Tim Vickery Column: On the trail of Brazil’s 1982 team

Paulo Roberto Falcao style of play should have inspired a generation - Action Images
This is a big week coming up; for the Brazilian teams in the Libertadores, for example. Gremio have already, and very impressively too, made sure of their slot in the knock out phase, and so have Atletico Mineiro – now re-enforced by Nicolas Anelka (more on that next week). Cruzeiro look to have saved themselves with last week’s win away to Universidad de Chile, but Atletico Paranaense, Flamengo and Botafogo are caught in a dogfight.

It is also a big week for a TV project I am involved in; a documentary on Brazil’s much loved 1982 World Cup team. The completed programme should hit your screens a couple of weeks before the World Cup – it is being made for FIFA, and will be offered to all broadcasters who are owners of the 2014 transmission rights.

Our completion deadline is fast approaching. These are the final few days in which we can do interviews. So far we have swept up most of the players – and have plenty of archive footage of Socrates, who is sadly is no longer with us.

It looks as if time has run out on chasing right back Leandro, and also centre forward Serginho. But there is one sector of the team that has not yet been covered, and needs urgent attention over the next few days – the central midfielders.

Cerezo is in Japan; we have sent over questions to be put to him there and have set up the interview. But I will be unable to conduct the process as I would like if we were face to face – which makes this week’s trip down to Porto Alegre especially important. We are going to meet Falcao, the ‘king of Rome,’ the elegant midfield presence who so typified that 1982 team.

One of the great ironies of the process is that Falcao had not played for Brazil for some time before joining up with the squad on the eve of the tournament. The fact that he was playing for Roma meant that he was not available for the qualifiers – and so one of the players who is seen as a symbol of 1982 had to be re-integrated into the team at the last minute.

This is an interesting line of questioning – how was he accepted by the group? Did his international experience proffer on him a role of leadership in the dressing room?  Did he warn his team-mates about the threat offered by Italy before that fateful 3-2 defeat?

But even more interesting from my point of view are his thoughts about the consequences of Brazil’s early elimination, especially in terms of his central midfield position.

The striking thing about the performances of the 1982 team is the circulation of the ball. There was very little dribbling – only in the last few metres of the field. Player after player has stressed that coach Tele Santana was firmly opposed to dribbling in the middle of the field, which he saw as an invitation to the opponent’s counter-attack. Instead, the ball moves, hypnotically and beautifully, from sector to sector. And always at the heart of it are the two central midfielders, Falcao and Cerezo, who stamp their authority on the game with the range of their passing and the audacity of their movement.

This was always a vital part of the Brazilian game. Think, for example, of how defensive midfielder Zito scores the decisive goal in the 1962 World Cup final against Czechoslovakia with a move that takes him from one penalty box to the other. Or his successor Clodoaldo, pushing forward to hit home the vital equaliser against Uruguay in the 1970 semi final, and then waltzing his way through the Italy midfield at the start of the move that leads to that famous Carlos Alberto goal in the final.

But Zito and Clodoaldo were also holders – far more so than either Falcao or Cerezo. In 1982 Brazil’s specialist defensive midfielder was Batista, and he was not even on the bench for that game against Italy.

The conclusion, even reached by Tele Santana in the 1986 World Cup, was that Brazil would have to tighten up in the middle of the pitch – and so began the process whereby they started selecting centre backs to offer cover in front of the centre backs, protecting the forward bursts of the full backs, but renouncing the opportunity to elaborate from centrefield as the 1982 team did so wonderfully.

Dorival Junior, who as a coach made his name with the Neymar-Paulo Henrique Ganso Santos side of 2010, argues that in the obsession to spring the full backs, Brazilian football has forgotten how to pass the ball through the middle of the field.

