At the 1994 World Cup, several nations arrived as favourites. Italy come in full force to lift the golden trophy in July. However, a new generation of Brazilians will stand in their way. Brave and powerful Brazil overcame Squadra Azzurra on penalties in the final (0-0).
Check out the winning eleven in the form of a typical Seleção 4-3-3.
To start, already a legend in the bars. Claudio Taffarel has kept a real trace in common memories in Brazil. Already heroic throughout the competition, he had a leading role in the final.
During the penalty session, Taffarel repelled three perfectly placed penalties. Three magical moments that offered the coronation to his country.
Jorginho was one of the indisputable holders of the competition. As a right-back, his dominance was total in many areas of the game.
However, his final was quickly stopped due to a leg injury. After 21 minutes, Jorginho had to make way for Cafu, a 24-year-old prodigy at the time.
At the end of his career, Aldair became a defensive part of his selection. However, the Brazilian international was already at a high level during his long spell at AS Roma (1990-2003).
Clean recovery and intervention, Aldair had made people forget his small size of 1m82 sometimes causing problems. At the start of the competition, however, he was on the bench.
Marcio Santos had established himself as a great Brazilian defender. A 1m87 control tower capable of surging to a duel in a flash. Sadly, he was only remembered as the player who missed Brazil’s only penalty by taking the first shot.
Santos was playing at Bordeaux at the time of the World Cup and was scouted by Fiorentina at the time of the competition.
Branco was a very restless left-back and very feared by the opposing defenses. His incessant activity earned him several ovations from the Brazilian public. His crazy goal offered victory against the great Netherlands in the quarter-finals (2-3).
In the final, the back of Fluminense did not shake when converting his penalty. An exceptional left leg always at the service of the system and the collective.
Dunga was a hard-hitting midfielder the likes of which are few. The captain of Brazil 1994 had understood that it was also necessary to withdraw defensively in modern football. A collective player capable of hitting, distributing caviars and attacking the ball carrier.
Dunga did not achieve a great World Cup, replacing Rai until the round of 16, in the statistics but much more on the tactical aspect. He shot and converted his penalty into the final with ease. We understand better his conversion as a coach.
Mauro Silva forfeits Dunga the pair of defensive impossible to pierce. The Brazilian international was just as important as his team-mate with a slightly more attacking role at times.
The one and the other exchanged places in a low point and made a big defensive rotation. This allowed them to have conceded no goal in the last four.
Zinho hasn’t scored a single goal in the competition. His place in the eleven was often disputed given his unclear contribution to the team as the competition progressed.
The Brazilian league star has provided just two assists in seven games. A voluntary player, but not very visible even in the final.
Mazinho had a special role. The Brazilian international was between left winger and defensive midfielder… Above all, he was asked to contain the attacks on the sides and to bring in some quality crosses.
His mastery of depth opened the doors to him for the titular team for this competition. He did not come out clearly by any fact of play. Mazinho did not play again in selection after the 1994 final.
Everything rested on Bebeto and his teammate Romario. In pairs, they had to combine and find the spaces between the lines. The Deportivo La Coruña striker scored three goals during this tournament, including the crucial one against the host country, the United States in the quarter-finals (1-0).
Bebeto was a powerful and intelligent pyrotechnician who shone during this World Cup. Her celebration against the Netherlands with her arms under the jersey imitating a pregnant woman has gone down in history.
Romario left its mark on 1994. The FC Barcelona star scored 5 goals in the World Cup, including the victory in the semi-final against Sweden (1-0). Technical and hard-hitting, the Brazilian international found a much better quality of finish that year.
He was voted MVP of the tournament and player of the year ahead of Roberto Baggio. It is the first South American to receive such an award in history (the award was created in 1991). Romario was only 1m67 but his talent was immense. Obviously, he transformed his penalty in the final.