Saturday, March 17, 2018

National Team Managers-Part Five (Paulo Roberto Falcão (1990/1991))-Part 1 (1990)

Paulo Roberto Falcão: Brazil National Team Manager (1990/1991)

Paulo Roberto Falcão was appointed as the New Manager of Brazil on August 16, 1990, replacing the controversial Sebastião Lazaroni following Brazil’s early exit from the World Cup in Italy.
Falcão was born on October 16, 1953 at Abelardo Luz in the state of Santa Catarina. He had made his name in the 70s with Internacional Porto Alegre. Surprisingly, he was not selected for Brazil’s 1978 World Cup squad under Claudio Coutinho. His talents earned him a transfer to AS Roma in the Serie A in 1980. It was there that he had his greatest years as one of the most successful foreign players in the history of the Serie A. He led Roma to the Serie A title in 1982/83 and was one of the stars of Tele Santana’s brilliant Brazilian side of the 1982 World Cup. He left Roma in 1985 and finished his career with São Paulo in 1986. Following his playing career he had been working as a Television commentator and a businessman.

                                         Photo From: World Soccer, July 1991
(Brazil Manager Paulo Roberto Falcao)

The Brazilian public was much opposed to Lazaroni’s ‘Europeanization’ of Brazilian Football and clamored for Falcão for a return to ‘Jogo Bonito’. This must have been assumed due to his association with Tele Santana’s 1982 side.

Falcão was relatively young for a Manager (almost 37 years old) and had absolutely no coaching experience.
The Federation appeared to be borrowing a page from the new World Cup Champions West Germany.
They had just won the World Cup with former star Franz Beckenbauer (who also had no coaching experience prior to taking over). The Brazil Management were hoping for something similar by appointing a talented star of their own, hoping he could rework the same magic on the bench.
Falcão accepted the challenge after seeing so many polls favorable to his appointment.
He said, “I took this job only because I am certain that I am capable of doing it”.
He signed a contract valid until February 1992. This date was the end of the mandate of the current CBF President Ricardo Teixeira (son-in-law of FIFA President Joao Havelange).
There had been a spectre of negativity around the National Team not only due to the early exit but because of the alledged indiscipline and drama off the field between the players and the Federation during the World Cup.
The foreign-based players were designated as scapegoats for Brazil’s failure in the World Cup.
As a result, Falcão’s hands were tied upon taking over as the Management decided to ban the foreign-based players as punishment.
Teixeira stated, “Falcão will lead a long-term rebuilding project and his team will be made up of players who play their Football in this country, here in Brazil”.
Falcão reassured that this was temporary by stating, ”This does not mean we will not pick foreign-based players for future competitions. We are trying to create something new, trying to motivate the talented players we have here but haven’t had the chance to make the breakthrough to international Football… What’s most important is not changing the coach but changing the mentality”.
The ban meant no to the likes of Romario, Careca, Luis Muller, Dunga, Ricardo Gomes, Taffarel, Branco and especially Ricardo Alemão (blacklisted after making critical comments about the Management to a São Paulo newspaper).

Year 1990
Falcão’s first match in charge was a friendly vs. Spain in Gijon on September 12th, 1990.
Falcão’s new-look Brazil was to be built around the midfield talents of Corinthians’ Neto (also appointed as Captain).

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer (special thanks to Jose Luis Carbonell)
(Falcao’s first Brazil squad, September 12, 1990, Spain 3-Brazil 0)

                                       Photo From: World Soccer, July 1991
(Brazil Captain Neto)

No foreign-based players were to be called up; as a result the squad was an inexperienced one with as many as nine of the starters earning their first cap.
Falcão had recalled Flamengo defender Nelsinho, one of the mainstays of the Carlos Alberto Silva era from 1987. Another recalled player was Bahia striker Charles, capped a year earlier by Lazaroni.
The nine new capped players in his first starting lineup were: Palmeiras goalkeeper Velloso, defenders Gil Baiano, Paulão, Marcio Santos, midfielders Cafu, Donizete, Moacir, Neto and striker Nilson.
Two other uncapped players : Paulo Egdio and Jorgimho III would also come on as substitutes.
From this group, Marcio Santos and Cafu would one day win the World Cup. In the case of Cafu twice , once as Captain.
However, as far as this match was concerned Brazil were disappointing against a more experienced Spanish side. A loss for such an experimental side was to be expected, but the 0-3 scoreline as well as the display was a cause for concern when it came to Brazil.
This set the pace for the rest of the Falcão’s ultimately short tenure.
Velloso, the goalkeeper, Nelsinho, Paulo Egidio, Jorginho III and Nilson would not play for Brazil again under Falcão.

