Copa America 2024: All eyes on Vinicius Jr to inspire Brazil to victory

Copa America 2024: All eyes on Vinicius Jr to inspire Brazil to victory

Brazil are seen as honorary owners of the beautiful game but it's been a while since we have seen them lift silverware or truly dazzle on the biggest stage. Ahead of this summer’s Copa America, many are wondering if Brazil are back or if they will flatter to deceive once again.

They have had a turbulent time of things lately, especially given the standards everyone holds them to. Fluminense coach Fernando Diniz tried to remodel the national team but his plan fell on its face, whether he just needed more time isn’t a question that matters anymore as he was sacked and Dorival Júnior appointed as recently as this January.

Dorival Júnior is a journeyman coach who has tamed talented squads and had grand successes on his career path. He may not have coached at the international level before but as recently as 2022 he won the Copa Libertadores with Flamengo. He will reverse the dynamic Diniz playing style to a more conservative counter-attacking one that might just suit this squad perfectly.

It wouldn’t be ridiculous to draw comparisons between what this Brazil team needs to do and what Real Madrid has just done. Not least because the dynamic duo of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior are the world-class sting in the tail that both of those sides possess. A solid defence and a devastating counterattack might be the perfectly simple mix for a team and manager that have only been able to share a few friendly matches so far.

Without being redundant, Brazil going back to basics from Diniz’s elaborate style might be the only way they are capable of immediate success. This is a big reason why the coach was changed and with the quality Brazil have in their squad, they have the means to turn a terrible year into an epic success.

There may well remain more questions than answers with Brazil though. Recent friendly matches ahead of the Copa America included a last-minute victory against Mexico and a draw with the United States. Form and performances have been all over the place for a while now and for this squad to click into the right gear all of a sudden will take more than just some tactical changes.

Of course, Brazil are missing star talisman Neymar Jr this summer, but new prodigy Endrick looks set to step into the limelight.

Brazil have only reached the semifinals twice in the last five Copa Libertadores tournaments and they haven’t won a World Cup since 2002. The adopted home of football needs to freshen up the trophy cabinet as with every tournament defeat their supremacy is waning. Winning a tricky group that includes rivals Colombia will be key if they are to progress to the final.