Ronaldinho has "had enough" with Brazil and refuses to support his former side at the upcoming Copa America.

The ex-Selecao star slammed Dorival Junior's side in a wide-ranging interview with Brazilian YouTube channel Cartoloucos, just 10 days before Brazil's Copa opener against Costa Rica.

Brazil have not made it past the World Cup quarter-final stages since 2002, when they won the tournament in Japan, while they finished runners-up at the last Copa after losing to rivals Argentina in the final.

The South American giants were held to a 1-1 draw with the United States in their last warm-up game on Thursday – and Ronaldinho has lost patience with his country's footballing state.

"That's it folks, I've had enough," Ronaldinho posted on Instagram, alongside a clip of his interview on YouTube. "This is a sad moment to enjoy Brazilian soccer.

"It's hard to find the mood to watch the games. This is perhaps the worst time in the last two years, no respected leaders, just average players in their majority.

"I've been following football since I was a kid, long before I thought about becoming a player, and I've never seen a situation as bad as this.

"Lack of love for the shirt, lack of grit and the most important of all: football. I'll repeat, our performance has been one of the worst things I've ever seen.

"Such a shame. I therefore declare my resignation. I will not watch any CONMEBOL Copa America game, nor celebrate any victory."

Brazil face Paraguay and Colombia in their other group games at the Copa as they aim for international glory, with or without the backing of their former global superstar.

Jamaica warmed up for the 48th edition of the Copa America with back-to-back tame displays in their World Cup qualifiers. A slender 1-0 home win over Dominican Republic was followed up with an insipid 3-2 triumph in Dominica.

It is back to the drawing board for Jamaica head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who will be chasing regional bragging rights when the leading 16 nations from the Caribbean as well as North and South America tackle the marquee tournament.

Although his ultimate goal would be for the Reggae Boyz to lift the crown in Florida on 14 July, Jamaica need to navigate themselves out of the group phases before trying to net the top prize.

The 2024 Copa America, hosted in the US from 20 June to 14 July, will feature 10 CONMEBOL members from South America and six invited countries from the North America and Caribbean CONCACAF region.

All eyes will be on Argentina, the defending champions and FIFA World Cup winners, to make it a hat-trick of trophies.

GROUP A | Argentina, Chile, Peru, Chile
Argentina hardly ever concede goals, kick-off their campaign with a star-stunned squad that includes Angel Di Maria, the legendary Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Montiel, whose spot-kick secured the World Cup final win over France.

Argentina beat both Chile (2-1) and Peru (2-0) in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Yet Peru, who failed to get a shot on target in their November tie with Messi and his mates, had held Argentina to three draws on the spin before their last encounter.

Chile, the Copa America 2016 champions Chile, have been off colour recently under veteran manager Jorge Fossati, and rely on veterans — like Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas — to add sparks.

Canada should be better than their results suggest under recently appointed head coach Jesse Marsh, who won two caps for the US. He has a plethora of talents — like Alphonso Davies, Tajon Buchanan and Jonathan David — keen to start matches on Canada’s Copa America
Prediction: 1st Argentina, 2nd Canada, 3rd Chile, 4th Peru

GROUP B | Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Jamaica

Mexico went two-and-a-half matches without scoring at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar. They brought in Jaime “Jimmy” Lozano as interim head coach for the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and after winning the top prize he was appointed on a permanent basis. Yet he is surprisingly shelving veterans for the Copa America, instead giving emerging talents an opportunity to showcase their silky skills.

This appears to be a hit and miss group with Ecuador, Jamaica and Venezuela all capable of beating understrength Mexico. However, the Mexicans will benefit from vociferous support in the stadiums.

Ecuador and Venezuela ended in a bore scoreless draw last October. Defensively-minded Ecuador have stars Moises Caicedo, Piero Hincapie and Willian Pacho. Venezuela have hit a purple patch by purring through their World Cup qualifiers.

Jamaica still have failed to produce eye-catching displays under former Iceland head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, despite their array of English Premier League stars. The Boyz just grind out results, although tend to make good progress in tournaments mainly thanks to reliable shotstopper Andre Blake.

