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Argentina disappointed with a dismal performance in the 2-1 defeat against surprising Saudi Arabia, who, instead of scoring with many players close to their own area, as almost all teams that face superior opponents do, placed the defenders close to the middle -field, leaving very little distance between them and the attack. In that short and narrow space and with the pressure to recover the ball, the Arabs did not let Argentina exchange passes and keep the ball.

Argentina also didn’t know how to take advantage of the spaces behind the defenders, due to individual mistakes and because they were often offside. Thus, three goals were correctly annulled.

France, even with the losses of Benzema, Kanté, Pogba, Kimpembe and others, is still strong, thanks to the excellent squad, due to the player training center it has and the huge African immigration. The tactical formation in the 4-1 defeat of Australia is the same as in Brazil, with four defenders, two defensive midfielders, two open ends, fast and dribblers and another midfielder close to the center forward.

According to the news, without Tite’s confirmation, against Serbia, Brazil should play with Paquetá instead of Fred. Another option is the entry of Paquetá in place of Vinicius Junior, as a midfielder from the side to the center. A third option, which seems to have been abandoned by the coach and which I like, would be the departure of Richarlison and the formation of an attacking duo with Paquetá and Neymar, who get along very well. This formation would keep the two wingers, the main reason for the growth of the selection in the last year.

All three alternatives are good. Worse is not having doubts. Only the ignorant and the mediocre are sure of everything.

Tite should talk to Casemiro and Neymar to avoid yellow cards, which could leave them out of a decisive game, as happened in 2018, when Casemiro was absent from the match against Belgium, due to being suspended. Neymar has received many yellow cards at PSG, for complaining too much about the fouls he receives. Casemiro disarms the ball, but he has so much vigor that he usually knocks down his opponent.

Brazil is very well prepared in terms of technique, tactics and physics. I hope you are too emotionally. Tension, present in important games, as long as it is not excessive, is beneficial by stimulating the production of chemicals that improve concentration and increase physical strength and vibration. Everyone has their own way of dealing with anxiety. When I was more tense, I played better. It’s psychological doping.

As I was a doctor, athlete and took complete courses in psychosomatic medicine and psychoanalysis, I would like the technical committee to have a psychologist.

In the 1970 World Cup, on the eve of the matches, some players would get together, without the presence of the coaching staff, to talk about various subjects. One would start with a short lecture and then everyone would discuss. It felt like group therapy. It wasn’t mandatory, and the participants weren’t always the same.

On the eve of the final, we asked Dr. Roberto Abdalla Moura, who had operated on my eye and who was a guest at CBD, to give the opening lecture. After winning, I gave him my gold medal. I miss the doctor and his friend, who recently passed away.

Memory is the link between the past and the present. The history of football does not end with this Cup. Dreams precede and can change destiny and history.


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