Football: The dazzling new boys from Brazil

Assuming that the trite observation of the South Korean coach at the World Youth Championship can be safely disregarded, the future of Brazilian football lies in good hands. Or, better, with twinkling feet. "Brazil," according to Park Lee Chun, "have their weakest side in the history of the under-20s event."

Chun's opinion is highly questionable. So far this "weak side" have dished out a 10-3 drubbing to his Asian champions in the final Group B fixture, and scored another 10 goals, this time without reply, against Belgium, reducing in the process, the poor Belgian goalkeeper Francois Gillet to tears.

Pity, then, Cristian Munoz, the Argentine goalkeeper facing Brazil here tonight in the quarter-final which really ought to have been the final. Selected against England on Thursday in preference to regular first choice, Leonardo Franco, Munoz did well enough for the holders in their 2-1 win to keep his place. Whether he can keep out Brazil, ending their advance towards a fourth title, is another matter.

Argentina have, in Pablo Aimar, a player saddled with the "next Maradona" label, minus, one hopes, the seedy trappings. Brazil, on the other hand, possess in Adailton Martins - who prefers to go by the nickname of Adaio - a forward who models himself on Romario, who incidentally may be missing tonight from Mario Zagallo's senior side against Bolivia in the Copa America final because of injury.

The comparison between Adaio and Romario is logical. Far and away the tournament's top scorer, Adaio is slighter in physique but he possesses the same absolute mastery of the ball, deadly left foot and uncanny goalscorer's knack for being in the right place when the chance presents itself. Ten of those chances have been dispatched so far, six of them against the Koreans, four during one staggering nine-minute spell. At 20 he is a regular for Guarini, for whom he first played as a 15-year-old, in the Brazilian championship .

Up to three Belgian players followed Adaio around on Wednesday, the upshot being that he scored only once. With five other marksmen, Brazil did not exactly suffer. "They have four or five outstanding players but their strength is as a team," Gerard Houllier, the French coach, commented after his team's opening 3-0 defeat.

Beaten by Argentina in the final at Qatar two years ago and again in the South American championships last January, Brazil must overcome the psychological factor if they are to win today. Ideally, their coach Toninho Barroso should instruct his players to persevere with their natural attacking game. "Whatever happens, it will be a beautiful game," the Belgian coach, Ariel Jacobs, said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...