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How Brazil slumped to worst run of results in 22 years

The Brazil national team is in the midst of a horrendous run of form completely out of sync with everything great about the Selecao.

It is a nation constantly among the favourites to win each tournament they enter, even if they haven’t been a vintage side for many years now.

The 2014 World Cup on home soil was the perfect exhibit of the remarkable pressure the Brazil team operates under. Few countries, if any, support their national team more fanatically which means the highs feel incredible and the lows are extreme.

The amount of talent on display is hard to comprehend at times, but right now, that talent is not producing the necessary results.

  • How is Brazil’s 2026 World Cup qualification campaign going?

Brazil go through CONMEBOL qualification to reach World Cups, which features nine other nations – Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia – in a league table.

The top six teams go to the next World Cup, which means it is theoretically one of the simpler routes into a World Cup. The seventh-placed team face an inter-confederation play-off and the bottom three have to wait for next time.

Argentina and Brazil have historically battled to finish at the top of the group and neither have had trouble finishing in the top six. After the first six games of 2026 qualifying, Brazil are sixth and ten points behind Argentina and only two ahead of Paraguay and Chile. The lack of results is incredibly alarming and borderline embarrassing for a nation that takes these matters so seriously.

There are still 14 games left to play and Brazil should get their act together, but so far they have beaten Bolivia and Peru, drawn with Venezuela and lost to Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina.

Pos.

Team

Games Played

Wins

Draws

Losses

Goal difference

Points

1.

Argentina

6

5

0

1

+6

15

2.

Uruguay

6

4

1

1

+8

13

3.

Colombia

6

3

3

0

+3

12

4.

Venezuela

6

2

3

1

+3

9

5.

Ecuador

6

3

2

1

+2

8

6.

Brazil

6

2

1

3

+1

7

7.

Paraguay

6

1

2

3

-2

5

8.

Chile

6

1

2

3

-4

5

9.

Bolivia

6

1

0

5

-10

3

10.

Peru

6

0

2

4

-7

2

  • Defeat against Argentina leads to incredible Brazil statistics

Losing games against the likes of Colombia and Uruguay will anger Brazil fans enough, but being defeated by world champions and old rivals Argentina at the Maracana is unforgivable.

In a game blighted by violence in the stands between fans and authorities, Argentina won 1-0 with Nicolas Otamendi scoring and Joelinton receiving a red card.

The defeat ended a really horrible international window for Brazil, who registered a new historical low.

The Selecao are now winless in their last four games and have lost their last three, their worst run of form in the last 22 years. They could yet match their four-game losing streak from 2001 with their next two games coming against England at Wembley and Spain at the Bernabeu.

Remarkably, this loss to Argentina was the first time Brazil have ever lost a World Cup qualifier at a home venue. This is a record the nation was incredibly proud of and to lose it to Argentina at the Maracana will sting. It is also the first time they have lost five games in one calendar year.

  • What is going wrong for Brazil?

After the match against Argentina, some players were very vocal about what is wrong with the team right now.

Tottenham’s Emerson Royal said of interim coach Fernando Diniz: “We have a different style. It is different from what we had with Tite. It is not easy to play like that. Few teams in the world can do that. What Diniz is trying to do with Brazil is a very hard thing to do.”

There have been plenty of injuries recently, with players like Casemiro and Vinicius Junior facing periods on the sidelines. Presumably talking more about the pre-game violence rather than the game, fellow absentee Neymar said on social media: “If I were there I think I would have made some mess with them.”

Diniz was not happy with some of the ironic cheering from the Maracana crowd, saying: “Our fans chanting ‘Ole’ for Argentina when they passed the ball was a little too much. Getting bitter about the team because it is not winning is extremely understandable. We need to live with the jeers and the pressure.”

There is a clear lack of direction for Brazil right now under the interim coach while they continue to wait for Carlo Ancelotti’s time at Real Madrid to end, but there is no guarantee they will get the Italian. Throw mass injuries and a lack of quality depth in a number of positions into the mix and it is a dark patch for Brazilian football.

What we know

  • Brazil broke a number of records with defeat at home to Argentina
  • Injuries have caused interim head coach Fernando Diniz problems
  • Selecao must improve to ensure 2026 World Cup qualification.