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer (special thanks to Jose Luis Carbonell)
(Brazil squad, September 12, 1990, Spain 3-Brazil 0)

                          Photo From: France Football, Issue 3138, May 30, 2006
(September 12, 1990, Spain 3-Brazil 0)

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer (special thanks to Jose Luis Carbonell)
(September 12, 1990, Spain 3-Brazil 0)

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer (special thanks to Jose Luis Carbonell)
(September 12, 1990, Spain 3-Brazil 0)

                                 Photo From: World Soccer, November 1990
(Brazil Manager Paulo Roberto Falcao)

Brazil’s next match was against Chile at Santiago on October 17th. This was part of a two-match series between the Nations with the second match scheduled the following month on Brazilian soil. The goal for these matches was not only to serve as preparation, but also for reasons of Football Diplomacy to ‘Normalize Relations’. These two matches were intended to heal the wounds between the two respective teams following the ‘Firecracker’ incident in a World Cup qualifier, the previous year that had led to Chile’s ban for the next World Cup.
Falcão ran into his first major problem dealing with the Federation when Teixeira appeared to side with the clubs (to whom he was beholden to get elected) in not getting the players’ release for the duration that Falcão had desired.
Falcão had asked for the players to be released and train for three days at Rio de Janeiro before flying to Santiago. However, Teixeira did not want to offend the clubs and got their release only for departure. Falcão did not even have time for a training session with his squad.
Falcão made a few changes from the match vs. Spain.
After Velloso’s disappointing performance vs. Spain, Santos goalkeeper Sergio was in the net.
Defenders Marcio Santos and Nelsinho also gave way to two other previously uncapped players: Adilson and Leonardo. Leonardo would also be a future World Cup winner.
In attack, another new cap Tulio started ahead on Nilson.
The match turned into an uneventful drab scoreless affair. In the second half, Bismarck (a Lazaroni discovery) made an appearance as well as another new cap Valdeir.
Tulio would no longer be called up again and only would earn a recall in 1995.

                               Photo From: Jornal do Brasil, October 18, 1990
(October 17, 1990,  Chile 0-Brazil 0)

Just two weeks later Brazil were to go to Milan and play a prestige friendly against a World Selection in celebration of Pele’s 50th Birthday on October 31st at San Siro.
For this match, Pele would start for Brazil and last nearly an entire half before being replaced by Neto, the new Captain.
It would be another loss for the inexperienced Brazilians playing against a Selection containing two Brazilians: Julio Cesar and the blacklisted Ricardo Alemão.
Brazil’s defense was same as the previous match. In midfield, a new cap Cesar Sampaio (future 1998 World Cup finalist) started ahead of Moacir.
New cap Rinaldo of Fluminense became Charles’ third strike partner upfront.
The World Selection scored twice through Michel and Gheorge Hagi.
Neto would pull a goal back through a free kick. This was the first goal of the Falcão era albeit in an unofficial match.
In the second half, Falcão would hand out new caps to substitute goalkeeper Ronaldo as well as defenders Cleber and Cassio, midfielder Luis Henrique and striker Careca III.
In addition to Neto, Bismarck and Valdeir would also enter the circus like exhibition that included a multitude of substitutions from the World Selection as well.
Ronaldo, Bismarck, Cassio and Rinaldo would no longer be capped again.

                   Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 1, Issue 11, December 1990
(Pele, October 31, 1990,  Pele’s 50th Anniversary , World XI 2-Brazil 1)

                        Photo From: France Football, Issue 2326, November 6, 1990
(Pele, October 31, 1990,  Pele’s 50th Anniversary , World XI 2-Brazil 1)

                     Photo From: France Football, Issue 2326, November 6, 1990
(Pele and Marco van Basten, October 31, 1990,  Pele’s 50th Anniversary , World XI 2-Brazil 1)