The great Tostao blames Brazil’s recent conception of midfield play for the fact that Ganso has so far come nowhere near fulfilling the expectations that were constructed around him; “He should have been prepared, all the way through the youth ranks, to play from one penalty box to the other, marking and attacking as do the great talents in this position, such as Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Xavi, Iniesta, Thiago Alcantara, Yaya Toure, Modric, Pirlo and others. But the midfield in Brazil has been divided into those who mark and those who attack, and players such as Ganso have been squeezed out.”

Tostao accepts that a change is on the way, with the likes of Paulinho, Hernanes and Ramires capable of both marking and attacking, but he still feels that Brazil is lagging behind in this area. And surely he has a point. 1982 should have inspired subsequent generations of Falcaos and Cerezos. Instead, it is hard to find them here in Brazil. I can hardly wait to delve into such issues with Paulo Roberto Falcao.

Read more:

> Tim Vickery Column- A look at what Brazilian clubs need to do to safely make the next round of the Copa Libertadores
> Tim Vickery Column: When early elimination is a good thing
> Tim Vickery Column: The politics behind Brazil’s 1970 World Cup triumph and how it shaped Brazilian sports journalism
 





Latest articles

Torino forward Barreto not worried about Fabio Quagliarella arrival and looking forward to IF Brommapojkarna challenge

Zlatan Ibrahimović expects David Luiz to settle quickly and succeed at Paris Saint-Germain

Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto de Assis confirms his new club will be announced on Wednesday

Report: Chelsea still pushing for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda

Report: Barcelona consider renewed approach for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos

Report: Robinho's future remains uncertain as Milan wait for an offer from the UAE

Elche confirm the signing of forward Jonathas on a two-year loan deal from Pescara

Corinthians set to move for striker Angel Romero's twin Oscar

Fluminense refute rumours of moves for Ronaldinho and Wellington Nem

PSG's David Luiz may be dropped for Dunga's first Brazil squad

Diego Costa applauded by new Chelsea colleague Drogba

Ronaldinho posts video online thanking Atletico Mineiro for the memories

Neymar's second Barcelona season will be easier, says former player

Ronaldinho won't move to Boca Juniors, say Argentine side

Arena Amazônia hopeful of hosting Serie A games

Grêmio appoint Luiz Felipe Scolari as new manager

QPR interested in former Barcelona and AC Milan star Ronaldinho

Grêmio striker Barcos praises Luiz Felipe Scolari

Latest News.

