30 May - 10 June, 2001   Copa Confederaciones    

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Brazil: on the way to yet more success?

Brazilian Romario (R) and Venezuelan Jose Gonzalez fight for the ball in a 2002 World Cup qualifying match.
Photo: Juan Carlos Ulate, Reuters
You could say the situation in the run-up to the FIFA Confederations Cup was somewhat unusual. For the first time since the Copa America in 1997, the team that has dominated the last decade are going into an international tournament without being the holders. But no matter at what stage and under what conditions a Brazilian team make an appearance, they will always regarded as favourites to win. Which may go part of the way to explaining why they have not gathered quite as many international titles as usual just recently. For many of their rivals, winning against Brazil or even knocking them out of a competition is something very special. Having topped the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings for almost seven years now, the Brazilians, along with World and European Champions France, are the be-all and and-all in world football.

Brazilian mid-fielder Rivaldo battles for the ball with Thailand's Anuruck Srikerd during their Kings Cup friendly soccer match in Bangkok.
Photo: Jason Reed, Reuters
A further factor to be taken into consideration is the enormous pressure exerted by public opinion and the Brazilian media, making it difficult for any national coach to implement long-term development or restructuring programmes. So it came as no surprise when Wanderley Luxemburgo was replaced by former international goalkeeper Emerson Leao following a decidedly average start to the World Cup qualifying campaign. Like his predecessors before him, Leao is able to draw upon a seemingly endless supply of talent, which is demonstrated by the fact that some 50 players have already made an appearance in the qualifiers so far.

Brazilian striker Ronaldinho (R) tries to pass over Slovakian players Marian Cisovsky (L) and Peter Hlinka during their Olympic soccer match in Brisbane.
Photo: Paulo Whitaker, Reuters
Despite this enormous reservoir of talent the Brazilians have for some time been searching for a prolific goalscorer capable of filling in for the long-term convalescent Ronaldo. The fact that Romario, still indispensable at the age of 35, and the incomparable Rivaldo have scored almost half of the Brazilian goals in the current World Cup qualifiers speaks volumes. At the age of 30, right-back Cafú of AS Rome would also appear to be irreplaceable, whereas pressure is being exerted on Ronaldinho and others to repeat the performances they displayed at the Copa America two years ago. However, the make-up and return of the team appearing at the FIFA Confederations Cup will in the end largely depend upon which of the players under contract to European clubs will be able to make the trip to the Far East.

Pos   Popular Name   Shirt Name Club D.O.B.
[ 1]   GK   DIDA   DIDA   AC Milan (ITA) 07-Oct-73
[ 2]   DF   ZE MARIA   ZE MARIA   Perugia (ITA) 25-Jul-73
[ 3]   DF   LUCIO   LUCIO   Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 08-May-78
[ 4]   DF   EDMILSON   EDMILSON   Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 10-Jul-76
[ 5]   MF   LEOMAR   LEOMAR   Sport Recife 26-Jun-71
[ 6]   DF   GUSTAVO NERY   GUSTAVO NERY   Sao Paulo 22-Jul-77
[ 7]   FW   LEANDRO   LEANDRO   Fiorentina (ITA) 06-Aug-77
[ 8]   MF   VAMPETA   VAMPETA   Paris St-Germain (FRA) 13-Mar-74
[ 9]   MF   ANDERSON   S. ANDERSON   Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 19-Sep-70
[10]   MF   ROBERT   ROBERT   Santos 03-Apr-71
[11]   FW   CARLOS MIGUEL   CARLOS MIGUEL   Sao Paulo 02-Jun-72
[12]   GK   CARLOS GERMANO   C. GERMANO   Portuguesa 14-Aug-70
[13]   DF   EVANILSON   EVANILSON   Borussia Dortmund (GER) 12-Sep-75
[14]   DF   CESAR BELLI   CESAR BELLI   Rennes (FRA) 16-Nov-75
[15]   FW   CLAUDIO CACAPA   C. CACAPA   Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 29-May-76
[16]   DF   LEO   LEO   Santos 06-Jul-75
[17]   FW   VAGNER   VAGNER   Celta Vigo (ESP) 19-Mar-73
[18]   MF   FABIO   FABIO R.   Internacional 10-Dec-81
[19]   MF   JULIO BATISTA   J. BATISTA   Sao Paulo 01-Oct-81
[20]   MF   RAMON   RAMON   Fluminense 30-Jun-72
[21]   FW   WASHINGTON   WASHINGTON   Ponte Preta 01-Apr-75
[22]   FW   MAGNO ALVES   M. ALVES   Fluminense 13-Jan-76
[23]   GK   FABIO COSTA   F. COSTA   Santos 27-Nov-77

 x-Japan 3 2 1 0 5:0 7
 x-Brazil 3 1 2 0 2:0 5
 Cameroon 3 1 0 2 2:4 3
 Canada 3 0 1 2 0:5 1
31-05-01   [3] Ibaraki, Japan 17:00 Brazil vs. Cameroon 2:0 (0:0) KRUG Hellmut, GER
02-06-01   [7] Ibaraki, Japan 17:00 Canada vs. Brazil 0:0 LU Jun, CHN
04-06-01   [11] Ibaraki, Japan 19:30 Brazil vs. Japan 0:0 NIELSEN Kim Milton, DEN

07-06-01   [14] Suwon, Korea 20:00 France vs. Brazil 2:1 (1:1) GHANDOUR Gamal, EGY
Third Place Match
09-06-01   [15] Ulsan, Korea 19:00 Australia vs. Brazil 1:0 (0:0) KRUG Hellmut, GER

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