Featured Matches
Previous
Celtic
KR Reykjavik
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FC Levadia Tallinn
Sparta Prague
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 7
Game Details
Skenderbeu
BATE Borisov
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Debrecen
Cliftonville
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
VMFD Zalgiris
Dinamo Zagreb
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Sutjeska
Sheriff Tiraspol
3:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
F91 Dudelange
Ludogorets Razgrad
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 4
Game Details
FC Levadia Tallinn
Sparta Prague
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 7
Game Details
FK Qarabag
Valletta
4:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Santa Coloma
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
T.N.S.
Slovan Bratislava
5:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
HB Torshavn
Partizan Belgrade
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Skenderbeu
BATE Borisov
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
VMFD Zalgiris
Dinamo Zagreb
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Debrecen
Cliftonville
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Celtic
KR Reykjavik
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Zeljeznicar Sarajevo
Metalurg
7:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Aalesund
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional
Defensor Sporting
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
Atletico Rafaela
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Figueirense FC
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Icasa
Portuguesa de Desportos
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
Oeste
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Duarte: Dunga's return is complicated

Brazil 13 hours ago
Read

Brazil will be better prepped for 2018

Brazil 6 days ago
Read

Brazil's dubious distinction

Five Aside Jul 12, 2014
Read

Duarte: Brazil have to face reality

Brazil Jul 12, 2014
Read
Jun 22, 2014

Is there too much emotion in the national anthem?

Neymar reacts to the anthem of Brazil, prior to a group stage match against Mexico in Fortaleza.

TERESOPOLIS, Brazil -- Last year the a capella singing of Brazil's national anthem became a symbol of support that came down from the bleachers and was carried onto the pitch by the players.

It was how Brazil won the Confederations Cup.

Luiz Felipe Scolari came out of the hole where he'd been hiding following Palmeiras relegation and took back his status as a national hero. There you go, Brazil were favorites to win their sixth world title. Clear favorites.

A year on and the team appears to have stagnated. As in the 2013 tournament, where they played well in the final against Spain but struggled in the previous games, their performances have left a lot to be desired.

And clearly nobody knows if there are still great performances to come. For this to happen, the team will need to make progress in the World Cup. We're not at a critical point, but it's worrying nonetheless.

Normally the media and the fans would be discussing the poor performances of Scolari's Boys, right? Wrong. Instead, the possible emotional instability of the players is on the agenda. The anthem, which used to be used as additional fuel, has now become a potential issue.

Strange isn't it? Convenient as well, as it means that the main issue is avoided.

The technical and tactical crisis gets less airtime. But we're not obliged to focus on this. In Saturday's training sessions, before traveling to Brasília, the coach sent out the team that started the opening game, with Hulk returning to the starting eleven. Tactical changes, going over new or specific plays; there was none of that on show. But during the course of the week other training sessions took place, and other conversations.

There are surprises in store. We're waiting for the next match. Cameroon are the weakest team in the group and this game offers the Brazilians their last chance to play with freedom and against a beatable opponent. It would be a good time to play well, test out some new tactics, win (possibly even by a clear margin) and change the entire outlook.

Who wants to bet that if Brazil play well on Monday nobody will sing the anthem again? They won't need to any longer.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.