Johan Cruyff on Brazil

Dutch star Johan Cruyff spoke to UK newspaper The Mirror:

I would never pay for a ticket to watch the matches of this Brazilian team. Where has the Brazil team we all know disappeared to in this World Cup? I look at this team and I remember people like Gerson, Tostao, Falcao, Zico or Socrates. Now I only see Gilberto, Melo, Bastos, Julio Baptista. Where is the Brazilian magic? I could understand why Dunga has picked some players but where is the playmaker or skill in midfield? I don’t think any spectator would pay to watch them. Brazil need to play with more intensity, more bite on the pitch because they are not special, they are just like any other squad in this World Cup. Always the fans want to enjoy Brazil, enjoy their fantasy at World Cups but they do not have that this summer. They have talented players but they play in a way which is more defensive and is less exciting. It is a shame for the fans and the tournament. They are one of the teams people want to see.

Johan Cruyff is correct. This is the antithetical Brazilian team. Yes, it is true that if Brazil hadn’t always been the country (along with the Netherlands, perhaps) on which you could depend for an entertaining match, Cruyff wouldn’t say this. But Brazil always played with class, which is why this Dunga-ized joyless Brazilian team disappoints.

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