Under the spotlight: Brazil boss Dorival enjoys strong start after Endrick emergence

Brazil have made a promising start to life under new manager Dorival Júnior.

The journeyman coach, who has had more than 20 jobs domestically since 2002, left São Paulo in January to replace Fernando Diniz.

And he has started well, guiding his country to a 1-0 win over England at Wembley before an entertaining 3-3 draw with Spain in Madrid.

Late goals were required in both games, and the character shown suggests Dorival has had no issues motivating his players.

We’ve delved into the Twenty3 Toolbox to look at some of the emerging trends as Brazil prepare for this summer’s Copa América.

Endrick emergence

The biggest talking point after the England victory was the performance of teenage sensation Endrick.

He became the youngest player ever to score at Wembley, at just 17 years and 246 days.

The hot prospect backed up his first international goal with another in the draw with Spain, and the expectation is that he will go on to score plenty more.

Endrick will make his long-awaited big-money move to Real Madrid in the summer, having emerged as a precocious talent at Palmeiras.

And the weight of expectation is clearly not too heavy a burden for a youngster with remarkable maturity.

The Taguatinga native scored 11 goals from an xG of just 8.17 in the Brazilian Série A last year, giving Real Madrid fans and national team supporters an exciting glimpse of what might be to come.

Gutsy Gomes

This is very much a new-look Brazil team.

Dorival has been tasked with getting the best out of a youthful squad of players in what is a transitional period for one of international football’s most successful nations.

But, as ever, there is no shortage of talent to pick from.

Wolves midfielder João Gomes caught the eye on his Brazil debut against England and followed that up with another strong performance against Spain.

The 23-year-old has been superb in the Premier League this season after joining Wolves from Flamengo last year.

Gomes ranks second in the English top flight in 2023-24 for defensive duels won per 90 minutes (7.14).

Given his unique ability to repeatedly win the ball in midfield, he could become a key player under Dorival.

Talking tactics

Dorival provided a glimpse of his tactical plans in the friendlies against England and Spain.

The Seleção played in a 4-3-3 system in both games and allowed both opponents more of the ball, content to threaten on the break with the pace of Endrick, Vinícius Júnior and Raphinha.

An all-Premier League midfield three of Gomes, Bruno Guimarães and Lucas Paquetá looked particularly robust, with a nice balance of tenacity and technicality.

A new centre-back pairing of 20-year-old Lucas Beraldo and Flamengo defender Fabrício Bruno worked well against England but showed some signs of vulnerability against Spain.

Finding a consistent starting XI and a style of play that gets the best out of the talent at his disposal will be the challenge for Dorival.

Beraldo breakthrough

Beraldo is another newcomer to Brazil’s squad and showed plenty of promise in his first two appearances.

The centre-back has quickly established himself in Paris Saint-Germain’s starting XI after joining from São Paulo in January.

Despite his youth, Beraldo looked assured against England and Spain.

Capable of playing both as a centre-back and a left-back, the youngster is an excellent reader of the game.

Crucially, he is composed in possession and capable of playing out from the back, an essential quality for any defender at the top level.

PSG’s No35 ranks sixth among Ligue 1 centre-backs for completed passes per 90 minutes (63.31) and has a success rate of 90.98%.

If he can build on his encouraging start, Beraldo could make himself a fixture in Brazil’s backline.

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