                     Photo From: France Football, Issue 2326, November 6, 1990
(Brazil squad, Top, left to right:   Adilson Dias Batista, Paulo César Batista Dos Santos ‘Paulão’Ivanilton Sérgio Guedes,Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo, José Gildasio Pereira de Matos  Gil Baiano’   Carlos César Sampaio Campos,Bottom, left to right:  ’Charles’ Fabian Figueiredo Santos, Marcos Evangelista Moraes Cafu’, Donizete Francisco deOliveira Edson Arantès do Nascimento ‘Pelé’,  Reinaldo  , October 31, 1990,  Pele’s 50th Anniversary , World XI 2-Brazil 1)

A week later on November 8th, Brazil hosted Chile at Belém.  Falcão recalled, 1989 Copa America hero, Bebeto for this match (ahead of Bismarck). He also called up the uncapped Lira ahead of Cassio.
Bebeto appeared grateful for the opportunity, as he had been benched during the World Cup. He said, “Falcão is repairing the injustice committed by Lazaroni during World Cup, who had no consideration for the players who had qualified for the World Cup and won the Copa America. He preferred to bench us in Italy with the results that showed”.
Unfortunately, Bebeto’s return to Brazil would have to wait as once again the Federation tested Falcão’s patience.
There were reports that he had threatened to resign after the Federation had authorized Botafogo’s Valdeir and Vasco da Gama’s Bebeto to play in a Brazilian Championship match between the two club on the previous Tuesday before the Chile match. Bebeto was injured in this match and forfeited from the Chile encounter, while Valdeir would only make a second half appearance vs. Chile.
In this match, Brazil’s defense (including Sergio in goal) was the same as the previous match. The only change was the inclusion of new cap Lira ahead of Leonardo.
Upfront, for the fourth match running Charles had a new strike partner, this time Careca III earning his first Official cap (along with Cesar Sampaio).
It would be another disappointing scoreless tie as Falcão was struggling to come up with a combination to score goals.
Luis Henrique, Cleber, Leonardo and Valdeir would make second half appearances to no avail.
Cesar Sampaio would not be called up again by Falcão.
Brazil closed out the year with a friendly against Mexico in Los Angeles.
For this match, Falcão stuck with the same defensive unit as the previous match.
In midfield, Moacir reclaimed his spot from Cesar Sampaio. Edu Marangon (last capped in 1987) earned a recall replacing Donizete in the lineup.
For the first time, Charles did not start upfront for Brazil, Cafu and Neto were missing as well.
Careca III retained his spot, while Marquinhos, Mazinho II and Joao Santos earned their first caps.
Marcio Santos would make a return as a substitute, while Odair, Gerson II and Almir would earn their first caps coming on as substitutes.
The match would once again be disappointing for Brazil and end scoreless.
Mexico had been better in the first half, but Brazil were generally better in the second half but unable to break the deadlock.
Edu Marangon, Gerson II, João Santos and Marquinhos would not be called up again.

                                Photo From: Soccer International, February 1991
(December 12, 1990, Mexico 0-Brazil 0)

The calendar year was finished and Falcão had managed five matches (four officially) without much success.
In interviews, Falcão defined his mission was to discover the new talent inside Brazil. He stressed how in the past two years the players inside Brazil had not been given a chance but now they would.
He often repeated that his team was a ‘laboratory’ and results had no immediate consequence.
He felt the heavy loss to Spain had been severe but had observed progress against Chile in October and even more satisfied with the performance against the World XI selection and Chile (in November). He believed the team was on the right track.
His objective was to observe and analyze the individual performance of the players. At the time his main long-term goal appeared the 1992 Olympics.

                               Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 23, December 1990
(Brazil Manager Paulo Roberto Falcao)

He played down the poor results by saying that at the moment he was not managing the real Brazil, just a group of players called up to play for the National Team.
He felt in the past, it was enough to select the eleven best players in Brazil and place them on the field and their talent was enough to win, this was no longer the case.
He had traveled throughout Brazil and attended matches in remote areas in Brazil, in states that his predecessors would not go to form his new team. He would watch six matches on average per week (three live and three on Television).
When interviewed he would deflect questions about the poor state of Football in Brazil (on and off the field) and appeared non-committal.
When asked if his teams would play like the Brazil of 1982, he would try to be realistic and not over promise.
He would respond that the team can only play with the “character of the players available...too many people in Brazil watch a game thinking about the past…”.
He stated that his experience in Italy had an effect on his chosen tactics.
He refused to criticize his predecessor Lazaroni, saying it would not be elegant.
When questioned about the policy of the ban on the foreign-based players, he denied having been instructed to do so.
He responded that when the time comes, he would discuss the issue with the Federation and insisted that player selection was his sole responsibility.
He expressed that he would recall the foreign-based players in the new year (1991).

