Tuesday 8 July 2014

A Question of Style: Brazil winning ugly

Brazil take on Germany tonight in the first Semi Final of this World Cup.

Brazil have moved a step closer to achieving their dream of winning the World Cup in their own country but they're not winning friends with their style of play.

Millions of football fans around the world have grown up with the idea that Brazil play the 'beautiful game' or Jogo Bonito. We live on images of Brazil's great teams of 1970 and 1982. When we watch this current Brazilian side we don't see beauty - instead we see a functional pragmatic team getting results.

The Brazilian public are happy with this as it's all about the winning the World Cup, for the neutral we look at this Brazil team and think: Where's the Brazil we dream of watching?

Brazil can't continually play football like the 82 squad.

This is the problem Brazil face everytime the Selecao take to the pitch. Brazil are held to a higher standard than any other football nation. They're not just expected to win, they're expected to win with style and beauty.

During this World Cup I've started thinking that the rest of the world needs to get over this mystique that's held about Brazil. During their Quarter Final win over Colombia, Brazil played at times like a more glamorous Stoke City in the Premier League.

Aggressive, in your face, Brazil continually fouled and targeted Colombia's James Rodriguez quite cynically. For the purists this isn't what Brazilian football is all about. For Brazil as a country they don't care.

This World Cup has given us so much of a chance to learn more about Brazil as a country but perhaps what we've also learnt is that in football's spiritual home winning and getting results is just as important for Brazilians as any other nation.

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