  • All
  • Seleção
  • Teams
  • Players
July 30, 2014
17:43Torino forward Barreto not worried about Fabio Quagliarella arrival and looking forward to IF Brommapojkarna challenge
14:56Zlatan Ibrahimović expects David Luiz to settle quickly and succeed at Paris Saint-Germain
13:42Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto de Assis confirms his new club will be announced on Wednesday
12:21Report: Chelsea still pushing for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda
11:12Report: Barcelona consider renewed approach for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos
09:51Report: Robinho's future remains uncertain as Milan wait for an offer from the UAE
08:56Elche confirm the signing of forward Jonathas on a two-year loan deal from Pescara
08:04Corinthians set to move for striker Angel Romero's twin Oscar
07:50Fluminense refute rumours of moves for Ronaldinho and Wellington Nem
07:40PSG's David Luiz may be dropped for Dunga's first Brazil squad
07:21Diego Costa applauded by new Chelsea colleague Drogba
07:11Ronaldinho posts video online thanking Atletico Mineiro for the memories
06:59Neymar's second Barcelona season will be easier, says former player
06:46Ronaldinho won't move to Boca Juniors, say Argentine side
July 29, 2014
19:41Arena Amazônia hopeful of hosting Serie A games
18:53Grêmio appoint Luiz Felipe Scolari as new manager
18:19QPR interested in former Barcelona and AC Milan star Ronaldinho
17:15Grêmio striker Barcos praises Luiz Felipe Scolari
16:48Grêmio want Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella
16:31Cruzeiro defender Dedé on Juventus radar
14:35Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro set to depart White Hart Lane?
14:09Reports in Italy suggest Lazio looking to sign Marseille defender Lucas Mendes
13:02Rômulo having Juventus medical today
11:41Atlético Mineiro head coach admits it is ‘unfortunate’ that Ronaldinho has left the club
11:17Liverpool’s Suso: Coutinho plays like a Spaniard
10:32Parma reject talk linking forward Amauri with Cesena
10:03Chelsea manager José Mourinho praises Brazilian Filipe Luís
09:00Tim Vickery Column: Farce of 2014 may take longer to recover from than tragedy of 1950
08:37Goalkeeper Jefferson says Botafogo wage troubles are not affecting performances
08:27Jorge Valdivia is asked to return to Palmeiras after Middle East move complications
08:08New Palmeiras signing Allione delighted to join club
07:58Sao Paulo's Rodrigo Caio: Team have to work more as a unit
07:47Atletico Mineiro president Kalil hails Ronaldinho contribution
07:34AC Milan CEO confirms Olympiakos Robinho offer
July 28, 2014
21:35Ronaldinho and Atlético Mineiro part ways
21:19Jonathan insists Internazionale will give 100 per cent this season
21:09Robinho agent confirms the Brazilian hasn’t spoken with Beşiktaş over potential move
20:47Kaká insists his time with Real Madrid was not a failure
20:09Brazil head coach sends another warning to Neymar
18:06Report: Beşiktaş ready to bid €4 million for in demand Milan forward Robinho
17:27Jô: Ronaldinho has played his last match for Atlético-MG
17:14Enderson Moreira steps down as Grêmio manager
16:47Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano open to play for Ukraine
16:35Dunga: Men don't cry
16:22Brazilian-born Diego Costa scores on Chelsea debut in win over Olimpija Ljubljana
15:14Forwards Luan and Wanderley excited to be working with Head Coach Paulo Bonamigo at Sharjah SC
13:33Report: Barcelona willing to let defender Daniel Alves leave for cut price fee
11:52Manchester United confirm defender Rafael will leave United States tour after suffering a groin injury
10:112014 Brasileirão Round 12 summary: Late Alex strike earns Coritiba dramatic win and Flamengo secure vital derby victory
08:58Sao Paulo debut goal for Kaka in 2-1 loss to Goias
July 23, 2014
17:02Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral hoping for Seleção return under Dunga
July 19, 2014
23:19Gerard Houllier explains why Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Ball
23:13Neymar believes Brazil can learn from Germany and Spain
23:07Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli welcomes introduction of vanishing spray into Serie A after World Cup success