                          Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 23, December 1990
(Brazil Manager Paulo Roberto Falcao)

Year 1991
In the new year the ban on the foreign-based players was finally lifted and Falcão could call upon some of the more established players.
Though someone like Ricardo Alemão was still persona-non-grata with the Federation.
Brazil’s first match in the new year was against Paraguay at Campo Grande on February 27th.
Falcão recalled the Italy based duo of goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel (Parma) and forward João Paulo (Bari).
He was unable to obtain the release of players such as Aldair (AS Roma) and
Romario (PSV Eindhoven) as both were denied permission by their clubs.
Taffarel would start in goal with Falcão retaining his defensive block of Gil Baiano, Paulão, Adilson and Leonardo.
Cafu, Moacir and Neto were back in midfield with Cuca starting ahead of Donizete.
Charles was back upfront, this time with João Paulo.
Donizete, Mazinho II and Careca III would make second half appearances along with new cap Mauricio.
Once again, Brazil failed to capitalize and had to settle for a (1-1) tie, at least Brazil scored the first official goal of the Falcão era through a spot kick by Neto.
Cuca and Mauricio would not be called up again.
Next up for Brazil were perennial rivals Argentina on March 27th at Buenos Aires. They were also going through a rebuilding phase of their own with new Manager Alfio Basile in charge.
Falcão wanted to field foreign-based players but up to six of them were not released by their clubs.
As a result he stuck with his locally based players. He was able to finally recall Bebeto. Ricardo Rocha in defense and forward Renato Gaucho also earned recalls.
As Taffarel was unavailable, Falcão started once again with Sergio in goal.
Gil Baiano and Leonardo kept their spots in defense; however, Ricardo Rocha’s return meant Paulão was benched. In addition, new cap Wilson Gottardo started ahead of Adilson in defense.
Neto was absent from this match, so Cafu and Donizte started in midfield along with new cap (and future World Cup winner) Mauro Silva.
The strike force consisted of Bebeto, Renato Gaucho along with Mazinho II.
Late in the match new cap forward Dener would also make an appearance. He would sadly be killed in 1994 in an automobile accident.
The match was entertaining seesaw battle that would eventually end in a 3-3 tie, along with the customary sending offs (one from each side).
Brazil had been able to score goals from open play and at least that was a positive.
Falcão was delighted with the performance. He added,  “This type of game is good for us. It shows us our defects and qualities”.
Falcão would not call up Donizete again.

                      Photo From: Deporte Total , Edicion Especial Copa America 1991
(March 27, 1991, Argentina 3-Brazil 3)

                                   Photo From: El Grafico Number 3730, 1991
(March 27, 1991, Argentina 3-Brazil 3)

                                    Photo From: Triunfo Nº264 01-07-1991
(Careca III, March 27, 1991, Argentina 3-Brazil 3)

Next Brazil would face a Romanian ‘B’ selection at Londrina on April 17th.
The foreign-based players were once again absent so Sergio started in goal in place of Taffarel.
New cap Balu started as right back, as Falcão appeared to have written off Gil Baiano. It would turn out to be Balu’s only match under Falcão.
Likewise, Ricardo Rocha retained his spot ahead of Paulão. Marcio Santos returned to the squad in defense.
Neto was back in the squad, along with Mauro Silva who retained his spot. Moacir returned to the squad in midfield.
The strike force of Renato Gaucho, Bebeto and Mazinho II started for the second match running.
Moacir would score the winning goal in a match against weak opposition.

                                    Photo From: Jornal do Brasil, April 18, 1991
(April 17, 1991,   Brazil 1-Romania ‘B’ 0)

