Zico voices Brazil concerns
16 July 2014, 22:29
Rio De Janeiro - Former Brazil international Zico has highlighted what he
believes are the reasons for his country's below-par performance at the World
The South American nation is the most successful World Cup
team, having claimed five titles between 1958 and 2002.
Heading into the 2014 edition of the tournament,
expectations were as high as ever as Brazil had claimed the Confederation Cup
the year before with a 3-0 victory over defending champions Spain in the final.
However, they were dumped out of this year's tournament in
humiliating fashion as they slumped to a 7-1 defeat at the hands of eventual
winners Germany in the semi-finals.
And, their misery was compounded just days later as they
were defeated 3-0 by the Netherlands, who claimed a third-placed finish as a
Zico believes the main reason why Brazil performed poorly is
because Brazilian clubs are selling their talented young players to their
He told the Economic Times: "The biggest problem is
that Brazil has become an exporter of football talent.
"The clubs from Europe take away all the talent from
"Brazilian boys as young as 14 and 15 are now based in
Europe. They spend their best years in Europe and come back to Brazil when they
are past their prime.
"This has destroyed local clubs and championships.
Unless we stop the talent from leaving the country in such huge numbers at such
a young age, we can't revive football in Brazil."
While some may be left pondering where BRazil go from here,
Zico has offered up some sage advice for Brazilian football administrators.
He added: "The first thing I would do if I was chief of
the CBF would be to call a closed-door meeting of all football clubs, coaches
and academies and ask them what they need.
"The CBF doesn't give money to local clubs and they are
forced to sell their players to the Europeans to make money.
"We also need to pay attention to football academies
and schools and nurture talent at the grassroots level.
"Today, it's a shame that the national side doesn't
have a single player from Rio, which has produced so many legends, and there
are so many players in the team who have never played for a Brazilian