Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 10th 2014 Contents A74
Thursday, July 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
In a country where football is an
integral part of the lives of the people,
where the government provides hol-
idays on the day when the national
team is playing, the fun loving people
of Brazil found themselves tainted by
a shameful defeat by Germany.
The colours of the country s flag
adorned almost every seat in the Belo
Horizonte Stadium well in advance of
the referee s kick off whistle on Tuesday.
Losing was not an option.
The euphoria was created hours
before the start. The field was watered
within one hour of the start, and the
optimistic Brazilians sang themselves
into an atmosphere similar to their Car-
Visitors in the audience could not
help but follow the chants and drums
of the samba beat.
The Brazilian anthem was sung vocif-
erously by the players, the fans and 90
per cent of the citizens.
"The joy of winning the Cup again"
was just one of the thousands of plac-
ards waved around by a dedicated peo-
ple.Unfortunately, the realism painted
another picture. Even before the match
started, coach Luis Felipe Scolari had
invited six of the country s football ana-
lysts, journalists, and radio commen-
tators to a private meeting. O Globo,
the rights holder for the tournament
was not among those invited.
Quite naturally, there was objection
and the arrow started to be aimed at
Scolari. It was clear that the public was
convinced that Fred, Hulk, and Paulinho
were not capable of replacing the likes
of Ronaldinho, Kaka and Robino.
The coach was adamant. He insisted
that Thiago be the captain, a decision
made well in advance, and Fred to be
his main striker.
The challenge of judging the "coach-
man" started to seep through the society.
Some called it club preferences, while
others still wanted to allow the man to
do his work unchallenged.
When the final team was named, the
absence of Neymar and Thiago was an
obvious blow. However, some famous
names believed that these situations
had brought some exciting challenges
to reserve players.
Mario Zagallo, the famous player from
the late fifties and early sixties, and
coach of the 1970 Mexico victory, called
upon the players to live up to the Brazil
Fans did not conceal their disagree-
ment over the presence of Fred, Hulk
and Bernard. There was either silence
when their names appeared on the TV
screens in the stadium, and in some
The gold coloured shirts started the
game with the speed of an uncontrolled
train. They pushed the Germans towards
their own goal and offered semblances
of a chance or two. They did not use
the opportunity to score and retreated
with the ball into their own half in
order to regroup and reorganise their
attack. Great idea.
But, on a ground which was watered
within one hour of the start, Marcelo
tried moving forward aggressively,
slipped, lost the ball and before he knew
it, Julio Cesar was picking it up in the
net behind his back.
That anticlimatic result came out of
nothing. If anyone treated it as a slight
mistake, then they only had to wait for
six minutes to see the decay, where
players, coaches, fans all lost their sense
of understanding. Neither seemed able
to help the other and Germany accepted
willingly the inaction of their oppo-
The team selection was the cause of
the demise. With an inform goalkeeper
in Cesar, Scolari should have paid atten-
tion to a defence which could have kept
the wolf away from the door.
But how did he not realise that a right
footed David Luiz, playing on the right
side of a left footed Dante created a dis-
comforting situation with both these
players having their weaker tackling legs
next to each other. Well, Klose and
Muller quickly started some rapid short
diagonal runs across these two Central
defenders, forcing them to bungle and
leave simple passing lanes for any type
of shot goalwards.
The Germans utilised the opportu-
nities and said thank you.
The Brazil midfield which was pre-
viously mastered by the likes of Socrates,
Dunga, Revelino, Falcao, Ronaldinho,
Kaka, Robinho etc, absolutely masters
of creation, artistry, speed, footskills
and penetration, were handed to a bunch
of greenhorns who still need years of
experience to be remembered.
It was disastrous to see players like
Bernard, Hulk, Gustavo, in a most
embarrassing situation where they
seemed unqualified to develop a chem-
istry relating to possession, interchang-
ing of positions to confuse their oppo-
nents and most of all, to serve up
goalscoring chances to Fred and Oscar.
Just in case you wish to recognise a
part of this game which was unfamiliar
to the Brazil of the past, the former
stars, even when they are behind on
the scoresheets, do not change their
pattern of short, crisp, searching inter-
passes. They never sacrificed their team
Neymar was actually guilty of that
but someone whispered in his ear that
dribbling in midfield only helped
defenders to know your "skillability".
So please do not cry for Brazil because
Brazilians are made for football and
tomorrow s generation are already
preparing to correct these shortcom-
Brazil fans, your wait will not be too
Fans of the Brazilian national soccer team watch their team lose during a live telecast of the semi-finals
World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Germany, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday. Germany handed Brazil
its heaviest World Cup loss ever with an astounding 7-1 rout in the semifinals that stunned the host nation.
Beaten Brazil needs no tears
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