Brazil may not have won the World Cup since 2002, but Selecao centre-back Marquinhos believes not all of his nation’s greatest generations have lifted football’s most storied prize.

No team in world football has more World Cups than Brazil (five), but the South American nation has also feted talented trophy-less teams like the class of 1982 – which featured Zico and Socrates.

Marquinhos admits that Brazil circa 2019, who won their first major trophy in 17 years at the Copa America in July, cannot yet be benchmarked among the pantheon of great Selecao sides.

But he believes that the World Cup is not the sole determinant of a team’s greatness.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of their friendlies against Senegal and Nigeria at the National Stadium this week, the 25-year-old centre-back said: “I think that right now we are not the best because we have not won the World Cup.

“But football right now is different and we are trying to get used to this moment of football.

“If we win a World Cup one day, we will put our name in history as one of the best.

“Until we win titles like the World Cup, we will not be part of this history.

“But also in Brazil, we have magical generations that didn’t win a World Cup.

“And sometimes generations that weren’t that good won the World Cup and they are (recognised) in history. Football is like this, titles are important.”

Since Brazil won their last World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Europe have usurped Brazil and their South American counterparts as the dominant force in world football.

The last four tournaments have been won by four different European nations – Italy, Spain, Germany and France.

All but one of the finalists in those tournaments hail from Europe, with Brazil’s arch-rivals Argentina losing to Germany in 2010.

When asked why South America seems to be lagging behind, Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos said the continent needs to adapt to the increasingly “defensive” nature of international football.

He said: “We South Americans cannot lose our essence, but must adapt to the moment…

“Not always the highest quality will win…

“The world of football right now is playing more like Europe, all around the world…

“Many teams are playing a defensive style. So when we see the teams in a World Cup, all of them are playing in a defensive way.

“They are more closed between the lines.

“So it’s different from the football that was played in the past.

“The focus was on attack and now the focus is on defence.

“But we need to have our own philosophy and we have to match that with the European style.”

Marquinhos was one of 11 Brazil players who arrived in Singapore yesterday morning.

The others were Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Fabinho, Eder Militao, Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro, Thiago Silva, Richarlison, Dani Alves and Neymar.


The other members of Tite’s 23-man squad will arrive today ahead of Brazil’s first match here since their 4-0 win over Japan in 2014.

The players who are here had a 90-minute training session at Kallang Football Hub yesterday afternoon.

Thiago Silva and Casemiro did not take part in training, and instead jogged around the pitch.

While it was largely a relaxed session, Brazil’s coaching staff worked individually with Marquinhos and fellow centre-back Eder Militao of Real Madrid on their long passing.

AC Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta was put through his paces with movement and shooting drills.

Brazil’s opponents on Thursday, Senegal, will arrive this afternoon with a side featuring Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli and PSG’s Idrissa Gueye.

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