Brazil, where's the beauty?

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

There is always one constant in the World Cup.

It's the joy of watching football whenever Brazil takes to the pitch.

You may not like the team but you have to be moved by the style of football Brazil has played over the years.

It is free-flowing, one-touch football that is highlighted by great individual skills and sudden passes which release streaking players toward the net.

Brazil's record of five World Cups speaks on its own.

Brazil wins more often than not but even losing efforts often provide works of football beauty.

Brazil lives by the mantra of winning first but if you must lose, lose in a style that has made Brazilian football famous.

The question in South Africa in 2010 will be whether thisSelecaowill be able to fulfill that mandate.

Dunga, former Brazilian midfielder and now coach of Brazil, has inflamed the psyche of a nation with his selection for his World Cup team.

There is fear in Brazil that their team could actually be ... gulp ... boring.

Dunga's picks emphasizes winning first.

He passed on Ronaldo, Adriano, Pato, Neymar and others who are considered offensive contributors. Ronaldinho was only named to the seven-man reserve squad.

Some of those have been deservedly left out. Ronaldo has done little and Adriano, while he has started to play better, has not done it for any length of time. But the omission of Ronaldinho, even on the list of 23, is startling given the real lack of depth on this team.

Brazil must now win with defence and goal-tending.

In the past, the backline would be measured by how good it was coming forward.

Maicon, Lucio and Dani Alves are among the best on the backline while Julio Cesar is touted as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Best goalkeeper in the world? When was the last time the world's best goalkeeper and Brazil were even in the same sentence?

Soccer fans know the history of great Brazilian forwards. e list is almost endless -- Garincha, Pele, Zico, Romario, Falcao, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo.

There is no such luminary in this World Cup. Luis Fabiano will score goals but he is not in the others' class. Robinho is playing in the Brazilian league, a far cry from the quality of the English Premiership, Serie A or other European Leagues.

Where have the magical Brazilian star forwards gone?

Brazil's most recognizable figure now is Kaka and they will rely heavily on him. But he is not a pure striker. Relying so much on Kaka, a player who has been mediocre in recent months is a dangerous ploy.

Dunga's selections reflected the play of those players during national team games.

As for some of the young players left off the team ...

"I can't worry about winning in 2014. I need to win now," Dunga said.

They simply didn't perform well enough.

"Playing for theSelecaois different than playing for your club," he said.

The pressure is substantially greater as well.

Dunga is as aware as anyone that selecting older, popular players would have made most people happy but would have ended in disaster.

Many of the younger players, outside of Pato, play in the Brazilian domestic league. Dunga has already named a number of players who play outside of the Spanish, French, Italian and English leagues.

All that said, Brazil remains a powerhouse.

While this group of players may pale in comparison to Brazilian teams in the past, they are far from slouches.

They still have a ridiculous amount of talent and experience. If Cesar is solid in net and their backline plays as they have for their club sides in Europe, no one will be surprised if a sixth World Cup comes their way.

The only thing surprising will be the style they played to win it.

morris.dallacosta@sunmedia.ca


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