Following Thursday's 3-1 victory over les Bleus at Stade de France, Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour tracks how the result was greeted back home
Brazil marched to their seventh consecutive Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour victory on Thursday as they saw off France 3-1 in Paris. It was the Selecao’s first win over les Bleus at Stade de France, which famously held the World Cup final of 1998 which saw Mario Zagallo’s Brazil go down 3-0 to the hosts.
And it was a victory that appears to have regained the confidence of the Brazilian press. The country’s biggest newspapers and analysts were full of praise for the Selecao after a result which they believe highlights the impressive evolution of the side since coach Dunga was appointed in July 2014.
Journalist Carlos Eduardo Mansur of O Globo wrote on his blog that the performance in Paris proved the “moral recovery of the Brazilian team”, adding that going up against the French national team in a stadium with 80,000 home fans was no easy task for a team in transition.
UOL Esporte’s Juca Kfouri stressed that Thursday’s win, more than any other under Dunga, proved the side’s new found levels of strength and maturity. French daily L’Equipe said “Brazil had cooled France,” who themselves were unbeaten since the World Cup – their headline read simply, “Yellow card.”
Kfouri insists the performance did not banish the memories of the 1998 defeat, nor the 7-1 loss to Germany in last year’s semi-final. But the general feeling is that Brazil are now treading the path to recovery.
"Brazil’s evolution is worth more than upsetting France,” said ESPN’s André Rocha. He also warned of the dangers of the “illusion” of results, noting that the performance is all that really matters in friendly matches. Rocha added that he was impressed with Brazil’s 58% possession, particularly in the second half when they achieved “greater mobility and speed” in their attacking play.
Dunga was quick to point out that there is still a long way to go before the team is ready for Russia 2018 and even downplayed his influence on the Selecao’s change in fortunes. But spirits are high after a flawless start to life post-Copa. Goal.com Brasil summed up the overall feeling with their succinct lead: "Change".
"It's a significant victory, especially after conceding the first goal in a stadium where Brazil had never won,” said former player Edinho on SporTV. “What was most important was that the team remained balanced.”
O Estadao de Sao Paulo’s Antero Greco believes that “the result will inspire a group who are still in a phase of transition after the World Cup."
Next up for Brazil is a clash with Chile on Sunday, when two of the Copa America favourites do battle at Emirates Stadium in London.
O Folha de São Paulo believes that Dunga has now found a "solid base" to the squad for the Copa in Chile. Flavio Rizzo of the paper’s Selecao blog argued that newcomer Roberto "Firmino has practically stamped his passport to the Copa America”, and that Elias now has Dunga’s full confidence as the second midfielder alongside the immovable Luiz Gustavo.