Betfair ambassador Rivaldo discusses Pep Guardiola and his potential next role, the future stars of the Brazilian national team, Atletico Madrid after being knocked out of the Champions League and more…
I had the opportunity to play with Guardiola at Barcelona and to meet him in person and I have great admiration for him, as well as being one of the best coaches in the world for several years.
Even so, I don’t believe he will accept the invitation to coach the Brazilian team if it arises, and I also have some doubts if the Brazilian people will accept it well, as they have never had a foreign coach before.
In my opinion, Brazilian national team should continue 100% Brazilian since that allows the manager to have a better knowledge and understanding of everything surrounding Brazilian football and that helps in many situations.
But Pep Guardiola’s quality as a manager is not in doubt in anyway and I think that most of Brazilian people would actually like to see how things could work with a talented and offensive manager like him.
Changing coaches is normal in Brazil
Right after the 1st round of the Brasileirão, we had the departure of the coaches of Athletico PR and América Mineiro and this is something that unfortunately remains normal in Brazilian football.
When you lose, it’s always the coach who pays for it. Now, it will be very difficult for those who take over these clubs – which are playing for the Libertadores – however, it is in these critical moments that a coach can be even more valued.
Taking a team at a bad time and without much time to prepare the team in your own way is always a great challenge and whoever is good at it can gain more credibility as a coach and even take on bigger clubs in the future. In fact, it’s a good opportunity for anyone who takes on Furacao or America.
There will be an all English final in the Champions League
Man City and Liverpool are said to be favourites to win the Champions League after qualifying for the semi-finals, however, in football anything is possible and we should not underestimate the Spanish teams still in the competition, especially Real Madrid.
Villarreal has less tradition and I think it will be more difficult for them to lift the trophy. However, they have a coach with a lot of experience and have already shown that they are capable of warding off big teams like Juventus and Bayern.
Even so, I see the English teams better prepared to take the trophy along with Real Madrid, which is always a team capable of fighting for the title, or they wouldn’t be the greatest champion in the history of the Champions League.
Hulk could have a place in the Brazilian team
Looking at what Hulk has been doing with the Atletico-MG shirt since he arrived at the club, it’s clear that he still has the quality and ability to fight for a spot in the Brazilian team at the World Cup.
But I see that Tite will already have his choices for the attack almost defined. Probably, it would be only in a situation where something unforeseen happens with a player, such as getting hurt, that I could see Hulk having his chance to go to Qatar.
He has been showing some of his best football in his career and he could certainly be important in the Brazilian team at the moment, however, we need to respect the choices of the coach who certainly didn’t forget Hulk, but simply sees in other players items that he will be valuing more in a your team.
Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr are the future of the Brazilian team
In January I had already stated that I saw the two young Real Madrid strikers with the quality to make it to the Brazilian national team and claim their spot in the World Cup.
And what we’ve seen them doing in the Champions League this week only confirms that. Despite their youth, they are already performing at the highest level in the biggest club competition in the world and proving to be outstanding players.
If they manage to remain relevant in the Real Madrid squad until November, they will certainly be on Tite’s mind when it’s time to decide the final lineup of players called up.
Andreas Pereira needs to play more football
The future of Flamengo midfielder Andreas Pereira remains uncertain after Flamengo took a step back from his signing from Manchester United.
Currently, the Manchester team may already be preparing for his return, but I think he should look for a good solution that allows him to continue playing regularly.
It is certain that it will be difficult to have a place in the World Cup, however, if he wants to keep this dream alive he needs to be playing regularly in a team with visibility and Flamengo was the right place, but if that is not possible he may have to look for a solution similar to this one because I see it difficult that he can play many times at Manchester United.
Karim Benzema is in great shape for the Golden Ball
Real Madrid worked hard to eliminate European champions Chelsea and ended up achieving their goal after falling behind in the tie, however, these clashes have 180 minutes and the team still had time to reverse.
Benzema was once again crucial in the victory of his team and if the club manages to confirm the title of the Spanish league and reach the Champions League Final, the French striker will certainly be ahead in the fight for the Ballon d’Or in 2022.
He is a great player who is going through a fantastic phase in terms of confidence and that can be seen on the pitch. It is a pleasure to see Benzema performing at such a high level and Real Madrid grows with him on the pitch.
Liverpool can’t make it easy against Villarreal
At the moment, it is clear that Liverpool are favourites to eliminate Villarreal not only because of the quality of their team, but also because of their history and tradition in the Champions League.
In any case, the Spanish team has already shown that it can face any team and Jurgen Klopp’s team cannot make it easy or can end up surprised.
Simeone’s Atletico is still the same
The press is criticizing the attitude of the Atletico Madrid team at the end of the match against Manchester City, but I didn’t see this as a surprise because a team of Simeone is always a fighter and seeks these conflicts to put the game more in their own way.
Still, it was curious to see the roles reversed in the return game with Atletico Madrid looking for the goal and City losing time and defending their advantage in the end of the game in Spain.
In football, anything is possible, and seeing a Guardiola team wasting time against a Simeone team, trying to attack, is a good demonstration of it.
But Manchester City are a fair winner of the tie, especially after that first game in England in which Atletico only defended, that was very ugly and even disappointing.
I think Simeone needs to trust more in the talent of his players at times and not just stay in that 0-0 or 1-0 with the games very tied.