After the European season had come to an end, Falcão could call upon foreign-based players as the team was preparing for the Copa America in Chile.
Brazil’s first preparatory friendly was against a weak Bulgarian side missing many key players on May 29th at Uberlandia.
Taffarel was still missing and Sergio started once more.
Italy-based Defender Mazinho made his return to the National Team for the first time since the World Cup, as did another Italy-based defender Branco.
Wilson Gottardo and Marcio Santos completed the defense.
The midfield was reshuffled. The Captain Neto retained his spot along with two new caps: Marcio and Valdir.
Italy-based João Paulo along with the recalled Almir and Careca III formed the strike force.
Juventus defender Julio Cesar was also recalled to the National Team and made an appearance in the second half (he had arrived on the morning of the match). This would be his sole appearance under Falcão.
The other second half substitutes were recalled players such as Odair, Lira, Dener (his last appearance), Luis Henrique and Valdeir.
This would turn out to be the best performance of the Falcão era with both Neto and João Paulo combining in scoring and creating the goals in a convincing (3-0) win.
Falcão selected his squad for the Copa America that included mostly his home based players. The only foreign-based (or more specifically Italy based players) were Taffarel, Mazinho, Branco and João Paulo.
Rai, brother of Socrates, earned a recall for the first time since 1987.
On June 24th, 1991, Leonardo would be injured and replaced in the squad by Lira.
Moacir had already forfeited from Falcão’s plans due to injury.
Brazil’s last friendly before the Copa America was another friendly vs. Argentina at Curitiba on June 27th.
While Brazil had struggled under Falcão, Argentina appeared to be growing in confidence after every new friendly under Basile.
Claudio Taffarel was now available and back in the net. The experienced trio of Mazinho, Ricardo Rocha and Branco were set in defense.
Cleber was recalled to be part of the defense as Gil Baiano, Paulão and Adilson were discarded altogether.
Neto, along with Mauro Silva and Valdir retained their midfield spots. João Paulo, along with Renato Gaucho and Careca III were upfront.
It would be a hard fought match. Just like in the World Cup, Claudio Caniggia would score for Argentina. Minutes later, Neto would tie the match through a spot kick.

                                Photo From: El Grafico Number 3743, 1991
(June 27, 1991, Brazil 1-Argentina 1)

Brazil entered the Copa America short in confidence with a less than full strength squad and following many mediocre performances.
After the drama and the alleged indiscipline at the last World Cup, the Brazilian Federation had issued new directives for the Copa America.
The Brazilian players were forced to sign a written declaration to abide to these set of directives, such as conducting themselves with ‘exemplary behavior’, wake and sleep at the designated hours, eat their prescribed food, seek permission for interviews and no meetings with agents/impresarios.
On July 3rd, just days before the start of the Tournament, Bebeto walked out of the team in anger since Falcão would not guarantee him a starting position in the Team. Bebeto also accused Falcão of treating him like a newcomer instead of an established player that he was.
In the Copa America in Chile, Brazil were in Group B along with Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Bolivia. The matches were to be played in Valparaíso’s Estadio Playa Ancha and Viña del Mar’s Estádio Sausalito.
Brazil started its Copa on July 9th at Viña del Mar against Bolivia.
Brazil won (2-1) without impressing with goals by Neto (5th minute penalty kick) and a Branco free kick in the 47th minute.
The recalled Rai would make his first appearance under Falcão as a second half substitute.

                                Photo From: World Soccer, August 1991
(July 9, 1991, Copa America, Brazil 2-Bolivia 1)

Two days, later (July 11th), they faced Uruguay and had to settle for a (1-1) tie.
Falcão chose to start with midfielder Rai ahead of striker Careca III.
João Paulo gave Brazil the lead in the 39th minute. Uruguay tied the score through a Peter Mendez strike.

                               Photo From: Don Balon (Copa America 1991)
(Mauro Silva, July 11, 1991, Copa America, Brazil 1-Uruguay 1)

Two days later (July 13th), Brazil were beaten (0-2) vs. a more technical Colombian side. The Colombians outplayed the more physical Brazilians.
Falcão had chosen to start with Marcio ahead of Cafu, with Rai still retaining his position in midfield.
Falcão was starting to lose faith in Neto and he was substituted in the second half by Luis Henrique.
Falcão himself accused his own players of incompetence after the loss.
In the post match Press conference, Brazilian journalists argued with Falcão and the players. Falcão was forced to ban the Brazilian Press from post-match conferences.
For the first time, Ricardo Teixeira refused to confirm whether Falcão would stay in place until 1994.

                            Photo From: Don Balon (Copa America 1991)
(July 13, 1991, Copa America, Colombia 2-Brazil 0)

Two days later (July 15th), Brazil won (3-1) over Ecuador qualify to the Final (on goal difference) along with Colombia.
Brazil had needed to win by two clear goals to advance to leapfrog over Uruguay and achieved this with a last minute goal.
Falcão had reshuffled his lineup for this match. Marcio Santos started in defense ahead of Wilson Gottardo.
Rai lost his spot along with Renato Gaucho. They were replaced with new cap Silvio and Mazinho II.
Mazinho II would be sent off early on to further complicate matters for Brazil.

