Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Brazil's National Nadir

The Selecao loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals was a seismic emotional shock to the Brazilian psyche that reads like a Greek tragedy on an unimaginable scale. The painful symbolism abounds: most goals allowed (7) and largest margin of defeat in the semis (6), and

Germany’s Miroslav Klose surpassing Brazil’s Ronaldo with the career World Cup record goal # 16 (1+6=7). Unfortunately the current generation of Brazilians is forever psychologically indelibly ‘stained’ by this traumatic event.

Because the defeat was so monumental the frustrations will ultimately carry over into violent protests before and after the national elections. And regardless of which candidates win these protests may continue unabated up to the 2016 Olympics for which the Brazilians have no traditional or emotional connection.

If someone had consulted the Oracle, she would have warned about ominous and perverse precursors:

  1. The an overpass near Mineirao Stadium near Belo Horizonte collapses just days earlier, killing two people, the same stadium in which Brazil lost.
  2. Brazil’s top young star Neymar breaks his back in previous match and is hospitalized. In the next game Germany broke Brazil’s back (and heart). For this reason he is only one two people (Silva is the other due to suspension) associated with the Selecao that comes away unscathed.

Long-term could Brazil slip into a Portuguese fado melancholia recalling and living on past glories on the pitch? Nonetheless from these ashes as a result of such a defeat, Brazil has the opportunity to embrace change and create a tougher, grittier squad with a completely different playing style and strategy more suitable to today’s football for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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