By Basil Afoni

www.lions4life.com takes a closer look at the Brazilian “Joga Bonito” play style as they will confront the Lions on June 23, at the Estadio Nacional Brasilia.

The Brazilians will be backing on their age old playing style, “Joga Bonito”. Joga Bonito is all about the fast paced, exciting, powerful and highly skilled football playing style.

Here the players are individually skilled in majestic level, and together they combine to create new attacking formations.

The key objective is to outscore the opponents by a large margin by playing imaginative, courageous and a breathtaking brand of football.

They will definitely be using their 4-2-3-1system. It may seem defensive to the eyes, it is quite a flexible formation, as both the wide players and the full-backs join the attack.

In defence, this formation is similar to either the 4–5–1. It is used to maintain possession of the ball and stopping opponent attacks by controlling the midfield area.

This formation is used especially when a playmaker is to be highlighted. The variations of personnel used on the flanks in this set-up include using traditional wingers, inverted wingers or wide midfielders.

Sometimes, the Samba Boys, as they are fondly called, also used the 4–2–2–2 or the “Magic Rectangle or Square” as it is popularly known. The “Magic Rectangle” is formed by combining two box-to-box midfielders with two deep-lying forwards across the midfield.

This provides a balance in the distribution of possible moves and adds a dynamic quality to midfield play. This formation was first showcased to the world in 1982.

Felipe Scolari is also the master of the 3-5-2 formation. This is the system he turned to in order to win the 2002 World Cup.

With this system, the wing-backs will be more dangerous as they will be the ones to animate the game from the flanks as they are given that privilege to move forward thereby causing a situation of numerical advantage up-front.

With Dani Alves and Marcelo likely to be occupying the laterals, they will pose a problem to the Lions wingers who are not mobile to stop them.

The Brazilians are powerful when it comes to attacking and central talents, but very few “true” wingers. As a result of this, they will be penetrating through the central axis where they are more powerful.

Their age old tradition of playing with attacking laterals is also a cause for concern. They have the energetic Ramires, steady Fernandinho, mobile Oscar, among others, to cause trouble in the midfield.

Opening the pitch up is crucial in the Brazilian game-plan, which as always makes the full-backs key attacking weapons.

Marcelo, Dani Alves will look to fulfill the role made famous in previous generations by Cafu and Roberto Carlos, and become the keys to open the rival defence.

Dante, Thiago Silva and David Luiz inject a defensive solidity to a position that’s often been a weakness in the team, and this will allow the rest of the squad to push forward looking for goals.

The 5-time winners of the World Cup, and of course hosts, Brazil are fully expected to progress to the second round.

Not only do the side have the home advantage, the quality within the squad is impeccable, with players such as Neymar, Hulk, Ramires, Dani Alves and Thiago Silva – just a few of the names which will strike fear into the hearts of opponents.

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