                              Photo From: Deporte Total, July 24, 1991
(July 15, 1991, Copa America, Brazil 3-Ecuador 1)

Brazil started the Final Round on July 17th against Argentina at Santiago in a violent match that would result in five sending offs.
Many felt tensions had been carried over from the friendly between the Nations on June 27th that had also been ill tempered.
The stronger and more confident Argentineans with their new star Gabriel Batistuta won (3-2) to take an option on the Tournament that they had dominated.
Marcio Santos retained his spot in defense, as did Marcio and Silvio. Luis Henrique started in place of the suspended Mazinho II.
Iomar Mazinho was sent off along with Argentina’s Claudio Caniggia in the 31st minute.
Marcio Santos and Argentina’s Carlos Enrique were also jointly sent off (61st minute). Finally, Careca III was sent off in the 77th minute (….after having come on as a substitute in the 75th minute).
Both Nations were dissatisfied with the officiating and on the following day (July 18th), Brazil submitted a formal protest about Paraguayan Referee Carlos Maciel for his handling of their match.

                                  Photo From: World Soccer, July 1993 
(July 17, 1991, Copa America, Argentina 3-Brazil 2)

                              Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 31, August 1991
(July 17, 1991, Copa America, Argentina 3-Brazil 2)

                           Photo From: World Soccer, November 1991
(Claudio Branco, July 17, 1991, Copa America, Argentina 3-Brazil 2)

Brazil’s next match vs. Colombia on July 19th at Santiago would be played under heavy rain.
Falcão made some changes to his squad due to the suspensions of Mazinho and Careca III, as well as losing faith with Neto (who lost his starting spot for good).
Cafu started in defense with Valdir, Renato Gaucho and Mazinho II also back in the squad.
Many believed the rain was detrimental to Colombia’s ‘Toque’ style and the less technical Brazilians profited.
Brazil took the lead through Renato Gaucho in the 29th minute, followed by a penalty kick by Branco in the 61stminute.

                          Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 31, August 1991
(Renato Gaucho, July 19, 1991, Copa America, Brazil 2-Colombia 0)

The final round of matches took place two days later on July 21st at Santiago.
Brazil were to face the hosts Chile. Brazil knew that even a win might not be enough as Argentina had a one-point advantage.
Mazinho was back in the squad with Cafu, Mazinho II and Renato Gaucho retaining their places.
Brazil won (2-0) with two headers from corner kicks by Mazinho II (8th minute) and Luis Henrique (56th minute).
Once again, Brazil had a player sent off (this time Branco in the 69th minute).

                             Photo From: Deporte Total, July 31, 1991
(July 21, 1991, Copa America, Chile 0-Brazil 2)

                           Photo From: Deporte Total, July 31, 1991
(July 21, 1991, Copa America, Chile 0-Brazil 2)

                           Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 36, January 1992
(Joao Paulo, July 21, 1991, Copa America, Chile 0-Brazil 2)

However, Argentina’s win over Colombia (2-1) gave them the title and Brazil had to settle for second place.
As the Tournament ended, closing the International season, Brazil appeared to still be mired in the disarray as they were in the previous summer’s World Cup.
Falcão’s Brazil were a disappointment and the team appeared to be headed nowhere.
Their discipline was also questioned given the record number of players sent off in the Copa (five in total, three just in the violent clash with Argentina).
Falcão had openly declared that he wanted to stay until the 1994 World Cup.
He said,  “I work, I do whatever I can to give Brazilian Football the place it deserves Internationally…..this will not be done in a day, I would like to stay in place until 1994”
However, his days appeared numbered and no one could imagine him to be around the following months much less the 1994 World Cup.
His experimentation of building the team around Neto had parallels with Geovani in 1989. Another player being built up as Brazil’s next superstar, who ultimately failed.
Falcão did not help his cause by defending his negative tactics. He declared that “ugly football” was the way forward.
He said, “There is no point in expecting from any group that forms the Brazilian team the classical and skillful Football which we produced before….The times today are of fighting, long kicks up field, biting tackles and sliding tackles. In brief, a type of football which is ugly but which wins games”.
Of course for Brazil and more specifically in Falcão’s case, he was not winning much with these tactics.
The Brazilian Press would repeatedly remind how on the same fields Brazil had won in 1962 with style.
Tele Santana chimed in to criticize Brazil’s tactics. For him Brazil’s tactics comprised mainly of marking opponents, determination, fighting spirit, committing fouls and falling down in the penalty area.
He felt despite defeating Bolivia in their first match, it was the Bolivians that had been more technical, as were Ecuador.
He joined many others with the belief that in the Final Round, the rain had been advantageous in defeating Colombia, because that helped the less talented team as Colombia’s short passing game could not be achieved.
Former Argentina Manager, Cesar Luis Menotti also remarked that the traditional powers were going back to their roots except Brazil.

