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Ronaldinho was right: Copa America was always going to be a wash for Brazil - attention must now turn to 2026

Ronaldinho said it. Brazil aren't very good. Not only are they not very good, they're also not particularly watchable. This great footballing nation, five-time World Cup champions, all of which had been won playing the kind of football that was the envy of the rest of the sport, had lost its way.

Samba, Chinga, Joga Bonito - it has many names. It's a lost art.

"It's getting hard to find the spirit to watch the games," the Brazil legend said on Instagram. "This is perhaps one of the worst teams in recent years, it has no respectable leaders, only average players for the majority."

That was on June 15, and even though the sincerity of his claims have since been questioned, the point remained: this is not the Brazil that the greats knew. And they were ultimately proved right. The Selecao stumbled through Copa America, winning just one of their four games, and failing to score in two of them.

Perhaps even worse, this was, as Ronaldinho had predicted, a remarkably unwatchable team. For all of the talent - and there was certainly a lot in the squad - Brazil were a largely static entity, playing languid football, with no signature samba confidence to be found. Still, dramatic failure notwithstanding, the tournament itself was something of a wash for the Selecao. Nothing was guaranteed here, nor was it expected.

Without Neymar, and led by a manager who had just two international coaching games on his resume when the tournament kicked off, this was never going to be a success.

There are undoubtedly lessons to be learned, but a tournament victory was never realistic. It is now time for a reset ahead of what will be a far more important 2026 World Cup cycle.

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