The back three and midfield two were functional, destructive players. In front of a back three that used a libero.
Elsewhere, the front 3 was a joy to watch, in a free-flowing 3-4-1-2ish formation that saw as wonderful an attacking trident. as the tournament has ever seen in Ronaldo (Trequartista), Rivaldo (Shadow Striker) and Ronaldinho (Advanced Playmaker). Ronaldo was the spearhead, with Rivaldo remaining in close contact, and Ronaldinho dropping deepest to collect the ball.
The wide players, Cafu and Roberto Carlos, had the luxury of playing as wing-backs rather than as full-backs, meaning they scampered forward more than ever.
Brazil’s three-man defence also worked wonderfully despite possessing the awful Roque Junior. One of the other two defenders, usually Edmilson, played as a sweeper with license to bring the ball forward from the back, which produced this wonderful goal against Costa Rica.
The team was predicated on this teak-tough core, with Cafu and Roberto Carlos getting up and down, defending and attacking, and with a truly exceptional attacking trident of Ronaldinho, Rivaldo or Denilson, and Ronaldo. Get the ball to those lads, keep the rest of the pitch tight, and the World Cup is your oyster.
Tactically, international teams can never get that familiar with anything, due to lack of training time with however you set the side up. It’s an annoyance, but with the players available to the Selecão it’s not too much of an issue.
The team is set up like this: