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Brazil National Team: Tactical Analysis

From MBP School of Coaches, we will analyse the 5 top contenders for Qatar 2022 World Cup. In each of the articles, we will describe the basic structure to be used, the two phases of the game they dominate, and their star player.

This sequence of articles will begin with the Brazil of Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, better known as ‘Tite’. The Brazilian side not only stands out for its excellent individual quality, but also for its solidity as a team in the different phases of the game.

Tactical Analysis of Brazil National Team

Base Structure

The basic structure to be used by ‘A Seleção’ is a GK-4-4-2. However, this initial positioning varies depending on the phase of the game they are in.

For example, in the attacking phase, we can identify how the dynamic organisation of the team is a GK-4-3-3 for the vast majority of the play. To do this, one of the two strikers (mainly Neymar) drops off, playing as an attacking midfielder and with total freedom to move around the attack.

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On the other hand, in the defensive phase, the Brazilians maintain their dynamic organisation as well as their basic structure, i.e. they defend with a GK-4-4-2 for most of the match – with the exception of the moments when they apply high pressure in the opponent’s dynamic build-up.

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Phases of the Game

Brazil’s most dominant phase is the attacking one. Unlike in previous years, where the team was disorganised and based on individual quality, the current side is a very well-drilled team in this phase and boosted by the individual technique of its players.

Tite’s team play an associative style, looking to progress as a unit until the final 3rd, where the individual actions of their 1vs1 players such as Neymar, Vinicius and Raphinha begin to shine.

One of the characteristics to bear in mind in this phase is the tendency to create situations of positional and qualitative advantage on the left. With this, they seek to condition the defensive positioning of the opposition, progressing through quick triangles, or accumulating a large number of defenders in the active ball zone, in order to subsequently direct play towards the opposite wing and take advantage of the spatial superiority.

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Another characteristic in the attacking phase is the height of the two central midfielders, one of them acting as a ‘false’ striker, making a big impact inside the penalty area. While in moments of progression and in the final 3rd, they fix their position in the intraline intervals, though on identifying possible crossing situations, they both position themselves inside the opponent’s area to give more crossing options to their teammate.

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The second phase of the game that the Brazilians excel in is the defensive phase. It is in this cycle of play that they have made the greatest progress compared to recent years. Starting from a dynamic GK-4-4-2 organisation as described previously, Tite’s side join up lines and direct opposing attacks into wide areas, where they apply intense pressure with the aim of winning the ball.

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Star Player

The most important player for the current team is still Neymar Junior. The number 10 is the team’s leading figure, especially in the attacking phase.

Through his position as a ‘false 9’, the PSG star participates in every moment of the play, whether it is helping in the moments of dynamic build-up and progression – dropping deeper to receive the ball – in the moment of the final 3rd – providing assists to his teammates – or in the finishing zone by finishing the play.

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One of the main qualities that the Brazilian forward has shown so far this season is the excellent execution of the universal collective fundamental of ‘Searching For A Game In Progression Vertically In Relation To The Attack’. Thanks to this, Neymar Jr. has so far scored a total of 11 goals and created 9 assists for his club, playing a pivotal role in the majority of matches.


The good progress made over the last few years, coupled with a brilliant qualifying campaign, winning 14 of a possible 17 matches and drawing the other three, has made ‘Tite’s’ team one of the hot favourites for the tournament.

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