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Christian Schäfer - Der Professor

Can the librarian from Dresden revolutionise football?
Started on 3 April 2016 by Justice
Latest Reply on 25 June 2018 by Justice
Good stuff Justice! Going all the way ;)
You shut the Aussies up for sure :P
Dominant performance but remember just one loss could lead to you losing your job... it is Brazil after all!
Can only imagine you had to reload several times before beating the footballing powerhouse that is Australia...... :P
Atoobie, thank you! :)
ScottT, for now perhaps :P
Griffo, yes that is always a worry, but such is the case when you're in charge of any reputable side :P
C.J.Lippo, of course... it's not like Brazil have top players like Neymar, Coutinho, Oscar, etc.... ;)
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Copa América Perfect Time For New Stars?

Brazil's Newest Striker Cebolinha Scored Three Goals In First Two Games


With the Copa América squads due to be announced in twenty-five days time, many questions have been asked over who Christian Schäfer will call up to the Brazil side. A number of players made their debuts for Brazil in March's fixtures, adding to the selection dilemma which the Germany-born manager already faced, with the Brazil supporters expected to want a new, fresh side for the upcoming tournament.

One player who is certain to be called up is Internacional striker Cebolinha. The twenty-four year old impressed in his first two games for Brazil against Australia and DR Congo, scoring three times over the two games. The 198 cm tall forward will look to contest the striker's spot with fan-favourite Wesley Santos, who scored the winner, on his debut, in the most recent Superclásico against Argentina.

Pameiras defender Carlinhos and Fluminense midfielder Mosca are both expected to be included in the squad, having both made their debuts for Brazil during the March international window. Both players have impressed over the last year and will look to add a refreshing new look to the squad. Another new face expected to be included in the squad is goalkeeper Zulu, who kept a clean sheet against Australia on his debut in March.

With a high number of new faces expected to be involved, the futures of the more experienced players have come under scrutiny. Captain Neymar has surpassed his 31st birthday and while he is certain to feature in the Copa América, a World Cup appearance in three years time could be under question. Oscar, Philippe Coutinho, Casemiro and Felipe Anderson have all reached their thirties, and may make way for a new wave of Brazil players for the future, while Roberto Firmino (31) has not been included in the Brazil squad too often recently.

Christian Schäfer has experimented tactically over the last couple of international windows, and many different line-ups have been seen. However, it is likely that a tactic involving just three defenders will be seen, as seems to be the case in most games with the German in charge. Some might call his tactics unorthodox, but they have produced results so far, with Brazil keeping a 100% win record with Christian Schäfer in charge.

Who will make the trip to the Copa América? Will Oscar, Coutinho & Co. keep their places? Or will the latest hot prospects break in to the side?

Previous Update: #27 - New Boys Run Riot In Brazil Victories
Next Update: #29 - Brazil Squad: Copa América 2023
198 cm tall striker? Yum
Feliks, yum indeed :P
Next Pele imo
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Brazil Squad: Copa América 2023

Experienced Squad Called Up For Copa América


Christian Schäfer has named his final squad for the upcoming Copa América tournament in Ecuador, and there weren't too many surprises when the squad sheet was officially released. Strikers Cebolinha and Wesley Santos received their debut tournament call-ups as expected, while defenders Carlinhos and Fernandes made the cut with just four international caps between them. Neymar (139 caps) could break Cafú's record of 143 caps during the upcoming tournament.

Brazil's squad is certainly a relatively old one, with an average age of 27.13. The influx of new players in the squad has seen the average caps per player reduced significantly to a meager 33, but this will increase, of course, as the tournament progresses. Schäfer's team is a tall one, with an average height of 184cm. This interesting statistic could see Schäfer's side look to take advantage of set-piece play, where height plays an important role.

Key Players

Neymar will certainly be expected to lead his country to glory this summer in the Copa América. Capped 139 times, the Brazil captain has scored 94 international goals. Following a successful double-winning season with FC Barcelona, where Neymar helped his side lift the league and cup, the thirty-one year old will be looking to win his first ever international tournament. This may be his last serious chance of being a key player for Brazil in a major competition, with the next tournament being the World Cup in 3 years time, when Neymar will be 34 years old.

Vice-captain Marquinhos will be expected to perform in the Copa América too. The twenty-nine year old broke his leg in last year's World Cup and will be looking to bounce back in the upcoming tournament. The Paris Saint-Germain captain helped his side to third place in Ligue 1 this season, and lifted the cup under Pep Guardiola. The central defender is in the peak of his playing powers and if Brazil are to mount a serious challenge for the title, they will need a secure defence to repel opposition attacks.

Thiago Maia has become one of Brazil's most consistent performers in recent years and the holding midfielder will be looking to add a major international trophy to his cabinet. At the age of twenty-six, Maia has plenty of competitions left to play but will be looking to leave a legacy of success starting with this summer's Copa América.

Time is running out for Philippe Coutinho to win a major competition, for club or for country. At the age of thirty, Coutinho's trophy success in the last twelve years amounts to three FA Cups and three Community Shields with Liverpool. The attacking midfielder will look to contest a starting spot with Oscar, as this is expected to be his last major tournament in the yellow of Brazil.

Cebolinha is the seemingly the new star of Brazilian soccer, having scored three goals in his first two games for the Seleção. The 198 cm tall striker has pace, power, height and great awareness, as well as technical abilities to match. The twenty-four year old of Internacional has been in terrific form this season, scoring 15 times in 21 appearances. Can he be the man to shot Brazil's way to glory?

