Fabio Capello believes Brazil were only able to beat Spain in the Confederations Cup Final thanks to “the lesson from Italy.”
The Russia Coach was impressed by both nations in the tournament last month, a warm-up for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil won the Final 3-0.
“The big question was how Brazil were going to take on a Spain side that everyone knows very well but have found difficult to stop,” he told FIFA.com.
“The most interesting thing was the way in which the Brazilians won the ball back in midfield and prevented the Spanish from getting their usual 65 per cent possession.
“I think Italy also showed the way in the semi-finals. They played with three defenders and that unsettled the Spanish, mainly because they closed down the space in midfield, fought hard for possession and avoided playing long balls.
“That’s why La Roja suffered and it allowed other Coaches to see how they might be beaten. Felipão likes to do his homework and I’m sure he took good note of that.”
Meanwhile, Capello also recognised Brazil’s pressing game in midfield from his time at Milan.
“It was an innovation back then, when the custom was for forwards not to do any pressing. Obviously things have changed a lot and everyone does it now. In the modern game it’s virtually impossible to win if you don’t.
“I also think it’s a little absurd that people still talk about 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and all that. To my mind the modern formation is 9-1. You’ve got nine who defend and nine who attack.
“You need to have a block of players, even when you’re on the attack. You can’t have a team occupying an area of 40 or 50 metres. You just don’t see that any more. These days you have to be compact, with everyone in a maximum of 20 or 30 metres.”