Wednesday 9 July 2014

Shocking Brazil: Brazil 1 Germany 7

At the beginning of this World Cup I started reading a book by Brazilian football writer Fernando Duarte called Shocking Brazil: Six Games that Shook the World Cup.

The book looks at 6 of Brazil's World Cup campaigns that ended in failure and how those failures altered the face of Brazilian football. After last night's result the book is already out of date and needs a new chapter written.

Like millions of football fans around the world I was absolutely stunned by what I watched last night. It's the most shocking result I've ever seen and probably the entire history of the World Cup.

To watch a team capitulate in a World Cup Semi Final like Brazil did was painful and embarrassing to watch. After half an hour I considered turning the tv off as I felt like I was going to cry.

How could this possibly happen to Brazil?

I've been thinking about this a lot today. Firstly lets give credit to Germany who were superb. After the first goal by Muller they sensed Brazil were there for the taking and ruthlessly exposed all of Brazil's flaws which we suspected might be there.

This is what Germany are so good at and some of the seeds of last night's result were sown in the last World Cup in 2010.

In South Africa, Germany did to England what they did to Brazil last night. They brutally exposed all of England's faults and failings when they beat England 4-1 in the Second round.

They did the same thing in the Quarter Finals against Argentina who were humiliated by Germany, partly helped by Maradona's tactical naivety.

Brazil were also knocked out in the Quarter Finals by Holland. Seemingly in control of the game and 1-0 up late on, a mistake by the Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar allowed Holland to equalise. After that they seemed to collapse mentally and the Dutch went on to win.

Immediately after last night's game I heard a few comments saying that Brazilian football needed this result. There are clearly major problems with the structure and organisation of domestic Brazilian football.

For too long Brazil have been complacent over the state of their game, consoling themselves that they have been World Champions 5 times.

But something is wrong with Brazilian football - they're not producing the quality of players as in previous generations. How else do explain how the likes of Fred and Hulk can play upfront for Brazil.

Brazil have a lot soulsearching to do, something England seem to do every couple of years. Every team suffers failure and at times humiliation, the question is how you react and what lessons you learn. We'll find out from Brazil in the next few years.

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