Brazil were eliminated early for their standards and for their aspirations: they had some impressive showings and were solid throughout, but they run into one of the few teams that were equipped to take them down. They had a strong reaction to a poor first half against Belgium and created plenty of chances to equalize, but were too imprecise.
Tite’s squad included three Serie A players in prominent roles: Alisson, Joao Miranda and Douglas Costa. La Seleçao conceded just one goal in the first four matches and that is proof of their general robustness. Alisson was asked to make just one or two super saves in Russia, but confirmed all the good things he did at Roma last year. In the round of 8 match, he surrendered to an unlucky own goal and to an uncatchable belter by Kevin De Bruyne.
Miranda composed the duo of starting centre-back alongside Thiago Silva and they were pretty much a wall during the competition. He was certainly the busiest of the trio. The Inter defender went to battle with opposing strikers and most often than not he came out victorious. He was outjumped on Switzerland’s goal, but that was his lone mistake in the tournament. In the final game, he more than held his own against the massive Romelu Lukaku and was able to stop a couple of his powerful solo runs with clever tackles.
Douglas Costa started off as Willian’s back-up on the right flank and a hamstring injury prevented him from taking over, since the Chelsea’s attacker was subpar in the World Cup. He appeared off the bench in two games and was electrifying as per usual, creating havoc in his zone. He assisted Neymar in the Costa Rica game and also he set up a pair of teammates that could and should have finished better against Belgium.
As far as the transfer market is concerned, Alisson’s future is obviously a hot topic and Roma could get a lot of money if they decided to cash in. However, despite heavy buzz about Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool being interested in the goalkeeper, La Lupa’s main executive Monchi recently stated that he has yet to receive an official offer. As of now, Miranda is expected to stay at Inter despite the arrival of Stefan De Vrij, who could push him for the starting job and that might make the 34-year-old centre-back re-consider his future. They might end up playing together in a three-man defence though. In both cases, the World Cup has slowed things down. Douglas Costa was recently acquired fully by Juventus.
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