Argentina's Menotti bemoans Brazilian football 'decline'-Xinhua

Argentina's Menotti bemoans Brazilian football 'decline'

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-13 14:56:17

BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Argentina national team manager Cesar Luis Menotti has expressed concern for Brazilian football after the South American giants failed to qualify for this year's Paris Olympics.

Argentina's 1-0 victory over their arch rivals on Sunday secured the Albiceleste's berth in the Olympic tournament at the expense of the dual reigning champions.

"I believe that Brazil have lost what they once had," said Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning manager, who is now the country's national teams director.

"It bothers me sometimes and it's embarrassing to hear because I witnessed Brazilian football's most brilliant era. I saw the preparation and everything that went into the 1970 World Cup as well as what it meant to Brazil," the 85-year-old added.

Five-time world champions Brazil have been eliminated by European rivals in the quarterfinals or semifinals of every World Cup since their last triumph in 2002.

They suffered 1-0 loss to Argentina at the Maracana stadium, their first ever home defeat in a World Cup qualifier. The Selecao are currently sixth in South America's 10-team World Cup qualifying group, having lost each of their past three games.

The poor run of results prompted the Brazilian Football Confederation to sack Fernando Diniz as manager in January after just six months in the role. He was replaced by veteran coach Dorival Junior.

"It seems to me that there is a cultural decline. They are in another world and I cannot understand it," Menotti said of Brazil's current crop of players.

"I do not understand how the team can play so badly, how it can play without ideas and without sustaining the brilliant history of Brazilian football.

"For us, it's welcome news that things are not going well for them."