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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018: Brazil’s captaincy merry-go-round- 16 captains in 22 games

The constant changing of captains is indicative of Tite’s managerial style of always controlling his side from outside.

Published: June 22, 2018 9:46:05 am
FIFA World Cup 2018 Brazil head coach Tite instructs players during official training. (AP)

By Dyaus Singh

Since Tite took charge on September 1, 2016, Thiago Silva will become the 16th player in 23 matches to wear the captain’s armband, when Brazil face Costa Rica on Friday. Veterans like Robinho and Dani Alves to youngster Gabriel Jesus have all been entrusted with leading the side on the pitch.This constant changing of captains is indicative of Tite’s managerial style of always controlling his side from outside. Thus while no one is a permanent captain, Tite remains in charge.How have the various captains fared?

Best Result*
Brazil’s most impressive performance under Tite was when they beat Uruguay 4-1 away from home in the World Cup Qualifier on March 24, 2017. Veteran defender Miranda was made captain and the Selecaos dominated, having 55% of possession and converting four of their 6 shots on target.

Worst Result*
Their opening match at the World Cup against Switzerland. Marcelo led the side and although they had an impressive first half and opened the scoring, they conceded in the second due to lack of positional understanding between the players and were held to a draw. They also only had four of their 21 shots on target.

Honourable Mention
On June 3, 2018, when Brazil played Croatia in a friendly, 21-year-old Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus became the youngest player to captain the side since 1955. Brazil comfortably won by two goals.

However, most great World Cup winning teams have had great leaders on the pitch – be it Bobby Moore, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Matthaus, Didier Deschamps, Fabio Cannavaro, Iker Casillas or Philipp Lahm. A manager’s voice can only travel so far and a captain is needed to motivate the side and maintain discipline and morale at all times.

Often the referees speak to captains if there is an issue or altercation. Thus for Brazil to win the World Cup, having an experienced captain is vital.

Full list of captains since Tite took over (in order of appearance): Miranda, Dani Alves, Renato Augusto, Filipe Luis, Fernandinho, Robinho, Neymar, Thiago Silva, Philippe Coutinho, Marcelo, Paulinho, Casemiro, Marquinhos, Willian, Alisson, Gabriel Jesus.

* stands for competitive matches

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