Brazil’s Decade Of Decline: Five-Time World Champion, Brazil Limps Behind European Nations but does that really imply a decline?
When people claim Brazil has declined, they usually mean Brazil having failed to win any of the last 4 World Cups. Of course it really comes down to it, because there is nothing else that could really point to a decline.
That seems an absurd standard to expect from any team. The World Cup only happens after every 4 years, so it’s been 18 years already, but it is still just four World cups. And it is a knockout tournament, so it is not really a perfect way to determine if a team is good or has declined.
Brazil’s 1998 vs 2002 Squad Quality
For instance, 1998 Brazil was much superior to 2002 Brazil, but they happened to lose to France in the finals, while 2002 won against a much superior Germany side in the finals. It doesn’t change the fact that the 2002 team wasn’t particularly good. Many young football fans may not remember, but in 2001 the Brazilian national team was considered a joke in Brazil, due to horrible performances in Copa America as well as the qualifications for the World Cup. Fans were not much confident for 2002, at least not until the second goal in the quarter-finals. A couple of victories changed everything, and later people were regarding 2002 team as a magical squad.
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In my opinion, the Brazil 2002 team is artificially put in high standard just because of a World Cup trophy. Looking at Brazil’s more recent teams, although not exactly wonderful, are being sub-estimated for not getting one. But if you consider all things, there is no real decline.
For instance, in spite of not winning the World Cup since 2002, Brazil got to at least the quarter-finals in every one of the pass four World Cups. If you don’t think it is impressive, just compare it to other major teams such as Germany, Italy, Spain, England France etc.
The chart below shows highlights each of these top national teams failed to get to the quarter finals in the last four World cups.
Why Brazil has decline so much at Football is just an old man’s thoughts and not the truth
Apart from the World Cup, Brazil in this same period (2002-2020) has won three out of four Confederations Cups (2005, 2009, 2013) and three out of six Copa America (2004, 2007 and 2019). Also, Brazil managed to medals for male football in three out of four Olympic Games, with bronze in 2008, silver in 2012 and gold in 2016.
Can someone point out where exactly has Brazil decline at Football when talking of the game in general sense? Absolutely not.