Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brazil vs Netherlands: Kaka Saving His Best for the Dutch?

Brazil has to face Netherlands in their quarter final fixture on 2 June in Port Elizabeth. Given the dominant recent performance of the Dutch side, it does not seem to be an easy affair for the Brazilians who got past Chile 3-0 on Monday in their last 16 match.

Real Madrid playmaker Kaka is undoubtedly the biggest hope for Brazil, but the 28-year-old playmaker could not yet display his once clinical performance so far in the tournament. Though his performance after the opening match against North Korea improved considerably, Kaka is yet to get his full rhythm back.

Brazilian fans are expecting that Kaka would return with his top form against high-flying Netherlands. No doubt, Kaka is a big match player and won many matches for his clubs, specially AC Milan, and his country in the past. However, this time the job seems to be tougher for the attacking midfielder.

Kaka was part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning team which featured the players like Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos, but this time he has to do the job without the assistance from the players of their quality.

The 2002 squad was much more superior to the current squad in terms of talent and skill. So, it was a right move from coach Dunga to concentrate on winning matches, rather than focusing on playing their traditional beautiful football which requires the players of great talent and skill.

Brazil may have won all the matches, except the Portugal encounter, so far in the tournament and conceded only 1 goal, but their performance on the whole was not overly satisfactory. Kaka’s ordinary form did not help the Brazilians either.

So, whether Brazil would be able to dominate over the Dutch would largely depend on the performance of Kaka. He is a very important player for Dunga’s plans which feature two defensive minded midfielders in Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo. Robinho and Elano operate in the wings and provide crosses and passes for lone striker Luis Fabiano.

Playing in the middle, Kaka has a big responsibility in the build up of Brazilian attacks. He intends to create gaps and set up goals for Fabiano as well as Robinho. Kaka has a key role in breaking the opposition defense with the help of Robinho and Elano. Overall, Kaka is the center of Brazil’s attack and his performance could make a difference against Netherlands.

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