Ronaldo Nazario Criticizes Brazilian Football and Expresses Hope for Future Development

In recent times, Brazil has been experiencing a period of introspection regarding their football identity, bordering on a crisis. The national team, known as Selecao, is set to wait for a year to secure the services of Carlo Ancelotti as their first-ever foreign coach, a decision that has received mixed reactions. Joining the list of critics is Real Valladolid President and legendary striker Ronaldo Nazario.

However, Ronaldo’s method of criticism took a somewhat unexpected turn. He discussed the rawness of Vinicius Junior when the young player arrived at Real Madrid.

“They didn’t prepare him well or enhance his technical skills: he didn’t know how to control the ball with his left foot! Today, after growing in Spain, he is the most influential attacker in world football.”

Vinicius was previously subjected to media mockery due to his poor finishing before his breakthrough in 2021. Ronaldo further explained why he believes it took Vinicius so long to display his best self, going beyond the natural development process of a young player.

“Vini arrived in Europe without refinement in his training. For many years, talented players who left Brazil departed as unpolished diamonds. Vinicius is a prime example. He was sold to Madrid at the age of 18 and started at Castilla. It was evident that he wasn’t fully developed yet, to the extent that everyone there thought he would be loaned out until he returned to Brazil,” Ronaldo shared on the Mano a Mano podcast, as reported by Relevo.

“Through training programs, professional methodologies, and the guidance of great coaches, he has made significant progress. He has transformed himself in the past two years. However, when he initially signed… He was playing for Flamengo. They didn’t provide him with the proper training to improve his left foot or his understanding of space and timing on the pitch. He only improved after joining Real Madrid.”

Nevertheless, Ronaldo expressed optimism about the future prospects of the five-time world champions.

“Brazil will experience a significant leap in quality in five or six years. Coaching and methodology courses have already commenced, and the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) has made substantial investments in this area. This aspect is often overlooked, perhaps due to some damage to its reputation, but it will bring about a transformation in the level of football in our country, both in terms of coaching and grassroots programs.”

Since their devastating 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, Brazil has faced elimination at the quarter-final stage twice, first against Belgium and then Croatia in penalty shootouts. Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are expected to lead the charge for Brazil to achieve better results in 2026, but they will bear the weight of the nation’s expectations on their shoulders.

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