July 14, 2014
23:57FIFA President Sepp Blatter denies involvement in selection of Lionel Messi as Golden Ball winner
23:48FIFA Secretary-General Jérôme Valcke expects Russia and Qatar World Cups to match Brazil
23:13Maicon philosophical over Brazil World Cup disappointment
July 13, 2014
23:44Fred hopes Fluminense will give him time off after World Cup disappointment
23:41Fred confirms he has retired from international football
09:54Sambafoot Sunday: Brazil's 2014 World Cup Fallout: New Failures
July 12, 2014
23:51Joachim Low: Germany can be the first European nation to win in Latin America
23:48Dunga: Germany played as a unit
23:44Thiago Silva left frustrated by Netherlands defeat
23:35Oscar has "horrible feeling" after Netherlands defeat
July 11, 2014
22:50Germany forward Thomas Muller looking forward to playing in the Maracana
July 09, 2014
23:55Neymar agent Wagner Ribeiro makes astonishing attack of Luiz Felipe Scolari
23:51Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insists Germany defeat "not all bad"
23:48Cafu refused entry to Brazil dressing room after Germany defeat
15:30Tim Vickery Column: A look at Brazil’s capitulation against Germany and what now for Luiz Felipe Scolari
July 08, 2014
23:59Luiz Felipe Scolari: “Who is responsible for this result? I am, it’s me”
23:55Germany forward Miroslav Klose "truly happy" to break Ronaldo's World Cup scoring record
23:50Julio Cesar struggles to comprehend Brazil defeat
23:39Brazil 1-7 Germany: Ruthless Germany tear Seleção apart to secure historic semi-final victory
23:29Brazil 1-7 Germany: Player ratings
20:10Brazil v Germany: line-ups
July 07, 2014
22:25Brazil legend Amarildo believes Neymar absence could work to the Selecao's advantage against Germany
22:22Germany Head Coach Joachim Low wary of "robust" Brazil
22:05Maicon disappointed with refereeing on Neymar challenge
July 06, 2014
09:25Sambafoot Sunday: Ney Problem - Can Brazil Cope Without Neymar?
July 05, 2014
23:45Argentina forward Lionel Messi aiming for the World Cup final
23:30Medic insists vertebra injury will not compromise Neymar’s career
July 04, 2014
23:59Thiago Silva defends emotional Brazil
23:55James Rodriguez: David Luiz told me I was a good player
23:50David Luiz looks forward to "classic" encounter with Germany
23:47David Luiz: Colombia would have gone further if they “hadn't come up against Brazil”
15:34Luiz Felipe Scolari feels Brazil’s lack of a rivalry with Colombia will allow his players to be “more at ease'
July 03, 2014
18:58Brazil v Colombia – Preview
July 02, 2014
22:14Neymar confirms he is fit to face Colombia
22:10Colombia Head Coach Jose Pekerman confident his side can upset Brazil
22:06Neymar insists he can fit in any formation amid rumours that Luiz Felipe Scolari will switch to a 3-5-2 against Colombia
22:02Neymar happy for Brazil to win 1-0 against Colombia
July 01, 2014
23:24Fernandinho confident Brazil can handle expectations
June 30, 2014
16:29Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari unsure whether Neymar will be fit to face Colombia
16:24Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari compares Neymar to Cristiano Ronaldo
June 29, 2014
23:11Diego Maradona: "Chile deserved to go through"
23:00Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez respectful of Brazil
21:23Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez hopeful of Brazil victory
19:21Diego Maradona excited by Colombia and James Rodriguez
June 28, 2014
21:04Brazil vs. Chile: Player ratings
16:14Brazil vs Chile: Line up
June 26, 2014
14:33Report: Flamengo one of eight clubs who have enquired about loaning Internazionale midfielder Rubén Botta
June 16, 2014
11:35Brazil Head Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari backs Portugal to recovery from heavy Germany defeat
June 09, 2014
23:18Italy forward Lorenzo Insigne insists Italy’s poor defending in victory against Fluminense is “not important”
23:12Italy forward Ciro Immobile “excited” with hat-trick against Fluminense
22:56Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli pleased with Fluminense victory
22:52Italy Head Coach Cesare Prandelli delighted with Brazilian support
June 07, 2014
