Could Brazil 2022 beat Brazil 2002?

Fussball International 11.07.2022 FIFA, Uebergrossser Adidas WM Ball 2022 Al Rihla mit Regenbogen am Home of FIFA in Zuerich *** Football International 11 07 2022 FIFA, Oversized Adidas World Cup Ball 2022 Al Rihla with Rainbow at the Home of FIFA in Zuerich

Brazil is the most decorated nation in World Cup history. The Seleção have produced some of the most gifted footballers the planet has ever seen. Not only have they won the most World Cups, but it is often noted that they have done it in style.

Having not won the competition in 20 years wouldn’t be that bad for any other nation, but when it comes to Brazil, it feels like a travesty. The current crop of players could be the most talented since that all-conquering side, but unfortunately, they couldn’t end the long wait for glory. However, could they beat the 2002 version in a make-believe game of football?

Attack, attack, attack

Football isn’t all about the attacking side of the ball, but let’s be honest, it is about scoring goals. Both the 2002 and 2022 sides have some exceptional forwards who all possess a mastery of controlling the ball. The current side has so much firepower, but it could have been a double-edged sword against Croatia. Even after beating the pre-tournament favorites, if you were to bet on World Cup outright markets, you would see sportsbooks still don’t rate Croatia’s chances at +700. Underestimating their opposition could have been Brazil’s downfall, although many World Cup betting tips would have suggested Brazil would go through. Penalties are a tough way to go out, especially when some of the attacking players were on form.

The 2022 edition of Brazil features an attacking quadrant, headlined by Richarlison as striker and Neymar just behind him in attacking midfield. Barcelona’s Raphinha adds flair, pace, and trickery out wide. The players are all interchangeable and play free-flowing, attacking football. Seeing how they performed at this World Cup was nothing short of amazing.

However, with all that praise, it would be a real challenge to top the famous trio of R’s: Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo. Each one a legend of the game, each played for Barcelona, and even more astonishing, each won a Ballon d’Or. Not to say that the current players won’t win a Ballon d’Or in the future, but as things stand, none of them currently have one, while two of the 2002 squad had at least one. Ronaldo would go on to win his second that year. Although it’s close, the attack may go to 2002.

Bringing balance to the side

What every great side usually has is balance, brought to the squad by exceptional midfielders. The current Brazil squad has a base midfield of Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta. The steely Manchester United player is one of the best holding midfielders in the history of the game, having five Champions Leagues. West Ham’s Paqueta is still writing his story, but he is technically gifted and brings equal parts tenacity and flair.

In the 2002 World Cup final, Brazil started a midfield pairing of Gilberto Silva and Kléberson. Gilberto Silva is a special player who had many exceptional years in the Arsenal and Brazil midfield. Kléberson’s career fell off after the World Cup. Although it earned him a transfer to Old Trafford, he never showed any of the ability that he had at that tournament. It may be close, but the edge has to go to the 2022 side.

Defence through attacking

The center-backs for each side are a formidable force. Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are one of the best pairings in the world today and showed as much when they were teammates at PSG. The 2002 outfit had the likes of Lucio, Roque Júnior and Edmílson, a wall that few could penetrate.

Their fullback pairing of Cafu and Roberto Carlos gives the 2002 side a clear advantage. Those two players revolutionized the full-back position with their attacking play and are two of the best ever to play—a clear win for the 2002 side.

Although it would be exciting to see these two sides play in a fictional game, we have a clear winner. As one of the best sides to ever play in a World Cup, it’s no surprise that they would come out on top.