- Guilherme Dalla Dea reflects on the Brazil U-17s’ friendly victories
- The coach hails ‘extremely talented’ No10 Reinier
- Dalla Dea discusses the boost of Brazil’s Copa America conquest
Brazil was in need of a lift as it prepares to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Guilherme Dalla Dea and pupils delivered it in the form of two rousing performances and victories – 2-0, thanks to a Talles Magno brace, and 4-1 – over a stellar Paraguay side also set to compete among the global elite from late-October.
“We’ve been working hard since the South American Championship,” Dalla Dea told FIFA.com. “We didn’t manage to qualify for the Hexagonal, but I think we revived the feeling of victory in these two matches. That is what we were missing – to play in a stadium, play with our supporters behind us.
“I think we put in two great performances. We have two more friendlies in August and September to potentialise our players emotionally, regain confidence in playing well and go for positive results.”
Dalla Dea attributes the U-17s’ return to form to the senior Seleção restoring the feel-good factor into Brazilian football at this month’s Copa America.
“Without doubt it was very important for us,” he said. “The senior Seleção bring, to all of us, a really positive energy. Even more so with this title, with the excellent work of professor Tite and his coaching staff.
“They showed not just the players, but the coaching staff too that we are on the right path. We will have difficulties, but we know, emotionally, that we have won this title, the Copa America, in Brazil.
“And it got the supporters behind the [Brazilian national] teams. Our people will be fundamental at this U-17 World Cup, supporting us like they did in this game. We were losing, but they got behind us and we came back to win 4-1. The fans were fundamental in this victory.”
Another fundamental factor in Brazil’s victories over Paraguay was their No10. Reinier, who dazzled at the South American U-17 Championship, was at his swashbuckling best.
“He’s the captain, which is something that means a lot to me," explained Dalla Dea. "He’s extremely talented. He’s very committed to playing for the Seleção Brasileira, he gets satisfaction playing for our country. I firmly believe we’ll see him playing at a very high level overseas or here in Brazil for the senior Seleção.
“I see him as a ten – a Rai, a Kaka. I see these characteristics in Reiner. He likes getting in the box, scoring goals. He scores goals from outside the box, like he did in the South American Championship against Paraguay and Colombia.
“I have so much belief in this player. He’s a kid, a youngster, but he's very level-headed and because of this he’s our captain.”
Brazil begin their 17th U-17 World Cup – they share the appearance record with USA – against Canada, before facing New Zealand and Angola in Group A. Dalla Dea isn’t taking their opponents lightly.
“Football nowadays is so balanced,” he warned. “Canada, New Zealand and Angola are teams that qualified for the world finals, so we must be very cautious.
“I believe they come from different schools of football. Canada have a style that’s very much like USA’s. Angola are versatile, fast. And New Zealand come from the school of playing a very compressed game.
“We know what hurdles we will face, but we also know where we can look to exploit strategically in order to qualify. We’ll take it step by step.”