Brazil's Menezes says Spain is the new benchmark
Spain have surged ahead of Brazil to become the new benchmark for world football, and the only way to make up ground on the world and European champions is to follow their example and adopt a long-term approach, coach Mano Menezes said.
Menzes, however, dismissed the idea that the five-times world champions would copy Spain by playing without a recognised striker, pointing out that the number nine shirt was part of Brazilian football culture.
"It's a different type of football, they have worked on it for years and found their way of doing things," Menezes said of Spain. "Before they became successful, they prepared hard and were already winning matches." "It's obvious that there is a distance between them and us. We have started afresh in Brazil." "The champions are always a benchmark and Spain are outlining the way football is played in the world. They make the rules today in the way Brazil have done in the past," he added.
"Nobody can take on Spain on equal terms." Menezes also dismissed suggestions the Spanish passing game had become dull to watch.
"If they can beat everyone playing this way, it's up to the others to find a way of overcoming it," he said.
"Lots of teams have played possession-based football in the past, but in the way they do and the way that they keep the ball, nobody has done that." Brazil have drifted away from their swaggering, attacking style over the last few years, opting for a more physical and direct approach which reached its zenith under Dunga at the last World Cup.
Brazil's quarterfinal exit at the hands of the Netherlands in 2010 prompted a reaction against that type of play and Menezes decided it was time to implement a new philosophy.
"We mustn't copy Spain, we have to study how to play against them," said Menezes.