A lot of the Brazilian players at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar seemed to have their dyed hairstyles well planned out, and they also had their dance moves well choreographed. But that wasn’t enough to see them get past a gritty and determined Croatia side in the World Cup quarter-finals.
🗣 “I’ve never seen so much dancing, it’s like watching Strictly!”
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 5, 2022
The Brazilians were the favorites to win the 2022 World Cup going to their match against the beaten finalists from 2018. That accolade now befalls France, who are just 6/5 to retain the World Cup.
France now looks the team to beat after the demise of Brazil
Before France has any ideas of lifting the World Cup for the second competition in succession, they will first need to get past Morocco and then the winners of the first semi-final. The latest Argentina vs Croatia betting suggests that the team that the French are most likely to face in the final is Argentina, as Lionel Scaloni’s team are 4/5 favorites to defeat the Croatians.
Did Brazil focus more on celebrating than winning?
We started off by asking if the Brazilians had underestimated the Croatians, which certainly seemed to be the case when it came to Croatia’s penalty taking techniques.
— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) December 9, 2022
Joking about hairstyles and dance moves may make us sound like a bit of a killjoy as, after all, Brazil likes to entertain. But ultimately, Brazil went to Qatar expecting to win the World Cup.
Throughout the competition, there was a feeling that Brazil had everything planned off the pitch to win the competition. There seemed to be a belief bordering on arrogance, that they knew they were better than any opponents.
It almost felt like they believed they only had to turn up to win. Even during half-time of extra-time against Croatia, they looked like they were celebrating the win when 1-0 up. There were high fives and bear hugs for Neymar, as opposed to a business-like attitude that his job is not yet complete. Could it have been this attitude that ultimately led to the eventual downfall of Tite’s side?
Gritty Croatia will fight til the bitter end
If that sound’s a bit harsh on Brazil, it’s probably even more so on Croatia. After all, this is the same Croatia that got to the World Cup final in 2018.
In Luka Modric, they arguably have the wisest head at the World Cup. His legs might not be what they were 10 years ago, but the brain still works better than most. The veteran midfielder almost looks as good as ever.
And then there is the Croatian spirit. None of their penalty takers against Brazil looked intimidated. They looked rock solid. And they also have a rock-solid goalkeeper. Between the posts, Dominik Livaković looked assured. Again, like the rest of his teammates, he wasn’t intimidated by the Brazilian players.
A change in attitude is required for Brazil
Brazil didn’t look to have a great deal wrong with them on the pitch. There was enough talent there, and the attitude was generally good. They worked hard individually, and also as a group. The lesson they could take away from Qatar for the next competition in 2026 is to put the horse in front of the cart.
Rather than focusing on how to look the part after they win, they could focus more on what’s required to win on the pitch. After all, it’s pretty pointless having all your celebration moves planned in advance if you don’t get the job done on the field of play.
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