Gabigol and Tite reacted today (4) to the criticism suffered in the game against Chile, last Thursday. One of the most popular discussions between analysts and fans since the match is about the striker’s position in the Brazilian team, with supposedly less freedom than he has at Flamengo. According to the attacker himself, the claim is not true, because their functions would be similar in both contexts.
The No. 9 of the national team in the Qatar World Cup Qualifiers spoke about the topic in a question that contextualized his participation in Everton Ribeiro’s goal: positioned as the wing on the right, Gabigol induced with a pass the offensive advance of right-back Danilo, who infiltrated in Chile’s defense and played to the middle of the area. Everton passed to Neymar, but Claudio Bravo made the save. On the rebound, the midfielder scored the winning goal. Gabigol was inside the area, but only participated in the origin of the play.
“Of course there’s the player’s intuition, but things are coached, we receive many videos and there’s a lecture. I knew that there was a space that I could take advantage of, so I was able to hold the ball and saw Danilo’s passing, who does it like nobody, and we managed to create the goal play. At Flamengo and here [na seleção] I have the same freedom to float not only within the area, but also on the right side where I like to play. I was able to make the move, help my teammates, and I was very happy for Everton’s goal,” said the forward.
Gabigol has 13 games and only three goals for the national team, a number far below what Flamengo boasts. This year, by way of comparison, he is the biggest goalkeeper in Brazilian football with 35 goals scored. According to coach Tite, it would be wasteful to leave the player as a center forward without mobility in the national team:
When you were asking the question I wrote down the word ‘freedom’. Because we follow Gabi at Flamengo, at Santos, in the matches against him, and he is a player who needs room to move. If it’s to have Gabigol only as the front pivot, I’ll take out his best features. This freedom of movement, but with the presence of an area to be the goal-man, yes. But having that freedom. It’s not the whole field, it’s center-right, where he feels best. And from that, the presence of an area, but with the athlete’s creative freedom.”
In Everton Ribeiro’s own goal, Gabigol participated in the construction of the play and threw himself into the area to submit if there was a chance. The next challenge for shirt 9 will be tomorrow (5), at 4 pm, at Neo Química Arena, against Argentina.
Read other responses from Gabigol:
Brazil x Argentina
“It’s very special for all of us, we’ve always dreamed of wearing this shirt and playing a game of this size. It will be a great game, we hope we deserve to win, as the teacher always says. Firstly, play well, and then leave the stadium to celebrate. There are many great players involved, it’s great to be in a game like this. It’s indisputable to talk about the quality of Ney and Messi, but we are there to help with attacking plays. We try to play a lot in groups and the individual quality will show up if the group is fine.”
Matching the selection
“Of course it’s different, at the club we have daily life, we get to know each other. Particularly I’ve been playing in the same team for three years, it’s obvious that there’s a difference. But even with little training we’re improving, gaining sequence and individual quality helps a lot. Little by little we help each other on the field.”
Does lawn matter?
“It’s another game, honestly. In Chile we had a few moves that the lawn messed up a little, you have to dominate the ball two, three times and lose time, to dribble defender you gain time with a good field, the ball doesn’t bounce in the finish. it’s very good to play on a good field, you get excited, the quality of the teams increases. It’s strange to talk about that, which should be the basics in football. People say a lot in Brazil that the game is slow, but it’s difficult to make faster moves. “