Neymar, Pato, Ronaldinho
This past Saturday Mano lined up what many expect to be the starting formation for our latest friendly against Ghana on Monday. At first glance Selecao fans will be happy to see a change of personnel after a string of lack lustre performances. The lineup does indeed have some dynamic changes that could have a significant impact on the way this team expresses itself.
Marcelo takes back the left back slot after seeming to repair his relationship with the coaching staff. He is a gifted athlete with a higher technical level than A. Santos. He is exceptional with the ball at his feet and has no problem getting past his defenders. Although shorter than Santos, Marcelo is younger, arguably quicker and more substantially more creative with the ball. I’m still not sold on his defensive abilities and weary of his tendency to become emotionally compromised when provoked. This Selecao team has developed an unfortunate reputation for losing their heads when their backs are against the wall and can ill afford to have players that exacerbate this tendency.
Marcelo’s trickery will be a new asset on the left side of the defensive unit
Fernandinho takes Ramires’ long held position alongside Lucas in the middle of the park. He is described as having tons of pace and a good shooters touch. Whether he is any more productive than Ramires will have to remain to be seen. When it comes to the Selecao, everyone has “a ton of pace and good shot.” The real key, and missing ingredient thus far, has been a consistent display of deft passing and players capable of initiating and organizing the attack.
Fernandinho hopes to make an impression in the Selecao midfield
The real story of this latest call up has been the re-emergence of former world player of the year, Ronaldinho. Practically all but forgotten a year ago, ‘Dinho has played his way back on to the scene. I have watched him play for Flamengo a few times this season and have to admit that he seems to have regained his joy for playing. Yet, this is not the Ronaldinho that dazzled audienes and defenders while playing for FC Barcelona. This latest version of Ronaldinho is slower, but wiser with the ball. His imagination will benefit this team in need of ideas and a touch of old Brazilian flair. - tB.
Is this Ronaldinho’s second act?