Not everyone will admit it publicly, but there are a lot of smiles and happy faces this morning with the realization that Brazil is out of the World Cup tournament. Those grins are even greater given the way Brazil were annihilated 7-1 by Germany in front of hundreds of millions of TV viewers worldwide.
Here are the 5 reasons why we’re glad Brazil is out of the tournament:
1. They played nowhere near as well as people expected.
There were two Brazil teams. There was the pre-World Cup team that dazzled fans worldwide with sumptuous performances, as well as an incredible 2013 Confederations Cup Final against Spain, establishing that the team — without any shadow of the doubt — was the world’s best. And by a huge margin.
And then there was the Brazil World Cup 2014 team who benefitted from refereeing decisions that went in their favor, dived to win a penalty to help beat Croatia, misfired with Fred and Jo, were fortunate to beat Chile and were very physical against Colombia in a match that soured many people’s opinions. This was not the same Brazil team we had seen in 2012 or 2013. It changed for the worse.
The number one reason why we’re glad Brazil is out of the tournament is because they simply weren’t good enough. They didn’t belong in the final.
2. Their football was anti-Brazil.
Especially against Germany, Brazil tried to play a brand of soccer that is not in their DNA. They played a counter-attacking style of soccer, with long balls floated diagonally to the wings, bypassing midfield to try to surprise Germany. It backfired.
For all of the reasons that we’ve loved Brazil in the past — the confidence on the ball, the amazing ball control skills and ability to take players on, the speed and dynamism and the breathtaking shots — all of that was gone from this Brazil team. We were left with a team that played with no soul, no passion and no sense of belief.
This wasn’t Brazil. This was anti-Brazil.
3. Brazil players and fans were too cocky.
I’m not sure who was as cocky — the Brazil fans or the players and coaches. Brazilians are a very patriotic people, but they also love to shove how good they are into the faces of other nations. They’re not shy about how they think their team is (or was) the best in the world. And the footballers and coaches feel the same way (Scolari said in November in Miami that Brazil would be world champions; he had no doubt).
It’s one thing to be confident, but it’s another thing to act like you’re more superior than other countries or people.
On Tuesday, Brazil fans and players fell back down to earth.
4. What’s with all the crying?
Have we ever seen a nation that has been so emotional about soccer? Have we ever seen so many grown men cry?
For example, could you imagine footballers from Germany, Argentina, England or Holland — just to name a few countries — doing the same thing as Julio Cesar, David Luiz and others?
Maybe it’s a cultural thing. It’s one thing to show your emotions, but to do it so publicly seems so strange to the rest of the world.
5. The Brazil team papered over the cracks in the country and in FIFA.
One of the other reasons why we’re glad that Brazil is out of the World Cup is because the more games the team won, the less the focus became on the problems that were rife before the tournament happened — the riots, the lack of public services, the $4 billion that FIFA makes in revenue (tax-free, I might add) and the anger from the Brazil public that the money spent on the World Cup should have been spent on Brazil instead.
Now that Brazil is out of the World Cup, maybe we’ll finally hear and see what the real Brazil is like. Not the one that was focused on a team winning.
Brazil, the mighty, have fallen. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer team.