Loss to France puts pressure on Menezes

BY foxsports • February 10, 2011

Brazil's latest setback against France has put some pressure on coach Mano Menezes.

Menezes is hearing from critics for the first time since taking over the national team after the World Cup, thanks to Wednesday's 1-0 loss that extended Brazil's winless streak against the French to six matches. France has beaten Brazil four times since 1992, drawing two other matches.

It was the second consecutive loss for Menezes, and the second to a top rival. Brazil fell 1-0 to Argentina before facing the French.

"Mano loses second classic in a row," read a headline at the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper on Thursday. "Selecao shows disorganization, fails to create scoring chances and is overcome by France again less than three months after loss to Argentina."

The loss to Argentina last year was not enough to put a lot of pressure on Menezes, however, because his team played well and lost only after a last-minute goal by Lionel Messi. In addition, Brazil was coming off three straight victories at the time.

"It's always tough to lose," Menezes said. "We are not used with the Brazilian national team losing like this."

Menezes began his stint with Brazil beating the United States 2-0, Iran 3-0 and Ukraine 2-0 in friendlies last year. He replaced Dunga as coach after Brazil was eliminated by the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa.

Brazil was outplayed by the French on Wednesday, thanks in part to the ejection of Brazil midfielder Hernanes in the 40th minute.

"The ejection played a significant role," Menezes said. "Things changed in the second half because we were a man down."

Karim Benzema scored France's winner in the 54th.

Two of Brazil's losses to the French came in World Cups, a 1-0 result in the quarterfinals of the 2006 tournament in Germany and a 3-0 rout in the 1998 final, also at the Stade de France.

"Routine," read a front-page headline in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Brazil's largest.

Brazil will play two matches in Europe in March, but the opponents have not been announced yet.

Menezes only called up players from European clubs for Wednesday's match against France.

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