Brazil’s U-20: What’s the Future?
This is a bit late, but necessary. Brazil lost the final of the U20, but the result was just a detail (besides the fact that young Brazilian squads always lose to African nations). The real question is: what can we expect of those players in the future?
Possibly, 1 or 2 will be adult World Cup material (in my opinion, one of them will be Giuliano). Another 2 or 3 will be very good players in Brazil (Paulo Henrique is a guess). About 4 or 5 will play in known markets in Europe. And another 3 or 4 will play for big Brazilian clubs not as protagonists. But here is the real information:
More than a third will (around 8 ) will be either in the border of the first and second division in Brazil (sometimes even lower), or playing in alternative markets around the globe.
How do I know all this? Besides the gut feeling that there must be something wrong when the main names of a national team is Alex Teixeira and Alan Kardec (who I thought was in his late 20′s), some quick research helps.
Using words of your middle school teach, “the best way to predict the future is to look at the past”. So took a look at the 2003 and 2005 squads. And the reason for that is that players of these 2 squads should be approaching or on the top of their careers.
In 2003, Brazil took the title in the UAE. The squad had the following players – their clubs at the time in parenthesis:
1 Fernando Henrique (Fluminense): Still at Flu. On the bench due to poor performances, he is watching his club going to second division.
2 Daniel Alves (Bahia): Fundamental name at Barcelona and packing to South Africa 2010.
3 Alcides (Vitória): After a spell at Santos and several unsuccessful ones at big European sides (Chelsea, Benfica, PSV Eindhoven), he finds himself at Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine).
4 Adaílton (Vitória): Several injuries and a lot of bench time at Santos.
5 Carlos Alberto (Figueirense): He wasn’t U20 at the time, as later he was suspended in Brazil for faking his age. Left Corinthians for the delight of the fans, and now has the chance of winning the Brazilian title with Atlético-MG.
6 Coelho (Corinthians): Same as above. The only difference is that he is watching from the bench.
7 Daniel Carvalho (Inter): Very promising player, he was called by Dunga in the beginning of his work ahead of the national team. Blew up the chances, and now plays at CSKA.
8 Dudu Cearense (Vitória): Greek champion at Olympiakos.
9 Andrezinho (Flamengo): He is always between the bench and the pitch at Inter, and eventually scores for the side of Porto Alegre through free-kicks.
10 Nilmar (Inter): The Villareal forward is ready for the 2010 World Cup.
11 Dagoberto (Atlético-PR): He is a regular starter at São Paulo, but never repeated the performances he had at the time he played the U20 World Cup.
12 Jefferson (Botafogo): Had transfers to unknown sides such as Trabzonspor and Konyaspor before returning to Botafogo. The goalie is fighting relegation with his club, but is the most reliable keeper Bota had in many years.
13 Kléber (São Paulo): The ex-Dinamo Kiev returned to Brazil and became an idol at Palmeiras. Nowadays, he is one of the names of Cruzeiro, where he lost the final of 2009 Copa Libertadores.
14 Adriano (Coritiba): Regular for Sevilla and missed the chances Dunga gave him.
15 Juninho (Atlético-MG): Since then, his career is in free fall. He is fighting relegation for third division of Brasileiro with Bahia.
16 Jardel (Cruzeiro): Another case of a career that never happened. Plays for Estrela Amadora from Portugal.
17 Gabriel (Ponte Preta): Failed pretty much everywhere (Palmeiras, Fluminese and the football of Israel). Now, he fights relegation to second division of Brasileiro with Sport.
18 Renato Silva (Goiás): Regular starter for São Paulo.
19 Fernandinho (Atlético-PR): Plays for Shakhtar Donetsk.
20 Andrey (Grêmio): Played for many clubs (even in Romania), and now is on the bench for Cruzeiro.
In the 2005, Brazil ended in third and had the following team:
Renan (Internacional): Played the 08 Olympics and moved to Valencia. Now, is on loan to Xerez, and still dreams (with very little chances) of going to South Africa.
Bruno (São Paulo): In 06, he was in an serious car accident which left him quadriplegic.
Diego (Atlético-MG): Plays for Almeria, and watched the 08 Olympics from the bench.
Rafinha (Coritiba): Got an transfer to Schalke 04, and played the 08 Olympics.
Fábio Santos (São Paulo): After winning the 05 Copa Libertadores and club World Cup for Sao Paulo from the bench, played for Kashima Antlers, Cruzeiro, Monaco, Santos and Grêmio. Never made one fan of all these clubs happy
Filipe (Ajax): Plays for La Coruña since 2006, and last season was chosen by UEFA as the best left-back from La Liga. Still dreams of a spot in the 2010 World Cup.
Leonardo (Santos): Plays for Shakhtar Donetsk.
Edcarlos (São Paulo): Same story as Fabio Santos. The only difference is the the victims were Benfica and Fluminense fans. Fights against relegation to serie B in the Brasileiro.
João Leonardo (Guarani): Never played for big clubs and now is at Barueri.
Gladstone (Cruzeiro): Played for Juventus, Verena, returned to Cruzeiro, Sporting and Palmeiras. Today, is in the relegation zone of Brasileiro with Náutico.
Roberto (Guarani): Great talent who never played for a big club. Had spells Celta de Vigo, Salamanca, Racing, Leixões and now is at Marítimo from Portugal.
Diego Souza (Fluminense): Best player of the 09 Brasileiro. Dreams with the title for Palmeiras and a ticket to South Africa.
Arouca (Fluminense): On the bench of São Paulo.
Evandro (Atlético-PR): Played for several clubs in Brazil, and fights for the Brazilian title with Atlético-MG.
Renato (Atlético-MG): Played without much success for Corinthians, Vasco and Maccabi Haifi. At Botafogo (his current club), he just wants to stay in first division.
Ernane (Bahia): Plays for the small side of Cabofriense from Rio.
Fellype Gabriel: Plays for Portuguesa,where he hopes to return to the first division of Brasileiro.
Rafael Sobis (Internacional): Was the main name of the 06 Copa Libertadores title of Inter. Had chances with Dunga in the beginning of his work, but decided to make money at Al-Jazira.
Quirino (Atlético-MG): Explores alternative markets. Played for 2 years in Sweden at Djurgarden-SUE, and now is at Consadole Sapporo from Japan.
Bobô (Corinthians): Left Corinthians for the happiness of the fans. Plays for Besiktas from Turkey, and got even a call to the friendly Brazil – Ireland.
Diego Tardelli (São Paulo): Current top scorer of Brasileiro and dreams of South Africa.