The last five years have seen an erosion of the legend of Brazilian football. Brazil are far from a spent force, however, they need to re-establish themselves as major competitors at this year’s tournament, or else run the the risk of being marginalised on the international stage. Many are betting on the Copa America 2015 being the platform that launches Brazil back to the top.
Brazil currently lie fifth in the FIFA world rankings, but the third and fourth positions are being held by Argentina and Colombia respectively. Going into a Copa tournament as only the third highest ranked team will be completely alien to the Brazilians, with a poor performance almost sure to see them fall down the rankings even further.
The Copa’s 2011 winners Uruguay are currently sitting in eighth place and if Uruguay win again then they may leap-frog Brazil. Considering that Brazil reigned over the tournament from 1993 – 2011, with few teams able to challenge them, they are currently entering into uncharted territory that will test the resolve of all of those involved in the national team.
Failing to make the 2011 Copa Final, losing to Mexico 2-1 in the Olympic final, and most painfully, being obliterated by Germany 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semi-final, when Brazil were hosts of the tournament and so had home advantage, has all had the combined effect of diminishing the legend of Brazilian football.
Brazil are now turning to their young starlets, such as Philippe Coutinho, who are hungry for success, to re-establish their pride on the international stage. After their humiliating defeat to Germany, Brazilian fans will at least want to prove they can still compete with the best.
Brazilian football is at a crossroads, and how the team performs in 2015 will determine their success in future years. Brazil have great players, such as Neymar, however, they must get results and silverware in order to be regarded as one of the best teams in the world.