Brazil, the highest five times FIFA World Cup winners, the team of all times favorites in every World Cup, is not unlike in the Qatar 2022 when the coach Tite is to jump with a bunch of young stars along with some experienced with having undisputed one of the best star players of this time Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, known as Neymar.
Tite’s dangerous team have a wealth of young attacking talents to help take the weight from Neymar’s shoulders.
The term Neymar dependency has been used a lot by the Brazilian press in the past decade, in particular after the exits from the past two World Cups. But the emergence of a talented new generation of strikers means that the expression has been largely forgotten. These days the head coach, Tite, can call on a wealth of young attacking young talents.
“At the time of the 2019 Copa America, we didn’t have Antony and Raphinha, Vini (Vinicius Junior) was still adapting at Real Madrid and Gabriel Martinelli was just training with us,” Tite said in October. “Now this generation has really arrived and wow! It was the progress of these players that has enabled us to play with five attack-minded players at the same time.”
At the start of last year, for example, Tite was not aware of Raphinha but his scouting team alerted him to the then Leeds forward and he is set to be a starter in Qatar. Add to that players such as Richarlison (Tottenham) and Lucas Paquetá (West Ham), who are will at their first World Cups, and it is clear that Tite is spoilt for choice.
While there is a youthful air to the attack, the defense brings experiences and reassurance. In goal, Alisson will be playing his second World Cup as a starter and in defense 38-year-old Thiago Silva could become the oldest outfield player to feature for Brazil at a World Cup.
The midfield anchor is Casemiro, a relative spring chicken at the age of 30 but the holder of more than 60 international caps already. His importance to the Canarinho cannot be understated and it was telling that he was suspended as they were eliminated by Belgium at the quarter-final stage of the 2018 World Cup.
Neymar is still there and the undisputed star of the team but the difference this time is that he won’t have all the spotlight on him. A division of responsibilities may well help Brazil as they go looking for a sixth World Cup triumph.