Copa America: Brazil squad preview

Our run down of the teams involved in the 2011 Copa America, which kicks off on July 1, continues with a closer look at Brazil.

Pedigrí



Brazil may have slipped up in their last two attempts to collect a sixth World Cup title but in recent years they have rarely put a foot wrong in the Copa América. A Seleção have overcome Argentina in the last two Copa América finals on route to winning four out of the last five South American championships. Brazil have been crowned kings of the continent every time they have hosted the Copa América, although they are yet to take home a title from Argentina.



Momento de gloria



In anticipation of hosting the 1950 World Cup the Verde-Amarela nation staged the Copa América the year before. Nine goals from Jair, including a brace in the final against Paraguay, ensured the home crowd got the chance to toast victory.





El director técnico



It’s widely perceived that Mano Menezes was the CBF’s second choice to replace Dunga after the role had first been offered to Muricy Ramalho. Before taking over the Brazil team Mano had been overseeing the ambitious geriat-ticos project at Corinthians along with Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos. Mano failed to bring home the Copa Libertadores to Corinthians but he did demonstrate an aptitude for massaging big egos. Recent friendlies against Holland and Romania saw Mano’s side struggling to break down the opposition and his counter-attacking style is at odds with the sexy football he promised when he took the job.



El capitán



Lúcio remains one of the finest exponents of defensive play on the planet, just as he has been for over a decade. Inside the package comes Lúcio’s organisational skills combined with the ability to get the better of any type of striker. In his thirties he still makes those lung busting runs up field at every opportunity he gets and his goals in Champions League and Confederation Cup finals are testament to his attacking threat. With already 100 caps to his name Lúcio is destined to go down as the greatest Brazilian defender of all-time alongside his 2002 World Cup winning team-mate Cafu.



El crack



Paulo Henrique Ganso has captured the Brazilian imagination following his performances in midfield for freshly crowned Copa Libertadores champions Santos. Ganso is a playmaker more in the mould of Juan Román Riquelme as opposed to his predecessor Kaká. The 21-year-old employs flamboyant flicks and precious passing rather than relying on sheer athleticism to get the job done. Ganso has missed pretty much all of the first six months of this year through injury and Menezes will be keeping him in cotton wool as the Copa América approaches.



El ídolo



In the build-up to the 2010 World Cup three police cars were called to cart off reporters staging a protest outside Dunga’s house. The stunt was just the tip of the iceberg with the whole of Brazil calling for Ganso and his Santos team-mate Neymar to travel to South Africa. One year on and both starlets are starters for Brazil with Neymar fast becoming the most prized catch in world football. Neymar loves to occupy that Thierry Henry position on the left flank before opening up his box of tricks to cut in and squeeze off a shot from either foot. Neymar’s ability to ghost past defenders makes his tendency to go to ground all the more frustrating. However, the expectant father has already shown that he loves to turn it on in the big games, Copa América beware.



El futuro



Lucas Moura has found himself fast-tracked into the senior set-up after linking up with Neymar to win Brazil yet another South American under-20 championship. Capable of conjuring a goal from nothing, he has helped São Paulo FC to cope with the absence of Luís Fabiano through injury. With every match that passes added weight is given to the theory that Chelsea ended up walking away with the wrong player when Lucas Piazón signed on the dotted line at Stamford Bridge.



Los marginados



Perhaps the only player missing out with a realistic chance of getting into the first team is Real Madrid’s left-back Marcelo. Romantics would have loved to see one last hurrah for the attacking flair of Kaká and Ronaldinho in particular. Nilmar, Hulk and Leandro Damião have every right to feel aggrieved after losing out to Fred.



Rumores de transferencia



Neymar to Chelsea, Lucas Moura to Liverpool, Daniel Alves to Manchester City, Leandro Damião to Tottenham Hotspur.



La botinera



Alexandre Pato has been snapped by the paps in the build-up to the Copa América soaking on the rays on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Instead for spending his time with a girl from Ipanema, the striker has used his predatory instincts to net himself Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi.



Síguelo en Twitter:



@LucasLeiva87 - Hopefully next season will be better and we will achieve good things together. I am sure next season we will never walk alone again.