Prediction: 1st Mexico, 2nd Jamaica, 3rd Venezuela, 4th Ecuador

GROUP C | Uruguay, USA, Bolivia, Panama

Uruguay are a real force to be reckoned with, with stunning victories over Argentina and Brazil last year under head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Uruguay are a terrific blend of future stars and seasoned aces with names like Darwin Nunez, Luis Suarez, Manuel Ugarte and Fede Valverde enough to scare opponents.

The US will be under pressure with high expectations from their fans on home soil. Despite being FIFA’s highest-ranked CONCACAF side, there are flaws with defensive uncertainty and an inability to find the back of the net despite having an array of striking power from the likes of Folarin Balogun, Weston McKennie, Ricardo Pepi, Christian Pulisic and Haji Wright.

Panama, narrowly beaten by Mexico in the Gold Cup final, will kick themselves if they fail to reach the quarter-finals. They are brimming with confidence having hit a rich vein of form.

Bolivia are the weakest South American side, with a dreadful World Cup qualifying campaign. They are unlikely to end their 11-match run of failing to win a Copa America group stage match.

Prediction: 1st Uruguay, 2nd Panama, 3rd USA, 4th Bolivia
GROUP D | Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Costa Rica

Colombia have become a fantastic side since hiring head coach Nestor Lorenzo last year. They arrive at the Copa Amercia as the only South American nation unbeaten in World Cup qualifiers, including a 2-1 win over Brazil last year. Striker Luis Diaz can be lethal, and will be keen to better his tally of four goals at 2021 Copa America.

Five-time World Cup winners Brazil, having tasted three World Cup qualification defeats on the bounce for their worst run since 2001 are arguably no longer the force they once were. After their 1-0 reversal to Argentina last November, their first-ever home World Cup qualifying loss, Dorival Junior was brought in as head coach. Under Junior’s tutelage they beat England and drew with Spain. Hot-shots Vinicius Junior and 17-year-old wonderkid Endrick are aiming to transform Brazil’s fortunes.

Paraguay will be aiming to shoot down Brazil, but need a solid goalscorer. They are pretty solid defensively, and could be sensational if midfield maestro Miguel Almiron and striker Julio Enciso can replicate their silky skills seen in the English Premier League. Costa Rica face an uphill task to navigate their way to the knockout stages, and there will be big boots to fill between the sticks with iconic keeper Keylor Navas recently announcing his international retirement.

Prediction: 1st Colombia, 2nd Brazil, 3rd Paraguay, 4th Costa Rica

 

The United States capped their Copa America preparations with a 1-1 draw against Brazil on Wednesday, with Christian Pulisic scoring a fine free-kick.

USA captain Pulisic drilled a low effort beyond Alisson 26 minutes in, after a mazy run ended with him being chopped down by Wolves midfielder Joao Gomes on the edge of the area.

A full-strength Brazil side had gone ahead nine minutes earlier when the lively Raphinha split the hosts' defence with a fine pass for Rodrygo, who beat Matt Turner at his near post.

Rodrygo went close with an acrobatic effort shortly after half-time, but neither side was able to find a second-half winner, primarily due to the performances of Alisson and Turner.

The Liverpool goalkeeper made a great stop to deny Pulisic shortly after the hour mark, and Turner responded by tipping Rodrygo's outside-of-the-boot effort to safety.

Vinicius Junior fired across goal and off-target deep into stoppage time as the Selecao were made to settle for a draw 12 days out from their Copa opener against Costa Rica. The USA open their campaign against Bolivia in Texas on June 22.

Data Debrief: Captain America strikes again

If the USA are to enjoy a successful Copa campaign on home soil, they will need Pulisic to be right at it after an encouraging first season with Milan.

He is developing a taste for scoring against CONMEBOL opponents, having now netted versus Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela.

He is just the third American man to achieve that feat, after Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter has said he will be prioritising player performance and not a result ahead of his side's friendly fixture against Brazil. 

Berhalter watched on as the USA began their Copa America preparations with a 5-1 defeat to Colombia in Maryland, their heaviest defeat since 2016. 

