Brazil has won more World Cup titles than any other country. Brazilians are often the most sought after players in top professional leagues in England, Italy and Spain. You'll find Brazilians playing on major teams such as AC Milan, Chelsea and Barcelona. Not only do Brazilians play with great technical command, they also possess an attractive sense of flair and invention that sets them apart. However you don't need to be a professional footballer to play like a Brazilian. Acquiring a touch of Brazilian flair can greatly improve the game of players at any level.
Develop Ball Control
It's not by accidents that Brazilians are so good as soccer. They start playing the game at a young age. Soccer is about ball control and Brazilians tend to have control that borders on mastery. If you want to play like a Brazilian you must hone your ball control skills. This means spending as much time as you can with the ball at your feet. Practice dribbling, running with the ball and shooting on target. Even if you don't have a partner you can juggle the ball or set up cone courses to dribble through.
While there is definitely a Brazilian style of play, most great Brazilian players are true originals. Take Garrincha with his seemingly unstoppable ability to dribble around opponents, or Ronaldo and his ability to create goals seemingly from nowhere. Or Ronaldinho and his knack for mesmerizing defenders with his feet. The Brazilian style is about creativity and invention. Think outside the box when you practice your moves or play in pick-up games. Work on developing some individual flair with which to dazzle your opponents. Through mastering your control of the ball you will be able to add a sense of individuality and invention to your game. Incorporate tricks like backheels, spins and Cruyff-turns into your arsenal and attempt to use them in creative ways to circumvent danger on the pitch.
Become Well Rounded
The Dutch teams of the 1970s played a kind of "total football" that lead them to being branded as the "Brazilians of Europe." This is because in Brazil, defenders score spectacular defense and forwards often track back to defend the goal. To play in the Brazilian style you want to develop a well-rounded technique that allows you to comfortably play anywhere on the pitch. Challenge yourself to play in different positions and work to develop your attacking, defending and mid-fielding skills equally.
Develop Good Cardio Fitness
Good cardiovascular fitness is the backbone of any good soccer technique. Good cardio fitness will allow you to play your best for longer periods of time. In addition to their wonderful level of skill, Brazilian players such as Maicon and Kaka have a level of strength and cardio fitness that makes them true athletes.
Stepovers are a little piece of Brazilian flair you can learn in order to confuse a defender while dribbling the ball straight at them. To perform a stepover, get the ball moving at a slow pace and in a straight line. With the ball still moving, bring your foot around the ball without touching it. Swerve your body in the direction of the stepover to throw your opponent off balance then use your other foot to simply knock the ball around your opponent who you have sent in the wrong direction.
- Photo Credit 3d-rendering brazil flag and soccer-balls image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com