Teamwork makes the dream work

Brazil fails to qualify for 2024 Olympics amid struggles in 2026 World Cup qualifying

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Brazilian soccer followers have been already in a funk after a yr that noticed a string of poor outcomes, a training void and a political tug of warfare on the nation’s federation.

Issues acquired even worse Sunday after Brazil did not qualify for the Paris Olympics after a loss to archrival Argentina, that means the two-time defending champion is not going to be a part of the match this summer time.

“It’s unhappy, however it’s extra of a humiliation,” striker John Kennedy stated after the 1-0 loss. “We should always have wished to win greater than we did.”

Brazil additionally did not qualify for the 1992 and 2004 editions of the Olympic match, however these blips did not coincide with a disaster for the senior nationwide workforce. Brazil is barely in sixth place in South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and its greatest star Neymar has been out with a severe knee damage since October.

Some followers and analysts had hoped 17-year-old striker Endrick — who is ready to hitch Actual Madrid this summer time — would offer some trigger for optimism by showcasing his expertise in the course of the Olympic qualifying match. And plenty of supporters had been hoping to see Endrick and the 32-year-old Neymar play collectively on the Olympic workforce in Paris and lead Brazil to an unprecedented third straight gold medal.

However the Brazilian teenager scored solely twice in seven matches in Olympic qualifying. Argentina’s World Cup-winning midfielder Thiago Almada netted 5.

The Olympic soccer match options primarily Beneath-23 gamers and doesn’t carry practically the identical standing because the World Cup or contintental championships — such because the Copa America that begins in June — however lacking out fully nonetheless stings the satisfaction of many Brazilians.

Particularly those that are viewing Endrick because the nation’s subsequent massive star, and had been anticipating him to point out that he may assist lead the senior workforce’s assault alongside Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo on the Copa America.

In the meantime, Brazil’s senior workforce will return to motion in March in friendlies towards England and Spain amid severe issues about its present kind.

Final yr, Brazil misplaced a house match in World Cup qualifying for the primary time ever; 1-0 to Argentina on the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. It additionally misplaced at Uruguay and Colombia within the South American round-robin competitors after two poor performances.

New coach Dorival Júnior was solely employed in January after the president of the Brazilian soccer confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues, did not fulfil his promise to herald Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti. Earlier coach Tite stepped down after Brazil misplaced within the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup, and the workforce had been led by Fernando Diniz on an interim foundation final yr.

The frustration of seeing Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar in addition to the final Copa América has solely added to the strain going through Dorival as he takes up the job — even earlier than Sunday’s loss.

“Brazil wasted a full yr in preparations as a result of we waited for a prime coach (Ancelotti) who had signed no contract with us,” stated former Brazil left-back Júnior. “We burned a promising coach, Fernando Diniz, simply so he might be interim for a yr. The time to repair all this for the following World Cup could be very quick.”

Rodrigues, the conferederation head, can also be going through requires his resignation. He was eliminated by a Rio de Janeiro court docket in December resulting from irregularities in his election however returned weeks later after a ruling from Brazil’s prime court docket. His full case is but to be reviewed.

Historical past, although, exhibits that lacking out on the Olympics does not essentially bode in poor health for the long run.

The workforce that did not qualify for the Barcelona Video games in 1992 included Cafu, Márcio Santos and Roberto Carlos, who all went on to win the World Cup. And the squad that missed out on the Athens Video games in 2004 included future stars Maicon, Diego and Robinho.

“They should show this elimination is not any completely different from these two,” stated 2002 World Cup winner Vampeta. “There’s nice gamers on this workforce, however they are going to be judged by whether or not they can drag the senior workforce out of the quagmire it’s in now. It’s an uphill battle to finish this disaster.”

Reporting by The Related Press.

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