La opinión experta



The only surprise for me in the squad is the inclusion of left-back Adriano at the expense of Marcelo. It seems the Real Madrid defender is being punished for some indiscipline in the last year. Since the days of Roberto Carlos we have been without a player who has made that left-back position their own. As for the rest of the squad, I like the renovations that are taking place. We know what Kaká and Ronaldinho can do so why not look for another solution to the famous number 10 shirt. Ganso from Santos is very much the man of the moment right now and if he can come back from his injury maybe we’ll get a preview of the Brazilian team for the 2014 World Cup. Another big piece of news is the recovery of Alexandre Pato from the shoulder problem he picked up at Milan. If Ganso is firing and we have Pato, Neymar and Robinho in front of him we can start to play the game that supporters love to see.



Marcos Lavieri - UOL Brasil



El objetivo



Qualifying as hosts for the 2014 World Cup prevents Menezes from developing his team in the fiercely competitive South American qualification series. It is therefore essential that the head coach uses the Copa América arena to school his young squad on the ways of winning when it matters.



La predicción



The evidence offered up by Menezes in recently friendlies showed that Brazil’s counter-attacking threat can be stifled by an organised opposition getting men behind the ball. The danger exists that many of Brazil’s fixtures at the Copa América could actually turn out to be rather dull encounters. Hopefully, the reintroduction of Ganso will provide them with that little bit of extra nous needed to unpick a defence. Brazil to beat Argentina in the final for the third consecutive tournament.



¿Por qué ser fanático?



If you’re looking to take in a bit of football over the next few years you’d be well advised to get yourself over to Brazil. For a kick-off, domestic football barely takes a break for turkey with football being played 12 months a years. A top flight team with a couple of cup campaigns on the go can expect to play the guts of 100 games in a calendar year. On the international front there’s the Confederations Cup in 2013, the World Cup in 2014, the Copa América in 2015 and the Olympic tournament in 2016. Oh yes, it’s all going on in Brazil.



¿Un club en League Two?



There’s one club which stands out as the obvious pick for any football fan who still believes in the principles behind jogo bonito. Whether they play decked out in their yellow or blue strip, AFC Wimbledon can expect a warm welcome at every ground they travel to next season.



La fiesta



Get yourself in the mood for carnival by dousing yourself in cachaça and swinging to the samba beat. Settle the stomach with a hearty portion of feijoada before rocking down to Avenida Paulista for São Paulo’s most potent party.



¡Qué curioso!



A power struggle between the football federations of Rio de Janerio and São Paulo led to Brazil being relatively later bloomers on the international circuit. A unified Brazilian national team did not take to the field until 1914, a full 13 years after Argentina had beaten Uruguay in the first all-South America international. A Seleção got off to a winning start by overcoming Exeter City 2-0 at the Estádio das Laranjeiras, a ground still used by Fluminense. In honour of the famous meeting Brazil sent a team to Devon in to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the first meeting, again the little canaries came out on top thanks to a penalty converted by Careca. Talk of a pre-World Cup rematch in the Brazilian team’s centenary year would give the Grecians a chance to make it third time lucky.



La Selección



Goalkeepers: Julio César (Inter, ITA), Victor (Grêmio, BRA), Jefferson (Botafogo, BRA).



Defenders: André Santos (Fenerbahçe, TUR), Daniel Alves and Adriano (Barcelona, SPA), Maicon and Lúcio (Inter, ITA), David Luiz (Chelsea, ENG), Luisão (Benfica, POR), Thiago Silva (AC Milan, ITA).



Midfields: Sandro (Tottenham, ENG), Lucas Leiva (Liverpool, ENG), Elano and Paulo Henrique Ganso (Santos, BRA), Elias (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Jadson (Shaktar Donetsk, UKR), Lucas (São Paulo, BRA), Ramires (Chelsea, ENG).



Forwards: Alexandre Pato and Robinho (AC Milan, ITA), Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Santos).



Acción



v Venezuela 03/07/2011 16:00 La Plata

v Paraguay 09/07/2011 16:00 Córdoba

v Ecuador 13/07/2011 21:45 Córdoba



Estadísticas



FIFA ranking: 3

Odds to win: 2/1

Copa America record: P173 W95 D30 L42 F387 A190

Copa America best: Eight-time champions

Copa America 2011 squad previews

More teams will follow in this daily series. Plus, for more on Copa America 2011, listen to The South American Football Show.



Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing