Saturday, 21 May 2011

Brasileirão In Focus: Internacional

O Colorado, the other big side in Rio Grande do Sul state and the reigning Copa Libertadores champions. Inter had a pretty good campaign last season, but one that was mainly focused on pursuing other trophies (Copa Libertadores then the Club World Cup). As we remember their Club World Cup campaign did not go well at all. They rested their top players for more or less the whole second half of the Brasileirão in preparation, and then they were embarrassed by TP Mazembe in the semi-finals.

They have had a mixed start to 2011, they were eliminated in the second round of the Copa Libertadores by Peñarol, but they strolled to victory in the Campeonato Gaúcho. There was some activity in the transfer market, wonderkid Giuliano was sold to Dnipro in Ukraine, also centre-forward Alecsandro left to join Vasco. Some improvements were made, in particular, defensive midfielder Mario Bolatti who was signed from Fiorentina and has slotted straight in to the first team.

The big story at Internacional has been the meteoric rise of young centre forward Leandro Damião. Last season, he could not get in to the first team, but since Alecsandro’s departure he was given a chance up front on his own. Damião performed superbly, racking up tons of goals and earning a call-up to the national team in the process. A really excellent young striker, he has presence, awareness, and he can play with his back to goal, something that is so important for lone strikers.

O Colorado play a 4-2-3-1 formation, Nei and Kléber provide width from fullback, and Andrezinho and Oscar do the same in the attacking midfield trio. Andres D’Alessandro slots in as the playmaker, often drifting around left and right, and Leandro Damião is the lone target man up top.

They still have a great squad and will surely be in with a chance of winning the league, especially without Copa Libertadores or any other tournament to distract them. You get the feeling that after years of great performances on the continental stage, the Internacional fans would love to see their team pursue their fourth national championship.

Expected formation:
football formations


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