23:32Italy line up confirmed for Fluminense friendly
May 19, 2014
22:13Portugal Manager Paulo Bento names his 23-man 2014 FIFA World Cup squad
May 18, 2014
19:09Sambafoot Sunday: Botafogo's Shaky Start to 2014
April 13, 2014
08:34Sambafoot Sunday: Brazilian Clubs' Libertadores Numbers Game
April 06, 2014
09:20Sambafoot Sunday: Atlético Mineiro's Anelka Interest Should be the Norm
February 14, 2014
12:23Shakhtar Donetsk: President decided to support Maicon’s family
February 09, 2014
09:25Sambafoot Sunday: Where’s Wallyson? Botafogo find their new hero post-Seedorf
January 26, 2014
10:09Sambafoot Sunday: Cruciate curse affects Seleção hopes of three midfielders
December 01, 2013
13:36Sambafoot Sunday: Could Éverton Ribeiro Crack Europe?
November 25, 2013
11:39Brasileirão Week 36 round up: Vasco shock champions to stay in contention while defeat leaves Ponte Preta on the brink
November 24, 2013
10:17Sambafoot Sunday: Palmeiras Promoted with Chapecoense in Tow
November 17, 2013
12:00Palmeiras secure Brasileirão Série B title with 3-0 win against Boa Esporte
November 12, 2013
08:42Relegation threatened Fluminense sack head coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo
November 10, 2013
12:59Sambafoot Sunday: Atlético Paranaense's hurricane season
November 09, 2013
10:05Drummer angers Flamengo fans
November 04, 2013
13:04Brasileirão week 32 round-up: Big win for Vasco as in-form Goiás maintain top four push
November 03, 2013
17:31Sambafoot Sunday: Surprise Packages in the 2013 Brasileirão
October 28, 2013
11:31Brasileirão Week 31 round up: Vital win for Ponte Preta while Goiás maintain top four push
October 21, 2013
13:21Olympique Marseille without defender Lucas Mendes for Napoli fixture
12:12Injury rules Bayern Munich defender Dante out of Viktoria Plzeň tie
October 20, 2013
23:50São Paulo president Juvenal Juvêncio admits interest in Lucas Moura loan return
October 18, 2013
11:47Diego Maradona dispute’s Pelé’s FIFA recognition
09:04Del Bosque: Costa approach no insult to current strikers
October 17, 2013
21:43Hard work is paying off insists Bayern Munich defender Rafinha
13:17Rodrigo Lasmar: Ronaldinho on track to be fit for the Club World Cup
October 16, 2013
19:53Report: Tottenham Hotspur set to offer Paulinho extended deal
09:12Report: São Paulo could terminate Lúcio’s contract if injury concerns prevail
October 13, 2013
18:32Brasileirão: Grêmio slip up as Vitoria and Santos grab victories
14:49Vanderlei Luxemburgo: ‘Simulation part of football’
October 09, 2013
20:37Mineiro learn Club World Cup fate
October 06, 2013
22:39Oswaldo de Oliveira in hospital after Botafogo defeat
11:55Sambafoot Sunday: Cruzeiro cruising at the top of the Brasileirão
October 04, 2013
23:52Internacional manager Dunga sacked
September 14, 2013
14:29Guerrero: Corinthians can still be champions
September 11, 2013
20:49Roberto Carlos: Anzhi could collapse
14:57Exeter City play down Brazil fears
September 07, 2013
14:12Atlético Madrid's Filipe Luis: Barca-Madrid dominance an injustice
September 06, 2013
19:04Santos announce tour of South East Asia
18:42São Paulo slump to defeat as Rogerio Ceni misses penalty
September 05, 2013
19:17Cruzeiro go four points clear after defeating Bahia
18:43Romário and Maradona fight against CONMEBOL corruption
September 03, 2013
21:29Marcelo Mattos says Botafogo will overcome difficulties
20:54Réver believes Atlético Mineiro can challenge for Brazilian title
September 02, 2013
23:21São Paulo to honour Brazil legend Leonidas da Silva
July 30, 2014
17:43Torino forward Barreto not worried about Fabio Quagliarella arrival and looking forward to IF Brommapojkarna challenge
14:56Zlatan Ibrahimović expects David Luiz to settle quickly and succeed at Paris Saint-Germain
13:42Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto de Assis confirms his new club will be announced on Wednesday
12:21Report: Chelsea still pushing for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda
11:12Report: Barcelona consider renewed approach for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos
09:51Report: Robinho's future remains uncertain as Milan wait for an offer from the UAE
08:56Elche confirm the signing of forward Jonathas on a two-year loan deal from Pescara
