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Sports News of Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Brazil in decline - Menezes

Former Brazil coach Mano Menezes says European nations have surpassed South Americans, with superior technical ability.

Germany became the first European team to win the World Cup in South America on Sunday, defeating Argentina 1-0 after extra time in the tournament decider in Rio de Janeiro.

Joachim Low's men routed host nation Brazil 7-1 en route to the final, before Netherlands eased past the five-time world champions 3-0 in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

Back-to-back humiliations cost coach Luiz Felipe Scolari his job after the World Cup and further compounded the nation's problems, with Brazil - quarter-finalists in 2006 and 2010 - having failed to reach the final since winning the prestigious event in 2002.

And Menezes, who succeeded Dunga after the 2010 World Cup before he was replaced by Scolari in 2012, told TV Esporte that Brazil cannot afford to rely on individual brilliance, with technical ability in decline.

"We know exactly what our problems are, but we don't know how to fix them or we lack capable people with knowledge to understand the best path to take," said Menezes - enjoying a second stint in charge of Corinthians after he was relieved of his national team duties following a run of disappointing results, including Brazil's elimination in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Copa America.

"This is what Brazilian football lacks. [If we fixed the problems] we could certainly keep managers longer and improve the development of players, which is something that has declined a lot.

"The level of our players nowadays is technically worse. Our ball control is worse, as is our passing, and people sometimes confuse juggling with the ability to play football, but they are different things.

"We see that the European football that has been developed [in recent years], they do everything better than us.

"We still have the dribbling, the pure individual ability of the players... but we don't know how to develop players like we used to do in the past. That's why we are lagging behind."