Los Cafeteros scored three times in 11 minutes during the second half, reawakening scepticism among supporters about the ability of the squad to compete against the top sides in international football. 

But ahead of their meeting with the five-time World Cup winners, Berhalter insisted that his team will not change course and continue preparations as planned for the 48th edition of the tournament. 

"We want to gain information on both Brazil and our own players, so we have to be brave and we have to continue with our plan," said Berhalter. 

"Obviously a lot of pressure from the outside after a 5-1 defeat at home but for us, again, it's about preparing this group for Copa America."

The USA begin their Group C campaign against Bolivia, who won the tournament in 1963, before facing Panama and Uruguay in the hopes of replicating their semi-final run in the competition in 2016. 

Berhalter said that he and his coaching staff will be focused more on performance than the result against the Selecao Canarinha in Florida on Wednesday, having failed to beat their opponents since 1998, losing by an aggregate scoreline of 8-28. 

"If we look after the game and we see 11 guys, 16 guys, performing at an eight out of 10 level, that will be enough," he said. 

"We know Brazil's a very good team but for us it's about how do we perform at our highest level against teams like this."

Endrick scored a 96th-minute winner as Brazil beat Mexico 3-2 in a thrilling pre-Copa America friendly.

Brazil coach Dorival Junior named an experimental line-up for Saturday's clash in Texas, but it was one of his substitutes who struck the crucial blow for the Selecao.

Endrick, who will link up with his new club Real Madrid after the Copa America, was the hero as he headed in brilliantly from a cross from Los Blancos star Vinicius Junior.

It capped off a topsy-turvy game in which Brazil had surrendered a 2-0 lead.

Andreas Pereira put them ahead after five minutes, before Gabriel Martinelli doubled their lead with a simple finish in the 54th minute.

Yet Mexico, who were coming into the game on the back of a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Uruguay, looked set to snatch a draw when Julian Quinones and Guillermo Martinez dragged them level, with that second goal coming in the 92nd minute.

But parity lasted only four minutes, with Vinicius and Endrick teaming up excellently for Brazil's winner, as the duo will hope to do for Madrid next season.

Next up for Brazil is a friendly against the United States, before they kick off their Copa America campaign against Costa Rica.

Data Debrief: A star is born

Endrick became the youngest goalscorer in an international match at Wembley when he netted against England in March.

And in 2024, the 17-year-old now has three goals in the space of 93 minutes for the Selecao. Indeed, Brazil's number nine has converted 50 per cent of his six shots in that time.

Brazil legend Ronaldo says Vinicius Junior is the best player in the world "by far", as the former Real Madrid and Selecao striker joined calls for the winger to be crowned this year's Ballon d'Or winner.

It has already been a memorable 2024 for Vinicius, who played a starring role as Madrid regained the LaLiga crown, before scoring in their Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

The winger top-scored for Los Blancos with 24 goals across all competitions, with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Jude Bellingham and Neymar insisting his exploits are worthy of winning the Ballon d'Or award.

Vinicius would be the fifth Brazilian to win the prestigious accolade after Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo (twice), with the latter believing it is a formality.

"He's been extremely decisive this year for Real Madrid," he told ESPN Brasil. "For me, today he's the best player in the world by far.

"I think Vini already deserves [the Ballon d'Or]. I think his time has come. He's had a spectacular Champions League, a spectacular LaLiga, and he's been evolving more and more.

"I remember that I did his presentation the day he arrived at Real Madrid and I got on well with him. I talk to Vini a lot about football and certain details and, looking at everything that's happened, it's a fantastic development that he's making."

Vinicius now turns his attentions to the Copa America, where Brazil are among the favourites to land the crown in the United States.

Rivaldo, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1999, concurred with Ronaldo, and thinks the 23-year-old would be guaranteed the award should he lead the Selecao to glory.

"He deserves the Ballon d'Or," the former attacking midfielder said. "Of course, there's nothing better for him than to secure the award once and for all than by winning the Copa America now, right?

"Today, he already deserves the award, but if he wins the Copa America, even better."