July 28, 2014
18:06Report: Beşiktaş ready to bid €4 million for in demand Milan forward Robinho
15:14Forwards Luan and Wanderley excited to be working with Head Coach Paulo Bonamigo at Sharjah SC
13:33Report: Barcelona willing to let defender Daniel Alves leave for cut price fee
11:52Manchester United confirm defender Rafael will leave United States tour after suffering a groin injury
10:112014 Brasileirão Round 12 summary: Late Alex strike earns Coritiba dramatic win and Flamengo secure vital derby victory
July 27, 2014
20:18Chelsea manager José Mourinho expects Diego Costa to adapt to the Premier League
16:51Representative suggests Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando could join Fiorentina
14:30Sambafoot Sunday: Brazilian Soccer - Can Kaká Bring Magic to Orlando City?
14:01Hellas Verona Sporting Director Sean Sogliano confirms negotiations with Juventus for midfielder Rômulo are at an "advanced stage"
12:31Hellas Verona Head Coach Andrea Mandorlini admits Juventus move would be a "chance of a lifetime" for midfielder Rômulo
July 26, 2014
22:33Report: Flamengo putting a plan in place to sign Robinho from Milan
13:04Hellas Verona confirm the signing of Nenê on a free transfer from Cagliari
July 25, 2014
22:58Report: Juventus close in on deal for Hellas Verona midfielder Romulo
18:33Napoli midfielder Jorginho admits he would "immediately accept" a call up to the Italy national team
15:20Report: Botafogo set to sign Shandong Luneng Taishan teenager Tang Shi after successful trial
12:20Report: Fiorentina make loan offer for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernando
10:10Report: Juventus hold negotiations with Hellas Verona for midfielder Rômulo
08:44Report: Palermo to target Sampdoria forward Éder
July 23, 2014
21:19Flamengo reappoint Vanderlei Luxemburgo as Head Coach following Ney Franco sacking
19:42Santos Vice-President Odílio Rodrigues Filho admits Robinho deal will be "a difficult operation"
15:17Report: Werder Bremen set to sign Internacional defender Cláudio Winck
13:43President Enrique Cerezo believes Atlético de Madrid can cope with Diego Costa and Filipe Luís sales and refutes Miranda rumours
10:07Report: Roma in negotiations with São Paulo to re-sign defender Rafael Tolói
July 22, 2014
23:27Report: Cruzeiro set to hold talks with Milan over Robinho
23:16Former Internacional forward Ignacio Scocco set for Newell's Old Boys return
23:11Agent confirms Robinho offers amid interest from Cruzeiro and Orlando City
14:36Al-Wasl team manager Majed Obaidallah confirms loan signing of Fábio Lima from Atlético Goianiense
12:44Report: Juventus and Roma could move for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa following refusal to return to Ukraine
July 21, 2014
23:53Report: Barcelona to target São Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio
23:47La Liga newcomers Córdoba confirm the loan signing of forward Ryder Matos from Fiorentina
23:42Serie B newcomers Perugia sign veteran midfielder Rodrigo Taddei on a free transfer from Roma
23:352014 Brasileirão Round 11 summary: Internacional thump struggling Flamengo
July 19, 2014
23:01Report: Hellas Verona to target Cagliari forward Nenê
09:30Report: Chelsea set to move for Atlético de Madrid defender Miranda after completing deal for Filipe Luís
July 18, 2014
22:42Udinese complete the signing of midfielder Guilherme from Corinthians
22:34Robinho representative suggests temporary switch to Brazil is likely
22:31Representative confirms negotiations between Milan and Orlando City over Robinho
22:27Report: Livorno striker Paulinho set to join Al Arabi
17:542014 Brasileirão Round 10 summary: Newly promoted Sport Recife shock Botafogo
10:51Report: Genoa set to sign defender Edenílson on loan from Udinese
July 17, 2014
22:58Report: Sunderland forward Ignacio Scocco can't return to Newell's Old Boys until payment is settled with Internacional
22:53Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale bemoans lack of a second goalkeeper for Fluminense test
22:49Exeter City Manager Paul Tisdale expecting stern test against Fluminense
Paris Saint-Germain    Onze Mondial Football Ukraine    Sport Consulting    
To the top