Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Rotation the name of the game as the Brasileirão returns with a whimper

Before the football season, there is a break during which players rest, clubs dip into the transfer market and managers perfect tactics for the campaign ahead. It is something that European fans take for granted – a central tenet of the entire footballing calendar.

But there is no such off-season in Brazil. Many of the overblown, overlong state championships – which most right-minded players and supporters would love to see pruned back – end only a week before the national championship starts, meaning the majority of sides have only a few days to dust themselves off, say a few Hail Marys and go to work again.

As well as undermining preparations, this lack of a pause means anticipation levels never really hit the heights: without months of longing, fans tend to greet the opening rounds of Série A with a shrug. In Europe, absence makes the heart grow fonder; in Brazil, the big kick-off has all the romance of a fumble in a nightclub car park.

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