Deco: Brazil team haunted by ghosts of glorious past

Deco, the Brazil-born midfielder who represented Portugal at European Championships and World Cups, believes comparisons with glorious sides from the past wearing the gold and green is a problem current generation of Brazilians cannot escape from.

Deco is on his first visit to India and is part of ‘Football Extraa’, Sony Pictures’ pre- and post-match analysis show for Euro 2016. Deco is also associated with Premier Futsal, a five-a-side football competition to be aired on the same network.   -  Getty Images

Deco, the Brazil-born midfielder who represented Portugal at European Championships and World Cups, believes that difficulty in getting the formation right is hurting the Brazil national team. Comparisons with glorious sides from the past wearing the gold and green is a problem current generation of Brazilians cannot escape from. “Just because you are born in Brazil does not make you a quality player. Talent may be there, but there is work to be done to play at levels expected from Brazilians.”

He added: “Brazilian teams at major tournaments are not able to get the formation right. It should be decided on the type of players available for national selection. The performances from other teams is of a high level,” said the Portuguese playmaker, whose club career switch from FC Porto to FC Barcelona resulted in opportunity to team up alongside Brazilian sensation Ronaldinho, rated by Deco as his favourite player from among those he played with. Lionel Messi (at Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo ( at Portugal) are two other famous teammates.

Brazil was humiliated in front of home fans by Germany in World Cup 2014 and also exited the Copa America in the group stages. Felipe Scolari and Dunga, who were at the helm in the respective tournaments, were fired. “The problem with Brazil is each side is compared with great sides from the past which had great Brazilians in the squad,” pointed out Deco, for whom the 1982 World Cup squad led by Socrates was the first time he saw a football masterclass on television. “When Brazil lost to Italy, my father broke the TV set at home.”

 

Brazilian magic in 1982 World Cup fired up his desire to represent the Latin American nation, but after youth team appearances in club football, he moved to Portugal in search of playing opportunities in the European nation. Deco’s football journey across continents saw him team up with a young Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal and later with Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona. “Ronaldo was young and athletic, very competitive. Messi worked hard to do what he can do with a football now at FCB. Ronaldinho was a natural with special ability. Whenever we gave the ball to him, the moves and goals were from a different world.”

Ronaldinho’s best days are over for Brazil, Messi continues to delight fans and teammates at Barcelona and Argentina, so does Ronaldo at Real Madrid and Portugal. Deco is on his first visit to India and is part of ‘Football Extraa’, Sony Pictures’ pre- and post-match analysis show for Euro 2016 alongside Sunil Chhetri, Joe Morrison and Robbie Fowler. Deco is also associated with Premier Futsal, a five-a-side football competition to be aired on the same network.