Zico on Brazil’s Downfall

In an exclusive interview with Haaretz, Brazilian legend Zico talked about the current problems that plague the Pentacampeões as well as what changes he would implement as FIFA president.

“The Brazilian national team currently has a problematic coach and on the field is a team that plays without joy and without the technique of the past. [Coach Carlos] Dunga had good results in the friendly games, but terrible results in the important games. He didn’t work with the clubs and that is a problem: he arrived at the national team without success or even experience at club level.

“But the problem is with the Brazilian players. They leave Brazil every year in larger numbers and at younger ages. Because they leave so early, they lose the Brazilian approach to the ball and the Brazilian technique; they are maybe more tactical, but they lose the authentic identity of Brazilian soccer that everyone loves in Brazil and worldwide,” lamented Zico.

“They go to play everywhere in the world, in places where soccer is completely different. They play in places where they don’t know the language and it takes time to adjust to the place, the fans, the language. That’s the reason, in my opinion, why the boys aren’t playing in the Brazilian style that we’re used to. They live well, increase their tactical understanding, but lose the light Brazilian approach, the magic of the ball at the foot. And, thus, Brazil has become not Brazil, to my sorrow.”


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