Brazilian soccer followers had been already in a funk after a 12 months that noticed a string of poor outcomes, a training void and a political tug of struggle on the nation’s federation.
Issues obtained even worse on Sunday after Brazil didn’t qualify for the Paris Olympics due to a loss to arch-rivals Argentina, that means the two-time defending champions won’t be a part of the match this summer season.
“It’s unhappy, however it’s extra of a humiliation,” striker John Kennedy mentioned after the 1-0 loss. “We must always have needed to win greater than we did.”
Brazil additionally didn’t qualify for the 1992 and 2004 editions of the Olympic match, however these blips did not coincide with a disaster for the senior nationwide staff. Brazil are solely in sixth place in South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and their greatest star Neymar has been out with a severe knee damage since October.
Some followers and analysts had hoped 17-year-old striker Endrick, who is about to affix Actual Madrid this summer season, would supply some trigger for optimism by showcasing his expertise throughout the Olympic qualifying match. And plenty of supporters had been hoping to see Endrick and the 32-year-old Neymar play collectively within the Olympic staff in Paris and lead Brazil to an unprecedented third straight gold medal.
However the Brazilian teenager scored solely twice in seven matches in Olympic qualifying. Argentina’s World Cup-winning midfielder Thiago Almada netted 5.
The Olympic soccer match options primarily U-23 gamers and doesn’t carry practically the identical standing because the World Cup or contintental championships such because the Copa America that begins in June. However lacking out utterly nonetheless stings the delight of many Brazilians.
Particularly those that are viewing Endrick because the nation’s subsequent huge star, and had been anticipating him to point out that he might assist lead the senior staff’s assault alongside Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo on the Copa America.
In the meantime, Brazil’s senior staff will return to motion in March in friendlies in opposition to England and Spain amid severe issues about its present type.
Final 12 months, Brazil misplaced a house match in World Cup qualifying for the primary time ever; 1-0 to Argentina on the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. It additionally misplaced in Uruguay and Colombia within the South American round-robin competitors after two poor performances.
New coach Dorival Junior was solely employed in January after the president of the Brazilian soccer confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues, didn’t fulfil his promise to usher in Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti. Earlier coach Tite stepped down after Brazil misplaced within the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup, and the staff had been led by Fernando Diniz on an interim foundation final 12 months.
The frustration of seeing Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar in addition to the final Copa America has solely added to the stress going through Dorival as he takes up the job, even earlier than Sunday’s loss.
“Brazil wasted a full 12 months in preparations as a result of we waited for a prime coach (Ancelotti) who had signed no contract with us,” mentioned former Brazil left-back Junior. “We burned a promising coach, Fernando Diniz, simply so he might be interim for a 12 months. The time to repair all this for the subsequent World Cup could be very quick.”
Rodrigues, the conferederation head, can be going through requires his resignation. He was eliminated by a Rio de Janeiro courtroom in December as a consequence of irregularities in his election however returned weeks later after a ruling from Brazil’s prime courtroom. His full case is but to be reviewed.
Historical past, although, exhibits that lacking out on the Olympics does not essentially bode unwell for the long run.
The staff that didn’t qualify for the Barcelona Video games in 1992 included Cafu, Marcio Santos and Roberto Carlos, who all went on to win the World Cup. And the squad that missed out on the Athens Video games in 2004 included future stars Maicon, Diego and Robinho.
“They must show this elimination isn’t any totally different from these two,” mentioned 2002 World Cup winner Vampeta. “There are nice gamers on this staff, however they are going to be judged by whether or not they can drag the senior staff out of the quagmire it’s in now. It’s an uphill battle to finish this disaster.”