Hoddle: Brazil just aren't that special any more

The former England boss is scathing in his assessment of Luiz Felipe Scolari's men, insisting that they have shown none of their country's traditional flair and invention
Glenn Hoddle admits that he cannot bring himself to get behind the current Brazil side because they have lost the "beauty" in their football.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's men are two games away from claiming the Selecao's sixth World Cup crown but will have to beat Germany on Tuesday without star man Neymar or captain Thiago Silva.

The hosts have also been criticised for the physical nature of their approach and a perceived over-reliance on Neymar, who will play no further part in the tournament after fracturing a vertebra in his back against Colombia, and Hoddle insists that the class of 2014 are showing none of the flair and imagination for which Brazilian football is renowned.

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"This is not the Brazil we expect to see reaching the semi-final,"Hoddle wrote for williamhill.com. "This is a Brazil who are one step from the final without actually playing that well.

"They are carrying three players - Fred, Oscar, and Paulinho. None of them have up turned in any of the games. Hulk had been much the same, although he was much improved against Colombia.

"They are under so much pressure that far too many players, as many as four or five at times, have produced four- or five-out-of-10 performances and that's really not good enough.

"Where's the flair? Where's the imagination? Where's the beauty in their football?

"Neymar was not special against Colombia. Brazil were not special. In fact they have not opened any team up with stylish football in this tournament. They've been able to get over the line, mostly on the raw emotion of the home support and the passion and desire not to let down an entire nation."

Hoddle tipped Colombia to knock out Brazil in the last eight and is confident that Germany will prove too much for Scolari's men in Belo Horizonte.

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"Even tactically [Brazil] are not in good shape," he continued. "If they play like they did against Colombia they will struggle against Germany. 

"Raw emotion alone won't be enough against the Germans. The Germans will have even less fear than the Colombians. In fact, no fear. Brazil got lucky again against Colombia. I doubt whether it will happen again against the Germans.

"This if not a Brazil side to frighten the opposition, this is not a great Brazil side, and it won't be one that will frighten Germany.

"The Germans are the direct opposite to Brazil. Brazil are living on their emotions, Germany don't show any emotion as they expect to be in the semi-finals, after all they've reached this stage for the last four tournaments. They know how to get the job done."

Glenn Hoddle is WilliamHill.com's official World Cup blogger in Rio de Janeiro.