The Death Of Brazilian Football: The Roots
Welcome to my new series, this one is going to be about the death of Brazilian football.
What could prompt such a post? Is Brazil producing fewer talents? Not really, according to FIFA, Brazil is still producing the highest number of talents in the world with a thousand players annually. However, we're here to talk about quality, not quantity. In the end, you can't field more than 11 players at a time.
To fully be aware of an issue, we must compare it to a time when it didn't exist.
Brazi Before The 2002 World Cup
Before the 2002 World Cup, Brazil had two strikers playing in the Bundesliga, Giovane Elber and Márcio Amoroso. The pair had 58 goal contributions for their clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively, in the league and UEFA Champions League during the season leading up to the World Cup. The pair wasn't included in the World Cup squad. The reason is obvious, Brazil had an abundance of offensive talents at the time.
On the other hand, we currently have Gabriel Jesus, an exciting prospect who was waiting for Aguero to move or retire before getting his chance. Gabriel Jesus is also currently the only striker in his team, yet he remains to start occasionally as he is competing for his spot with two attacking midfielders and the team's wingers.
Then we have Firmino, who is outstanding at not being a striker, but rather a man who opens space for others to score. Those pair, along with an underwhelming Richarlison are Brazil's best options in the striker position, with some of them deployed in other positions to fill in gaps.
The Difference In Quality
While Brazil has won the 2019 Copa America, it was one where their best player was actually 36 years old Dani Alves who was the player of the tournament award. Also, with Chile losing their best players to age, same with Uruguay, the tournament seemed lackluster and might have been less noteworthy if it wasn't for the inclusion of Messi. I mean, can you even name Brazil's opponent in that final?
That win also marked the end of a 12 years absence from the final. They also qualified to Copa America's last year's final, but you can't help but notice that Copa America as a whole has been the best of the worst kind of deal.
Brazil has been the only consistent country in a continent with ups and downs, that's why it is worth highlighting. The story of Brazil's decline, one I expect to get worse should things remain the same, is one of stupidity, corruption, and emotions.
It All Started After The 2002 World Cup
After that, clubs and leagues started paying more attention to revenues from football. To ensure your growth, you need experts and professionals. That is the reason most clubs in Europe are taking a shape of corporations. On the other hand in Brazil, clubs refused to keep up with the change.
Many clubs in Brazil are operated by ex-players and people who are afraid of losing the justification for their roles and salaries. Think of the Brazilian clubs as German clubs without data analytics, decent scouting, and experts anywhere in general. Also, without even the 49% investment limit on clubs.
No planning for the future
The goal is simple, you get voted in for three years, and aim to get as far as possible. The gap between Brazilian club administrators and their European counterparts has never been wider, and still looks to expand. That is why the total debt of the top 20 clubs in Brazil is 1.7 billion dollars, rising by 176% since 2002. That happened despite broadcast revenues increasing by 160%.
Before the pandemic, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube's debt reached 100 million dollars with the club unable to pay the players' salaries. That is the situation for most clubs there.
Failing the entire country
A study by the financial times shows that if the Brazilian league was managed professionally, like the premier league as an example, it could increase 5 times its percentage of the current GDP. It would also provide 3 million new jobs. Bankruptcy seems inevitable for Brazilian clubs.
The Effect On The Pitch
When numbers are that low, clubs enter a constant state of emergency, and without a proper structure, any action is meaningless. That is why, clubs in Brazil have an average of 15 games to change a manager, something I will get into the details for in the next post. It is why the style overall in the country's leagues is switching from the usual style we know and love to a more conservative style.
Before we get to the sporting aspect we must go through the administrative level. Brazil's football has been in serious decline ever since the 2002 World Cup, accelerated more lately, especially with pandemics. Perhaps without the few exciting prospects, who were the exception to the rule, such as Vinicius Junior and Neymar, the problem would have been clearer to everyone.
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Agree, before focusing on the technical stuff we need to ensure a proper administration and other basic aspects, the talented people will always there but the organized hard work makes the difference for sure
I honestly believe this could be much worse in upcoming years. If your foundation is wrong, everything on top will be fragile.
Wow I have never knew that Brazilian clubs can't even pay salaried for the player. It sucks to heard that kind of new, because those are the thing that happen so many time here in the past. Now he cub is in transition into a better-manage club,
Fun side fact, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube was actually rescued and is now owned by Ronaldo who started there.
This is the fee of not keeping up with the times.
Good greetings dear @amirtheawesome1,
Always a pleasure to read your work.
I feel your sense of empathy towards the "Joga Bonito" people.
When you say "The Death" in that topic, it sounded really scary. Well, reading through it's more like, "the decline".
I just had a lengthy discourse today touching a little of this today[https://peakd.com/hive-101690/@ogeewitty/dribbling-showboating-where-do-you-draw-the-line] . I spoke glowingly of Brazil in a general sense there, especial when compared to "lower" nations.
Good to see you do a different brand of comparison here,as you compare them with the best and with best practices in football.
For now Brazil's huge warehouse of talents and their Professional good foundations of the past will keep them looking good on the outside– I mean, eg a national team doing great things,especially with the beautiful World class coach they have now— but keep decaying on the inside,if they don't change things.
Best regards sir
Neymar rolling around the pitch doesn't help. That hammering against Germany really showed their true standing . Although I hear they might have a great chance for this years world cup. They always had a dodgy keep. That seems to be solved. They have a world class defenders and some great attackers. The phoenix may rise from the flames. Watching the new Neymar documentary. It's amazing how much control his father has on him.
I have such fond memories of watching the world cups with some amazing Brazilian teams. its really hard to get excited at all about the current state of football.
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I don't think soccer will ever vanish in Brazil. Thanks for sharing.