Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Brazil's Football Team: Impudence + Incompetence + Naivety = Tears

Maracana Stadium
It was really a big surprise for everyone when Germany defeated Brazil with the amazing score of 7:1 in yesterday's football game of 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinals. It should have been even a greater shock for the people of Brazil hoping the Seleção would finally win a World title at home. But even if we consider the score a surprise, the defeat itself was nothing unexpected. Let's do the math...

First, Brazil received a big gift from the referee in their opening game against Croatia. It was obvious for everybody there had not been a penalty when Fred simulated during the game. But later Fred and more importantly Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed the opposite. It was really impudent to support this statement when everybody had seen the situation and even some Brazilian officials admitted it was a wrong decision (if nothing more) by the referee. Sometimes, it is just better to stay silent instead of tempting fate.

Furthermore, Brazil won Group A based on goal differential. It was in favor of Brazil by 2 goals. But if we take the non-existing penalty for Brazil in the game vs. Croatia and the two unfairly disallowed goals for Mexico in their game vs. Cameroon this would be enough to place Mexico at the top of the group. Which means Brazil should have played their first game of the knockout stage against the Netherlands instead of Chile. And there were at least a couple of other disputable situations judged in favor of Brazil and in harm of Mexico that could have even further inflated the goal differential in favor of Mexico's team. And it was not clear in the first place whether Brazil would even win over Croatia (thus getting 3 points for the win) if it were not for that penalty which changed the course of the game.

So, having in mind all the presents Brazil has received from the referees it is even more impudent to claim that FIFA is not interested and would not allow Brazil to win a sixth world title. Surprisingly, this is what Brazil's manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and his assistants are reported to have said.

Now, after the disastrous game with Germany, I suppose there wouldn't be anybody claiming Brazil had played in a competent manner. But there were even earlier events pointing out at this issue. For a few examples, we can mention the childish goal the Selecao allowed in the game with Chile or the inclusion of Fred in the team. The only real reason to include Fred in the team would be to expect him to simulate for a penalty or to score an offside goal. If we ignore these "virtues" of his, Fred's presence is comparable to Diego Costa's inclusion in the Spanish football team (an inexplicable decision by Spain's manager Vicente del Bosque, another "great" specialist who probably has to retire).

"Until now everything had gone very well." said Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar after the defeat by Germany. Well, what exactly had gone so well? Receiving a penalty for a starter versus Croatia? Drawing with Mexico? Winning against Cameroon (arguably the weakest team at 2014 FIFA World Cup)? Almost defeated by Chile and saved by a crossbar at the end? Winning over Colombia with just one goal more?

It seems Brazil footballers and the whole country have been quite delusional recently. Brazil didn't show anything in this competition to convince anybody (except for themselves and their die-hard fans) that the team deserved to win the World Cup. If we look at the scores and the demonstrated skills the "humble" team of Costa Rica deserved to win the Cup twice more. Brazil showed nothing impressive in football terms. You cannot win a tournament just with inflated self-confidence and referees' "mistakes". You cannot expect Germany to gift you the World Cup just because you are the host of the tournament either. And being that naive brings you tears.

We saw tears yesterday but we had seen tears in the eyes of Brazil's players long before the semi-final game. Yes, I am talking about the game with Chile. How often do you see footballers cry before penalty shoot-outs? Usually, you can see the defeated side crying after the shoot-outs. Did anybody see the Netherlands players cry before the penalty shoot-outs vs. Costa Rica? The painful truth is, Brazil's team was simply not ready for this tournament and they should have known it. Acknowledging it would not save million people in Brazil from tears after the disgraceful defeat from Germany but if the degree of impudence and naivety had not been so high the level of disappointment would most probably be much lower.


Post a Comment