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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 2, 2006

Ronaldinho, Parreira blamed back in Brazil

FRANKFURT, July 2 (Reuters) - World Player of the Year Ronaldinho and coach Carlos Alberto Parreira took the brunt of the criticism as the Brazilian media reacted angrily to their team's World Cup quarter-final defeat to France.

Saturday's 1-0 loss was described as a fiasco by the Estado de Sao Paulo daily on its Web site while O Globo said: 'Brazil trembled again against France.'

Brazil had won 11 successive games at the World Cup finals since losing 3-0 to the same opponents in the 1998 final.

France also knocked Brazil out of the 1986 World Cup on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals.

O Globo and Estado de Sao Paulo ran identical headlines which read: 'Ronaldinho was the big let-down of the Cup.'

The Estado added: 'He played badly, he didn't dribble, he didn't have a shot at goal, he mis-placed passes and did not, at any moment, take responsibility.

'It was a portrait of his participation in the World Cup: apathetic, bureaucratic, mediocre and afraid of deciding.

Parreira was slammed for being overcautious and for persisting with veteran full backs Cafu and Roberto Carlos.

'It was football without fun, without life, without joy, without personality, without the Brazilian way of playing,' wrote Fernando Calazans, columnist in O Globo.

'A national team dominated by big shots in decline, including Cafu and Roberto Carlos, two nullities in the World Cup.'

The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said Brazil never threatened to avenge 1998.

'The long-awaited revenge never looked like happening,' it said, before taking a swipe at Parreira.

'For someone who had three-and-a-half years to work, with a golden generation as his disposal and years of experience in the profession, Carlos Alberto Parreira was a complete disaster in this World Cup.

The newspaper's columnist Juca Kfoura said Parreira paid the price for abandoning Brazil's traditional style.

He added that Portugal, who face France in the semi-finals, had done a lot more with a lot less under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led Brazil to the title in 2002.

'Anyone who refuses to play the Beautiful Game deserves every punishment,' he wrote. 'Brazil lost playing ugly.'

Former player Tostao, who writes a column in the same publication, said Brazil allowed France to control the game.

'Brazil changed their tactics, the players, but didn't change their posture of marking too deep, giving complete freedom for France to play the ball around,' he said. 'France were much better during the whole game.'

'In addition to the dreadful team performance, all the players have dreadful individual performances.

However, the 1970 World Cup winner had sympathy for the team.

'I will never forget the journey back from England to Brazil after the failure of 1966,' he said.

'I was in pieces. I thought about never playing football again. Four years later, I was world champion.

'Life's like that, made of defeats and victories.'