Sambafoot Sunday: Brazil's Jokers in the Pack Relieve World Cup Pressure
Sambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on...
Earlier in the week, Sambafoot’s Chris Westwood reported on Seleção forward Hulk’s interview with Goal, and his thoughts on the atmosphere within the Brazil camp.
The powerful striker gave an insight into the friendships the players have behind the scenes, and revealed how the team help relieve the pressure on themselves by joking around, and summoning the support of their fans and families.
You only have to follow one of them on a social network to realise what a madcap bunch some of this Brazil side are, and Hulk’s comments backed up the impression that there’s a healthy dose of camaraderie in the Brazilian ranks.
“...everyone respects each other and everyone jokes with each other so there’s no other atmosphere like it. It’s just fun all the time.”
The expectations of this side are clear: They’re to win the World Cup on home soil. They failed to do this at the last attempt over 60 years ago, and that disastrous show of complacency is still recalled today, and increasingly so in the build up to the 2014 competition.
With such a weight on their shoulders it’s important to have some kind of escape, and the tomfoolery within the squad would appear to be a great way to deal with the pressure. Hulk added:
“It’s just fun all the time, we’re constantly laughing, we joke around when we get to training, train seriously and then when the game starts it’s war. We’ll play with everything and then after the game it’s back to laughing again. That’s how we live.”
Hulk's comments resonate with thoughts of 1950, as they are able relieve the massive pressure between games, but also suggest a lack of complacency during them.
An imperfect Brazil side will be better equipped to win this competition than one which seems to have all the answers, as there will always be a degree of effort applied. The far from ideal striking situation, Júlio César’s lack of games, the lack of a reliable defensive partner for Thiago Silva, and star player Neymar’s seemingly endless need to prove his doubters wrong, will all add to Brazil’s desire to win.
Speaking of unreliable defensive partners, David Luiz’s erratic displays on the pitch could be a big asset to the Brazil side off it. The “defender” takes his personality with him into games and demonstrates both an unquestionable ability and an unpredictable nature, in unequal measures.
His goal-line clearance in the Confederations Cup final against Spain was a vital part of their success in that tournament, and it’s this occasionally flawless reading of the game that Brazil fans would like to see more of.
Off the pitch Luiz is a leader if not a captain. In Chris’s report the Chelsea player was the one filming the joke video, which poked fun at Hulk’s lack of ability in the centre forward position in the latest FIFA video game. He’s the director of Brazil’s jokers, and will be important come the summer.
Luiz recently told the Brasil Global Tour website:
"We are a family, I wish we had more time together.”
This Brazil side isn’t nailed on to win the competition, as despite their home advantage and support, on paper there are better teams than them taking part. However, this is another factor which could relieve some pressure, and give the side further motivation to perform in the important games where tournaments are won or lost.