The road to Canada
Brazil will travel to what will be their seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup™ as reigning six-time Copa America champions, having drawn on their much-vaunted attack to win their latest continental title in Ecuador. Veteran striker Cristiane Rozeira ended the competition as its leading goalscorer, helping her side to first-round victories over Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile before the Verdeamarela’s second string went down to Argentina. In the final four-team round the Brazilians cruised to respective 4-1 and 6-0 victories over Ecuador and the Argentinians before making the trophy theirs with a draw against Colombia.
Strengths and style
Though they secured their latest South American crown without her, Brazil will be only too happy to have five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year winner Marta back in the fold at Canada 2015. A star of the global scene for the last decade, she will have the support of a raft of similarly seasoned performers, among them Cristiane, goalkeeper Andreia and midfielder Formiga.
A clutch of new faces has also broken into a side now coached by Oswaldo Alvarez, better known as Vadao, who sets great store by dead-ball situations and has got Brazil playing a high-octane pressing game with a high defence. On the evidence of the 2014 Copa America, his tactics are working. Brazil enjoyed 62.5 percent possession throughout the tournament and ended it as the highest scorers with 22 goals. A Canarinha also had the tightest defence, conceding only three goals.
With more than 20 years’ coaching experience behind him in men’s football with the likes of Vitoria, Sao Caetano, Goias and Ponte Preta, Vadao took charge of the Brazilian women’s team in April 2014. During his extensive career the 58-year-old has played a part in the emergence of players such as Rivaldo and has unearthed talents of the calibre of Kaka. In taking on his latest assignment, he has the not-insignificant task of leading Brazil to a long-awaited world title at Canada 2015 and then inspiring a golden campaign at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.
FIFA Women's World Cup record
- Brazil have never failed to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- With a record of five defeats in six games, the Brazilians were eliminated in the group phase in their first two appearances, at China 1991 and Sweden 1995. They fared far better at USA 1999, taking third place thanks to the inspirational efforts of Sissi, who collected the adidas Golden Ball.
- Brazil’s best performance in the world finals to date came at China 2007, where they finished runners-up, an achievement followed by quarter-final exits at USA 2003 and Germany 2011.
What they said
“Marta is just as important to us as Neymar is to the men’s team,” Vadao, Brazil coach