Copa America 2011 Tactical Preview-Brazil

By Dhilip Krishna

Brazil a team that used to play the beautiful game,the way it should be played.A team that had supporters in every nook an corner of the world.From the streets of Calcutta to the lanes of Lisbon,the team you support after your Nation has been knocked out(Or in Calcutta’s case,India not qualifying) was Brazil.I use past tense here because at the moment,it is Barcelona and Spain who play the beautiful game.And Dunga’s philosophy in the World Cup didn’t help much.

Brazil under Dunga had only three players who could play football the Brazillian way Kaka,Robinho and Luis Adriano.The core of the team was made up of Dunga-like players who provided more graft and discipline than the flair or skill for which the shores of Rio De Janeiro are famous for.Mano Menezes has been entrusted the task of bringing back the magic to the national team as they prepare to defend their Copa America title in Argentina.


Mano Menezes


23-man Brazil Copa America Squad:

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Victor (Gremio), Jefferson (Botafogo)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Inter Milan), Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Adriano (Barcelona), Lucio (Inter Milan), David Luiz (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Milan), Luisao (Benfica)
Midfielders: Lucas (Liverpool), Ramires (Chelsea), Sandro (Tottenham), Elias (Atletico Madrid), Lucas (Sao Paulo), Jadson (Shakhtar), Elano (Santos), Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos)
Forwards: Alexandre Pato (Milan), Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Robinho (Milan)

Group Matches:

July 3, 2011 v Venezuela
July 9, 2011 v Paraguay
July 13, 2011 v Ecuador

Player to Watch : Neymar

Such an Exciting talent &  we can expect him to reproduce his club form for his national team.He lead Santos to the Copa Libertadores title,but can his young shoulders bear the expectations of such a historic team?




Here we look at the possible formations which Menezes maybe be expected to employ.
  1. Formation  4-2-3-1 :

    With this squad,Formation Best suited for Brazil is  4-2-3-1 , As far as Goal Keeper is concerned I would go with Julio Caesar , Despite his string of poor performances (Against Bayern munich his keeping was Awful , and eventually it ended Inter Milan’s Champions league dreams ) , He is a world-class keeper and a reliable man between the two posts.

    In the right back position I would love to play Maicon and in central defence I would play Lucio and Thiago silva and in left back position I would play Adriano.

    Why Lucio and why not David luiz? 

    Answer:Experience of Lucio is the key , It is necessary in a big-stage like Copa America,Being a senior member of the squad he can motivate the young guns and make them thrive under the pressure

    Out of those 2 Central midfield positions one should act as a central defensive midfielder, to be specific as an anchor man and other as a normal Central midfield player , to pass the ball around to the attacking players & forwards . 

    According to me I would suggest Lucas Leiva to play the anchor man role,which he did for Liverpool last season so impressively and Ramires as a central midfielder.Although a few eyebrows maybe raised over the decisionl to pick Ramires but I believe the extra bit of pace he has got and the energy and the teamwork which he brings to the table is really vital.

    Picking the attacking players and a forward is always a headache when it comes to the Brazil squad , as they have world class attacking players,none of whom you would want to see on the bench.Am a little surprised at the decision to drop Kaka from the squad , Despite his recent injuries he should have been called up for the national squad . But lets look at the reality  , Lucas Marcelinho(I prefer him over Ganso) touted as  next Kaka,I would make him play where Kaka usually plays – Attacking midfielder Centre , with Neymar on the left side and Pato on the right side , I would play Robinho as a lone Forward .



Actually the Attacking midfielders can switch their positions because all the players(Neymar,Pato,Robinho & Lucas Marcelinho) can play on either flanks and also in the centre and by switching positions often it becomes difficult for the opposition to mark these players.


  1. 4-3-3 (Samba Style football) :


Same Centre backs , and in midfield With Lucas Leiva as anchor man , Ganso as normal CM who acts as the playmaker and Ramires in the role of box-to-box midfielder.Neymar on left , Pato on right and Robinho as lone forward. And again the advantage of having neymar,pato and robinho is that they can play as forward and also as attacking midfielders so they can switch positions often and make it difficult for the defenders to mark them .Here Lucas and Ramires can act as Carrileros running of Ganso in turns to support the forwards.This will help in preserving the shape and energy.

  1. 4-5-1 (Messi Trap formation Exclusive for Argentina )

Argentina Vs Brazil would be a dream tie for all the legions of football fans all over the world,for whom these two months are like a dark tunnel and The Copa America is the only glimmer of hope.


We wonder what sort of a role Messi is going to be playing(Read Argentina Preview Here)


So if Messi plays in a deep role I would opt for 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 because he is not much of a threat,when he plays in a deeper playmaking role and if Messi plays in a attacking role then I would opt for a 4-5-1 and make Lucas Leiva to close down messi and cut his runs by hard tackling. During Real Madrid vs Barcelona in the Copa del rey Mourinho made Pepe to play as CDM and what pepe always did was closing down and tackling hard on Messi and the tactic succeeded.


Same set of defenders and in CDM lucas leiva , Ramires as Cm and Ganso as Box to box CM And on the left wing Neymar and in the right Pato and Robinho as the lone forward . Neymar,Pato and Robinho can switch positions and make it hard for defenders to mark them .

-Dhilip Krishna

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