Goncalves (The fundamentals of Brazilian football):

Page 173:

“Brazilian football is a national philosophy.

Whatever the age or level of player, he plays:

  • with the same „style”,

with the same “technical repertory” and

  • the same „tactical concept.”

Page 97:

“When we see a Brazilian team play,

1) – the first thing we notice is at what a high level the individual player’s technical skill is,

2) – the second thing is perhaps is how they are able to attract or gather several players around the ball,  as defenders, as forwards, and  

3) – the third thing probably is some of the characteristics of their play, such as how often the lateral wing defenders drive and push running attacks down the flanks.”

In summary:

  • Unified philosophy of play
  • Unified STYLE, „technical repertory” being employed in a unified fashion, which we will henceforth call „Style technique”
  • Unified TACTICAL CONCEPT, which we will henceforth call „Playing concept
  • High level of ball control
  • Outnumbering opponents in the vicinity of the ball. In other words, during the course of the Brazilians’ play, there is no fixed position, because the players position themselves with reference to the ball. European play organization most often is focussed on the principle of „even/equal distribution of forces on the field”, while the Brazilians: „the decisive advantage, at the decisive moment at the decisive place” principle is applied.

The development of Brazilian football:

  • Until the 1966 World Cup: the results were a product of the Brazilian style and the individual abilities of the players. The result of the 1966 WC, failure for Brazilian football. After this time, the soul searching for answers for this crisis begins.
  • From the 1970 World Cup – and onward: New Brazilian element: playing without the ball and seeking open spaces
  • From the 1978 World Cup: New Brazilian element: the concept of counter attacks via the winger backs, as well as the constant movement and interaction in the midfield
  • From the 1994 World Cup: New Brazilian element: well organized defense
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