Falcão had been expected to bring back the attractive attacking style of old, but his Brazil were devoid of style and any definite concept of tactics. It was a physical team with no technique.
Many felt he packed his defense with numbers with two strikers upfront running aimlessly.
Falcão even said, “we were not always good technically”.  An understatement if there ever was one.
He was accused of not explaining his style/tactics in press conferences, nor settling on a starting lineup.
Despite his intention to play with three strikers, Brazil’s performances in the First Round of the Copa Amercia had been disappointing and only a fortunate last minute goal against Ecuador had seen them through.
He had modified his tactics to a counterattacking game for the Final Round. The eventual runner-up place was misleading, they had benefited from the rain against Colombia, while in their very last match, the Chileans had appeared physically drained.
One could only speculate whether absent players would have made a difference. These included the likes of the injured duo: (Leonardo, Moacir) and unavailable players such as (Romario, Careca, Dunga, etc).
After the Tournament, the ‘O Globo’ Television station took a poll and 45% of the respondents did not want Falcão to remain in charge, while only 29% were favorable (23% undecided).
Nearly 70% also felt the current squad could not win the next World Cup.
Of the players, Iomar Mazinho was favorable to his stay, He said,  “I have heard that Falcão could fall, if he stays he will bring back the joy to Brazilian Football”.
On August 20th, 1991, Falcão was sacked as National Team manager. Exactly, one year and four days after being appointed.
Ernesto Paulo would be the caretaker Manager, before Carlos Alberto Parreira was appointed in late September 1991.
According to reports the manner Falcão was sacked was a cruel common tactic used in Brazilian Football, whereby draconian demands are made to such a degree that one has no choice but to resign or be fired.
First, the Federation refused to renew the contract of his physio Gilberto Tim and his Press spokesman Vital Bataglia and told Falcão they would choosing the replacements.
They then demanded all of Falcão future selections to be handed over and approved 72 hours before being made public.
Falcão understandably refused and was sacked over the phone.
According to Falcão it was really this second demand that was unacceptable. He said, “I respect it but I don’t agree”.
Falcão had short uneventful stints afterwards at Mexican Club America (1991/92), Internacional Porto Alegre (1993) and the Japanese National Team (1994) without much success.
He took a long break and had other unremarkable spells at Internacional Porto Alegre (2011), Bahia (2012), Sport Recife (2015-16) and once more Internacional Porto Alegre (2016).
He was a cautionary tale that even the most talented of players become pragmatic once they get into the Management game.
Perhaps, his legacy is that of a brilliant player who just was not born to manage.

                                      Photo From: World Soccer, October 1991
(Brazil Manager Paulo Roberto Falcao)

              Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 2, Issue 11, November 1991
(Brazil Manager Paulo Roberto Falcao)

El Grafico Number 3730, 1991
El Grafico Number 3743, 1991
El Grafico Number 3746, 1991
Deporte Total , Edicion Especial Copa America 1991
Deporte Total, July 24, 1991
Deporte Total, July 31, 1991
El Grafico, Historia de la seleccion Argentina, 1961-1970
France Football, Issue 2326, November 6, 1990
France Football, Issue 2362, July 16, 1991
France Football, Issue 2363, July 23, 1991
Onze-Mondial, Issue 23, December 1990
Onze-Mondial, Issue 31, August 1991
Seleccao Brasileira -90 Anos 1914-2004, Authors Antonio Carlos Napoleao, Roberto Assaf
Soccer International, Volume 2, Issue 11, November 1991
Triunfo Nº264 01-07-1991
World Soccer, November 1990
World Soccer, April 1991
World Soccer, August 1991
World Soccer, July 1991
World Soccer, October 1991

No comments:

Post a Comment