regarding how this team might perform. Neymar had played in some lackluster Brazil sides over the course of his international career.

Bridging the gap between the Joga Bonito era of Ronaldo, Robinho, and Ronaldinho and the more workman-like contemporaries of Casemiro, Bruno Guimaraes, and Fabinho. Essentially, the Al-Hilal star had become the entertainer in an otherwise uncharacteristic Brazil team, the standout player in an otherwise hardworking side.

Without him, the Selecao were unlikely to be entertaining. Instead, this appeared to be a dull unit, highlighted by some top European stars who had never truly excelled for their national team. Vinicius Jr was perhaps the main offender, the Ballon d'Or frontrunner with just three goals to his name in the canary yellow.

Under-fire Brazil confidences Neymar and history will carry fresh hope after Copa America disappointment. When Brazil was bashed out of the Copa America quarterfinals by Uruguay on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Neymar leaked to his distressed teammates while at a samba performance in Brazil. The squad and its all-time foremost scorer weren't all that absorbed in the Copa when it started.

Brazil's Football World Cup 2026 Prospects and Challenges

They will badly need each other in two years if they do want not the same result at the next FIFA World Cup 2026. So far, there are few indications Brazil and Neymar will reconnect in time to make a substantial impact. Neymar was never slated to attend the Copa after he tore the ACL in his left knee last October. Vinicius Junior, Brazil's leading scorer in the Copa with two goals, was absent for the Uruguay quarterfinal due to suspension.

And teenage sensation Endrick failed to score during the tournament. Expectations of Brazil clinching its first Copa in five years were modest. Not with the team ranking sixth in South America World Cup qualifying, not without Neymar, and not with FIFA World Cup victor Argentina looming ahead. However, a scoreless draw with Costa Rica, being outmatched by Colombia.

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Failing to score against a Uruguay side reduced to 10 men was more disappointing than anticipated. It's not the initial occasion they've claimed we're done, but rest assured, we'll triumph once more, stated the Brazilian Football Confederation on its social media platforms on Monday, marking a rare public admission of the team's deficiencies. Copa America Turf Issues Impact on FIFA World Cup 2026?

We're the national squad with the most victories in the history of the sport. However, defeat is also ingrained in our history. Brazilian commentators, ex-footballers, and analysts suggest the team can bounce back but question whether coach Dorival Júnior who took on the role just in January is the appropriate figure to oversee that resurgence.

Brazil's Critique and Quest for World Cup Redemption

They also criticize Neymar for underutilizing his skills in Saudi Arabia, far from top-tier leagues, and being overly preoccupied with his personal life. Additionally, they highlight Brazil squandering a whole year under interim coach Fernando Diniz, reportedly due to CBF officials delaying action in anticipation of Carlo Ancelotti's departure from Real Madrid.

Remarked analyst Júnior, a member of Brazil's 1982 World Cup squad, we must accelerate our efforts following this Copa America because our World Cup preparations are commencing. France has maintained consistent coaching and a core group of players for years. Spain began similarly to us and has since surged ahead. Argentina's squad is aging but remains formidable.

Brazil is falling significantly behind. Fans nostalgic for 2001 look to believe Brazil can swiftly reverse its fortunes. In that year, Brazil, under the guidance of new coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, suffered an early exit from the Copa quarterfinals at the hands of Honduras. This setback led supporters to doubt Brazil's prospects for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

At that time, Brazil's star player Ronaldo was absent from the Copa due to injury, but following a comprehensive team restructuring and his recovery from a second ACL injury, he went on to spearhead the team to its fifth World Cup victory. Several Brazil players jeopardized their prospects for the 2026 tournament during the Copa.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Alisson, defender Danilo, midfielder João Gomes, and striker Raphinha all failed to meet expectations, intensifying scrutiny on their positions. Danilo remarked following the team's elimination in the quarterfinals, that it was a privilege to be part of this squad; there was a tremendous amount of dedication, professionalism, and hard work.

Neymar's Role and Brazil's FIFA World Cup 2026 Future

This youthful squad demonstrated its potential for achieving significant accomplishments. I simply wish that people would exercise a bit more patience. During his rehabilitation from the ACL injury, Neymar, now 32, has become an increasingly controversial figure in his homeland. He has clashed with celebrities, politicians, and fellow footballers.

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Some fans have begun to debate against his reinstatement in the national team. However, in the aftermath of the team's disappointing performance at the Copa, Brazilian pundits argue that Neymar emerged as the primary beneficiary of the current tournament and remains crucial to the team's prospects moving forward.

Coach Júnior stated that Neymar is one of the giants of international football, and hopefully, he will remain so. We must exercise patience for his full recovery. He is a vital player for us, and we must afford him the necessary time; there's no need to rush this. A source within the CBF informed The Associated Press that Neymar is unlikely to participate in the next two World Cup qualifiers scheduled for September.

The source requested anonymity as he was not authorized to publicly discuss the issue. Despite Neymar's potential absence, Júnior emphasized that Brazil will significantly bolster its strength for the World Cup. The coach remarked that two years down the road, those who are currently outspoken may find themselves celebrating another major accomplishment by our national team.

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