Though Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz were again on the losing end against Brazil, Head coach Hubert Busby says they will use the lessons from the two-match outing as a stepping stone, as they gradually rekindled their competitive fire ahead of major tournaments.

Much like Saturday’s first encounter, the Girlz were again blanked 4-0, as Jheniffer (64th, 79th), Cristiane (7th), and Marta (84th) did the damage at the Fonte Nova Arena, in Salvador, on Tuesday.  

Still, the Jamaicans gave Busby his heart’s desire as they produced a much-improved performance at both ends of the park, but they were just not clinical enough to get on the scoresheet. However, to their credit, the Girlz did have a goal controversially ruled out for an offside, while Kayla McKenna slammed another effort into the upright.

While not happy about the scoreline, Busby lauded his team for the improved showing, which he believes represents a step in the right direction, especially with this being the first competitive tour together for the core players of last year’s World Cup team, in almost nine months.

“One of the things that we spoke about from the last match was improving our performance and I definitely was pleased with how we came and approached this game. Obviously not the result that we want because we come into every match to win and to get a result. But overall, the challenge was for the team to compete and show a better performance, and they did that,” Busby said.

Hubert Busby

“It's been an honour for us to be here in front of fantastic and passionate crowds and it's only going to put us in good stead, especially with some of our younger players who have come into a very hostile environment and learned what it's like to play at international level. So overall, you know, the two games aren't the results we want, but as part of the experience, it was exactly what we needed to start a new World Cup cycle,” he added.

Like Busby, attacking midfielder Atlanta Primus stressed the importance of regaining their competitive spirit and overall cohesiveness as a unit, and she is also of the view that Tuesday’s performance was a strong reminder of their capabilities.

“Obviously, it was important to come out and put a performance in. We haven't been together for a while, but I think to come and compete against one of the world's best is what we want to put ourselves back out there again. So, I think it was a good challenge for us and I think, moving forwards, these are the games you want to be involved in,” Primus reasoned.

“These are the games that are going to challenge us the most and set us up for the next World Cup, so, it's a challenge. Again, not the results we wanted, but credit to the girls, we worked hard, we put in a performance and I think today (Tuesday) was a lot better than we played on Saturday. So, yeah, credit to the girls and we keep building from here,” she stated.

Finally, Busby pointed to the strides made in Jamaica’s women’s football programme since they made their first World Cup appearance in France in 2019, as he believes the invitation from Brazil for the two-match friendly series is testament to that growth and development.

The now 42nd-ranked Girlz first engaged Brazil in 2019 and lost 3-0. However, they rebounded at last year’s global showpiece in Australia to not only hold the number 10-ranked South Americans to a goalless stalemate, but more importantly, made an historic appearance in the knockout round.

“When you think about where we are coming from 2019 to now, and think about the idea of Brazil inviting us to play in these matches, it's a huge testament to the programme and for us to be playing in these games is great. That wouldn't have happened four years ago, so it's a testament to how far we've come, but I know the group and the federation isn't satisfied just yet because we want to go even further,” Busby declared.

“It's very important that we play these games and we want to play tier one games and top teams in the top ten and top 20, because that's the only way you're going to grow. You know, you might not get the results you want, but it's always a measuring stick of which to find out where you are and how far you need to go to be the best,” the former national goalkeeper ended.

It’s a case of picking up where they left off –or at least Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz will try to do so against Brazil at the Arena de Pernambuco in Recife on Saturday at 3:00pm Jamaica time.

While they held the South American powerhouse to a goalless stalemate at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia, the Girlz were on a more competitive war path back then with much to prove.

The same cannot be said about the team on this occasion, as this encounter will mark the first assignment together for that World Cup core group in almost nine months. This, as they last played together in September last year when they lost to Canada in the Olympic qualifying playoff.

Though their confidence is high, the 42nd-ranked Jamaicans will be up against a more youthful Brazilian outfit, as the number 10-ranked nation is gradually transitioning from its veterans Marta, Tamires and Cristiane, just to name a few. In fact, this two-match friendly series which is part of Brazil’s preparation for the Olympic Games in Paris, are expected to mark the official sendoff of the legendary Marta, into retirement.