Brazil goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel taking nothing for granted at World Cup

Taffarel won the World Cup in 1994 and is now part of the coaching team looking to get the Samba Stars their sixth global crown.
Updated 11 June 2018
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Brazil goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel taking nothing for granted at World Cup

  • Taffarel knows what it takes to win a World Cup having lifted the trophy in 1994.
  • Brazil now more expressive than during Dunga's reign as boss.

MOSCOW: At the last World Cup Germany registered the most perplexing result in football history, battering the spiritual owners of the game, Brazil. Joachim Low’s team thrashed the hosts 7-1 in the semifinal to leave a nation 
in tears. 

“It was sour, it was really a strong blow that Brazil and Brazilian football in general suffered, but one that has been digested and that unfortunately can’t be erased,” Claudio Taffarel, Brazil’s goalkeeping coach and 1994 World Cup winner told Arab News. “The 7-1 that Brazil suffered at the hands of Germany is very much part of the statistics. You live with this trauma. The past was negative, but today it is positive. We have to think positively.” 
Brazil’s new coach Tite has rejuvenated Brazil after the years lost under the Carlos Dunga regime. Tite, appointed in 2016, modified his predecessor’s defensive and counterattacking style to play a more expansive game. Real Madrid’s Casemiro, shielding the defense, and Gabriel Jesus, with his daring pace in the 
final third, have become key figures in Brazil’s 4-1-4-1 system.
“They began playing with Tite’s ideas and from there the results followed,” said Taffarel, who has been a part of Brazil’s backroom staff since 2014. “It was the manner in which he approximated himself to the players, you know, how he talks with the players, how he transmits his ideas to the players. That coach-player, player-coach language is very important, there has to be an understanding. The players understand what Tite does.” 
Brazil’s passage to Russia came about thanks to topping the South American World Cup qualifying table, but Tite’s merits transcends results. He restored Brazil’s ball-playing tradition, valuing process and performance over the scoreline.
“To win you need to be prepared. Afterwards, on the field, it’s logic that you have to deserve it, in the sense of playing with the ideas that he transmits during the week and on the eve of the game and in line with the opponent. If you get all that and play good football, the merit comes, and that means so will the victory,” Taffarel explained.
In March, Brazil defeated their 2014 nemesis, Germany, in Berlin courtesy of a first-half header from Jesus. The Germans did not field the injured Manuel Neuer, Samuel Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, but Brazil looked accomplished. The five-time world champions are among the favorites in Russia.
“Whenever Brazil go to the World Cup we’re considered a favorite, like Germany, Argentina, Spain and teams who have won in the past,” Taffarel acknowledged. “It is dangerous if Brazil doesn’t prepare well, it is dangerous when we think it is going to be easy. That way it becomes dangerous. But that favoritism doesn’t affect us. The favoritism has to be created during the World Cup, in the group stages by playing well, with determination.”
Neymar is Brazil’s marquee player, but the squad is strong across the board. In the goalkeeping department there are Roma’s Alisson and Manchester City’s Ederson; both men are considered world-class.
“When Brazilian football was looked at, everyone was looking at the No. 10, the man who scored, the striker,” Taffarel said.
“Football has begun to change a little. Football is valuing the goalkeeper more. Today, when you look at (Pep) Guardiola’s team, they always have a goalkeeper who plays well with his feet. The Brazilian school has all this, it is technical with the feet, with the arms. Now, this is being valued.”
Alisson is Brazil’s undisputed No. 1. In October 2015, he made his international debut against Venezuela, on the recommendation of Taffarel.
“Alisson, you know, from the moment he started playing at Roma, he has enjoyed a natural growth and that we all expected, because in Brazil he had already shown his potential,” Taffarel said.
“He always showed that in the Brazilian team as well. For us, it is very important, for the Brazilian goalkeepers it opens a lot of doors in Europe, when they are spoken of well. Ederson has an impressive potential.”
Together they are dealing a knee-high tackle to the perception that Brazil do not produce top-class keepers, something that has always annoyed Taffarel.
“It is a myth,” he said. “When I began playing for the Seleção in Italy in 1990 they were saying ‘Ah, now Brazil has a goalkeeper.’ I moved on. Then Dida came and they went ‘Ah, now Brazil has a goalkeeper.’ Now it is Alisson and now they will say ‘Ah, now Brazil has a goalkeeper.’”


Australia get crucial 1-1 draw with Denmark at World Cup

Updated 21 June 2018
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Australia get crucial 1-1 draw with Denmark at World Cup

  • 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was penalized for a handball
  • Going into the tournament, world No. 36 Australia were the lowest-ranked team in Group C with the others all in the top 12

SAMARA, Russia: Mile Jedinak’s penalty kick gave Australia a 1-1 draw against Denmark and new life at the World Cup on Thursday.
The 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was penalized for a handball following a video review.
Poulsen was also given a yellow card and will be suspended for the team’s final group match against France because of accumulation.
The goal was Jedinak’s second from the spot at this year’s World Cup, and it stopped Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s five-match streak of clean sheets for the Danes.
Christian Eriksen scored in the opening minutes for Denmark, which have gone unbeaten in 17 straight international matches.
Going into the tournament, world No. 36 Australia were the lowest-ranked team in Group C with the others all in the top 12.
With a loss to France in the opener, a defeat on Thursday would have made it nearly impossible for the Socceroos to advance to the next stage. Denmark, meanwhile, won their first match against Peru.
Australia lost to 1998 World Cup champions France 2-1 on Saturday in Kazan, with both French goals coming as the result of video technology. But the score did not reflect the Socceroos’ gritty defensive performance.
Australia again took a defensive stand against Denmark, which were back at the World Cup after missing out on the tournament in Brazil.
The Danes were coming off a 1-0 victory over Peru on Saturday in Saransk.
Poulsen, who plays for German club RB Leipzig, scored the lone goal.
It is the fifth World Cup appearance for the Danes, who reached the quarterfinals in 1998.
Australia were also making a fifth trip to the World Cup. The team’s best showing was in the 2006 quarterfinals.
Moments after Mathew Leckie’s header for Australia sailed over the goal, Eriksen sent a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Mathew Ryan’s outstretched arms.
Pione Sisto nearly gave the Danes the advantage just after the halftime break, but his shot went to the right of the goal. Australia added some firepower in the 68th, bringing on 19-year-old Daniel Arzani as both teams scrambled for a winning goal.
Australia lost Andrew Nabbout in the 74th minute with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder. He was replaced by Tomi Juric.
Denmark’s opening victory over Peru was marred by the loss of starting midfielder William Kvist, who fractured two ribs and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament. He was replaced in the starting lineup against Australia by Lasse Schone.
Denmark’s last loss was in October 2016 against Montenegro, 1-0 in Copenhagen.

GROUP DYNAMICS
The highlight of Group C will be the match between France and Denmark on Tuesday in Moscow. The top finishers in the group will go on to play opponents from Group D, which includes Croatia, Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria.

KEYS TO SUCCESS
Eriksen, who plays for Tottenham in England, has scored in 17 of the national team’s last 20 matches.
During World Cup qualifying, he scored 11 goals for the Danes, third-best in Europe behind Poland striker Robert Lewandowski with 16 and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo with 15.
Now 26, Eriksen was the youngest player at the World Cup in South Africa. He has 79 appearances for the national team and 23 goals.
He was named man of the match on Thursday.