Dante's Golden Chance: Bayern Munich Defender Must Start for Brazil from Now on

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Dante's Golden Chance: Bayern Munich Defender Must Start for Brazil from Now on
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Brazil's 4-2 win over Italy was a scrappy affair in the first half, but burst into life in the second.

The opening 45 minutes accumulated an astonishing 21 fouls, four yellow cards and three injury-forced substitutions. Ignazio Abate appeared to dislocate his shoulder; Riccardo Montolivo and David Luiz limped off.

It's the latter in that sequence, David Luiz, that piqued the interest of many Selecao fans, and it's fair to say his ailment could serve as a blessing in disguise for Felipe Scolari.

Luiz's substitution paved the way for Bayern Munich central defender Dante's involvement, who entered the fray for just his fourth international cap.

Granted, the man was an incredibly late bloomer—he didn't shine until the 2011-12 season at Borussianchengladbach—but the consistency in which he's been overlooked over the past two years continues to irritate Brazilians world wide.

Felipao has been indecisive in almost every area of the pitch other than central defence, but that's one area he should in fact be tinkering with.

Dante, coming off the back of a world-class season in which he won a historic treble, should be starting defence alongside Thiago Silva at the expense of David Luiz.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Dante scores the opener, celebrations ensue

The Chelsea man has been lining up as a starter throughout Felipao's tenure despite a so-so season in which he impressed only as a holding midfielder, not a central defender.

He started against Italy with a broken nose, then came off with a yellow card and a dead leg after 34 minutes. Dante, aside from a few understandable early jitters, came on and seized his chance.

A sweeping, impressive finish at the back post made it 1-0 to the Selecao, and the Bayern defender built on that to put in a solid performance.

He committed no silly, reckless fouls like Luiz did and was never found gambling going forward and putting his line at risk. Marcelo did his best to leave him exposed as usual, but Dante coped well and cleared everything his way in his usual fashion.

Dante must continue as Silva's partner if Brazil are going to move forward, as ignoring a world-class defender in your ranks is a truly inexplicable mistake.

Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup rolls around, many would like to see Scolari experiment with a back three involving Luiz, Silva and Dante together. The current tournament is no fit place to try it, but there's merit in suggesting Luiz could thrive as a libero.

 

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