Why Brazil Lost

Alex Bellos writing for the Financial Times tells us:
Instead of basing the team around the top players’ strengths, Parreira’s solution was to try to fit in as many of the stars as he could. In order to do this, he had created the so-called “magic quartet” of Ronaldo, Adriano, Ronaldinho and Kaká.
Ronaldinho, who has won Fifa’s World Player of the Year twice in a row playing as a forward for Barcelona, was given a role further back where his duties included marking. Kaká, who is positioned directly behind the two strikers at AC Milan, was moved to the right. Parreira’s greatest mistake was that he did not find a way for his most talented players to play the way they do at their clubs.
Indeed, the whole concept of the magic quartet was based on a fallacy. This was the formation that brought Brazil success in last year’s Confederations Cup. Yet in that competition the foursome included Robinho instead of Ronaldo. In Brazil’s best performance in the World Cup qualifiers, against Chile, Ronaldinho was absent and Robinho took his place.

He’s right. Parreira tried to piece his team together like LEGO blocks. Untested, inexperienced, and ultimately, inneffective. What a disaster.
Do you remember the World Cup when the Brazilian team spent most of their practice time playing water-polo? I believe they won. Maybe it was 1994 or 2002? Gotta get that team spirit going, or else!

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