Warm Up Fixture

We play one warm-up fixture against USA at the Allianz Parque in São Paulo before the competition begins. This fixture will give the players an opportunity to impress one last time before the big games begin. Hopefully nobody gets injured in the build-up to the Copa América and all goes to plan.

Previous Update: #28 - Copa América The Perfect Time For New Stars?
Next Update: #30 - Schäfer: No Pressure On Players
You have me wanting to start an international save... the one thing I don't like about international saves is working out a squad from thousands of players, what is your selection process for each squad?
Griffo, well the best piece of advice you can get is from your assistant manager. He'll suggest what he believes to be the best squad you can call up before each international window so I take all of these players in to consideration. To this list, I add players I've called up before and players in the national pool who have been playing well for their club in recent times. Alongside this, I look at the league of the nation (Brazil, in my case) to see if I can find any players not in the national pool who have been performing well and could offer something to the team.

Then begins the whittling process.... I take out all the players who don't fit my style of play for the country, and then I pick the best 17/18 players. This leaves 5/6 slots, where I can decide on trying out new talent or look to add versatility (in a positional sense), or any other criteria which I feel would be important for the upcoming games. That's it really :P
This story is amazing <3 You're a great writer... I'm jealous.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Schäfer: No Pressure On Players

Schäfer Claims Brazil Players Are Pressure-Free Ahead of Copa América

Christian, the Copa América is almost upon us. How excited are you?

Christian Schäfer: "This is what I came to Brazil for; to be able to compete in tournaments of this magnitude. Of course I am very excited to be involved in one of the most competitive events of world football and every moment as manager of Brazil in the coming weeks will be an absolute pleasure, and a true honour."

Having not won a major competition in sixteen years now, is there an increased sense of pressure among the players?

Christian Schäfer: "No. Not at all. The players have been nothing short of fantastic in each and every game we have played in the last year. Everybody knows just how well we can perform when we hit top gear, and we are aware of our own abilities too. The players have shown a great deal of commitment and a top-notch work ethic every time we have come together and I could not be more proud of them. They are happy to be playing in a major tournament and there is no pressure on them, because all the pressure is on me. I am responsible for performances so whatever weight may be on the players' shoulders, I take that load. That is my responsibility."

Is there any news from the training camp regarding the players? Any injuries?

Christian Schäfer: "Yes, unfortunately. Zulu (GK) fractured his ribs and won't play any part in the Copa América. We've had to call up Felipe from Atlético Mineiro as a replacement. He has never played for Brazil but he will have his opportunity to impress against the United States in our warm-up game. He kept thirteen clean sheets in twenty appearances so far this season so he has been performing very well.

Unfortunately there have been a couple of other injuries. Fernandes (DC) sprained his ankle and will probably miss the entire group stage of the competition. If we play in the knock-out stages, he should be available to play some part in the tournament. Thiago Maia (DM) picked up a hernia during a weights session and will be on the sidelines for three or four weeks. We will not rush him back in to action but we hope that he will play some part in the tournament, if we reach the latter stages."

Your tactical approach since becoming Brazil manager has caused somewhat of a stir. Can you give us an insight in to what we can expect from your side?

Christian Schäfer: "We have played with three defenders in every game so far with great results, and so you can expect to see three defenders in my starting line-ups. Beyond our back line, we can play in a number of different ways. We can play with one striker, or two. We can play very narrow, very wide, or something in between. We can stack the midfield, or go search for goals. We can protect our defence, or we can harass the opposition's back line. The versatility in our tactical approach is something which we value highly and can make us almost unpredictable at times."

Christian Schäfer's Brazil Side Has Won Every Game With The German In Charge

Your former team Dynamo Dresden endured a disappointing season. How do you rate their performances under Thomas Tuchel?

Christian Schäfer: "It is fair to say that this season has been a difficult one for Dynamo. Finishing sixth in the Bundesliga just isn't good enough following three successive league titles. The Champions League performance was poor, getting knocked out of the group stage.

However, you have to consider that this is Dynamo's first season with a new manager, and it has not been easy for Thomas Tuchel to come in and work with a set of players which he did not put together himself. Tuchel is a fantastic manager and I believe that the future of Dynamo is bright under him. As a Dynamo fan, I hope that he can reach some major finals and win plenty of silverware in the future."

Where do you see yourself after the Copa América? You have been heavily linked with the vacant Ajax post. Do you have any interest in this role?

Christian Schäfer: "Wow, I am linked with Ajax? They are a truly massive club with a terrific history. I am quite flattered to be linked with them but for now my focus is solely on the Copa América. I don't know where I will be after the summer, but I am not thinking about it. We will compete in the Copa América and after our involvement is over, I will sit down with Ronaldo and Romário, the co-presidents of the Brazilian Football Association, and discuss my future with Brazil."

Do you have ambitions to win the World Cup with Brazil in three years time?

Christian Schäfer: "It is every manager's dream to win the World Cup. It is the one competition that unites the entire world of football, and lifting the trophy would crown you as the king of football. But as I said before, I'm not thinking about my future with Brazil beyond the Copa América just yet. For now, my focus is solely on what lies ahead of us."

Thank you for your time, Christian, and I wish you the best of luck for the upcoming fixtures.

Previous Update: #29 - Brazil Squad: Copa América 2023
Next Update: #31 - Neymar Goal Decides Dominant Performance
Interesting times, cant wait to see if Christian pushes on for the World Cup or is tempted back to club management! Before that though, best of luck in the Copa!

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