After another disappointing performance against a high-profile opponent, Brazil fans are growing frustrated with their national team.
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Fans jeered the players following a lackluster 0-0 draw with the Netherlands in a friendly in the central city of Goiania on Saturday. The result keeps coach Mano Menezes winless against top teams, including France and south American rival Argentina.
Menezes set out to prepare the team for the upcoming Copa America, but fans were expecting to see Brazil avenge its elimination by the Dutch in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup.
Brazil controlled possession but was not able to pose too many threats, and the few times it pressed forward it failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul had a good match in his debut with the Dutch squad and stopped Brazil every time it got in position to score.
”It’s sad to be jeered like that,” Brazil striker Neymar said. ”But the fans came out to see goals and to see Brazil win. We had our chances but just couldn’t get the ball into the net.”
The nearly 30,000 fans at the Serra Dourada stadium entered the match expecting goals from Neymar and other stars such as Robinho, but as the game progressed they started to react negatively. The boos became even louder after the final whistle.
The Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Brazil’s largest, said on its front page Sunday that the match put fans to sleep, while the Diario de S. Paulo said Brazil succeeded only in attracting criticism.
Menezes replaced coach Dunga after Brazil’s 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in South Africa. He began his job preparing Brazil to host the 2014 World Cup with victories in friendlies against the United States, Iran and Ukraine, but the five-time world champions were not able to show any poise when they began playing against better teams.
Brazil lost 1-0 to both Argentina and France before a 2-0 victory over Scotland in its last friendly leading into Saturday’s match against the Dutch.
”The fans want to see Brazil win,” said goalkeeper Julio Cesar, a starter at the 2010 World Cup. ”But (Menezes’) work is just beginning, it’s too early.”
Julio Cesar was one of four players released from the squad ahead of the friendly against Romania on Tuesday, a match which will mark the farewell for retired striker Ronaldo from the national team. The Brazilian football federation said the players – including Barcelona’s Daniel Alves, AC Milan’s Thiago Silva and Chelsea’s Ramires – were given a break because they were physically exhausted.
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