Welcome to Selecao Bootcamp, the ‘recuperation’ camp for the Brazilian national team after the World Cup. If there was time for Damage Control, it would be now, and who better to do it than Dunga?
The Brazilian team have embarked on a ‘World Tour’ of sorts, away from Brazil and South America, to fulfill the marketing dreams of the fans and brands in Beijing, China. The team arrived yesterday, a visibly jet-lagged Neymar clad in full-denim, while Coutinho paid tribute to his grandmother’s Christmas sweater. The squad later gathered for the training session at the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
Of course, Brazil will be squaring off against Argentina in Beijing this weekend, which is a brilliant encounter, except we don’t need to watch this so soon after their embarrassing World Cup performance. Is this a chance to avenge that embarrassment? Perhaps, but at least they will have passionate fans watching and cheering them on.
Meanwhile, both the Brazilians and Argentinians trained within 30 minutes of one another at the stadium. On the route from Dubai to Beijing, players and members of the technical committee of the Brazilian national team and the technical committee of the Argentine side boarded the same flight. Awkward! Was it chicken or beef?
In total, 17 players trained this afternoon. David Luiz joined the squad a little later, having arrived from Paris. Kaká, Souza, Juan, Marcelo Grohe and Rômulo will arrive in Beijing tomorrow evening.