posted on 09/03/2022 06:00
(credit: Gilvan de Souza/Flamengo)
Anyone who sees Dorival Júnior close to qualifying for the first Copa Libertadores final in his career after the 4-0 victory against Vélez Sarsfield, at the José Amalfitani stadium, in the first leg of the semifinals, may not remember that he was the coach of that fantastic Santos in the first half of 2010. Twelve years ago, Dorival joined Ganso, Robinho, Neymar and the then promising André in the same team. The quartet won the Paulistão, the Copa do Brasil and enchanted the country.
That, until then, was the best version of Dorival Júnior. Tactically, there was a triangle in Santos’ midfield formed by Arouca, Wesley and Ganso; and an attacking trio formed by Neymar, Robinho and André. One of the coach’s virtues was accommodating two players used to playing on the same field on different sides. Neymar took the left winger. Robinho adapted to the right.
Dorival Júnior resorted to another geometric figure to put Flamengo on the rails. Bruno Henrique’s serious injury caused him to adopt a diamond in midfield. It became a solution. Thiago Maia took on the role of first midfielder, with Everton Ribeiro on the right, João Gomes on the left and Arrascaeta in front of the trio, free, light and free to help Gabriel Barbosa and Pedro.
The system recalls, for example, the way of playing that original Cruzeiro from 2003, signed by Vanderlei Luxemburgo. The triple crown team. There was a rhombus with Maldonado, Augusto Recife and Wendell. Alex in the role of conductor. And the duo formed by Aristizábal and Deivid, who left the team during the season and gave way to Mota.
Dorival Júnior’s plan also reminds Milan of the 2004/2005 season, configured by Italian Carlo Ancelotti. There was a diamond in the middle with Pirlo, Gattuso, Seedorf and Kaka. In front, the Ukrainian Shevchenko and the Argentine Crespo. A gentleman team!
Wednesday’s concert in front of Vélez Sarsfield, in Argentina, showed a Flamengo in evolution. What was good looks better for two reasons: the collective commitment to reducing spaces in the recomposition and the constant movement from the middle to the front. The system gives the impression of rigidity, but in practice there is a lot of movement and position changes. The pass line in the plot that ends with Gabriel Barbosa’s footvolley pass and Everton Ribeiro’s goal is beautiful.
The red-black fan can complain about Gabriel Barbosa’s waste, however, the idol’s tactical delivery is to take his hat off. He recalls the role he played in winning the gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He did the recomposition on the right under the baton of Rogério Micale in the quartet with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Luan.
In times of foreign coaches in the country of football, the Brazilian school lives in times of “Drivalism” and the “nation” stopped crying out for the second coming of Jesus.