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Tite Quartet Wants to Turn the Page on The Brazilian Team's Failed "Magic Square" from the Parreira Era

06/15/2018 - 11h44

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CAMILA MATTOSO
DIEGO GARCIA
LUIZ COSENZO
SERGIO RANGEL
FROM SOCHI

Twelve years after getting knocked out of the World Cup in Germany by France in the quarterfinals, the Brazilian national soccer team will try to revive its offensive quartet in the Russian edition. At least that's the formation that head coach Tite used in preparations for the team's debut against Switzerland on Sunday (the 17th) in Rostov.

There are, at the very least, two similarities between the 2006 team, whose quartet was referred to as the "magic square", and the current one: first, the ideal starting lineup was only defined slightly before the beginning of the group stage of the World Cup; and second, both teams both scored the same number of goals prior to the competition – 80.

Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Willian and Gabriel Jesus were only among the starting 11 on one occasion: in a friendly against Austria that took place last Sunday (the 10th) in Vienna. The four of them made three plays in the second half. All told, they played 77 minutes together.

Eduardo Knapp/Folhapress
Brazilian Coach Tite, at the Yug-Sport Stadium, in Sochi, Russia
Brazilian Coach Tite, at the Yug-Sport Stadium, in Sochi, Russia

While the players making up the current quartet only started on the pitch together once, the 2006 team's "magic square" – which consisted of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaká and Adriano – had only started together in three matches prior to Brazil's debut against Croatia in the Germany World Cup.

The current quartet, however, did get the job done when it was on the pitch - regardless of being in the starting 11. They helped secure victories against Ecuador, Croatia and Austria and tied against Colombia. Two of the four are the team's leading goal scorers of the Tite era. Gabriel Jesus has scored ten goals under Tite, while Neymar has scored nine.

The attack-minded approach was drawn up by Tite in light of the Brazil team's first two opponents, both of whom have a strong defence. After debuting against Switzerland, Brazil will face Costa Rica on the 22nd.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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