Brazil Diary: National Tragedy? No. Massive Shame? Yes

By Mike Woitalla

Sao Paulo's Mercado Municipal da Cantareira -- the biggest market in the world's third largest metropolis – opened at 6 a.m., the morning after a 7-1 loss to Germany in Belo Horizonte emphatically ended Brazil's World Cup hopes.

Most of the 50-plus stands -- selling fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood (lots and lots of dried cod), candy, and the cafes, bars, restaurants -- have a television set. Customers and employees watch endless replays of Germany’s seven goals. Also often replayed is defender David Luiz’s tearful apology.

Elder, a 33-year-old vendor at the Hocca Bar, describes his reaction: “Sadness, anger, massive shame.” But he doesn’t look angry and is mostly joking with co-workers and customers.

Henrique, a 37-year-old, is sipping his coffee and we ask him about the pre-tournament predictions of how severe an impact a Brazil failure would have. That it would, for example, swing the Oct. 5 presidential election against incumbent Dilma Rousseff.

“We don’t vote for a president based on the result of a soccer game,” says Henrique. “People will vote on real issues. And this is not a national tragedy. People may compare it the 1950 loss to Uruguay. But back then we expected to win. This time we knew the team wasn’t very good.”

After the game, captain Thiago Silva, who was suspended for the semifinal, said, “We will be marked for the rest of our lives with the stigma of the humiliation of this defeat.”

The 60-something taxi driver Joao calls the players spoiled millionaires who don’t try hard enough and says, “You could have taken the best players from Corinthians and Sao Paulo and formed a better national team than this one with all the European players.”

There are reports of postgame vandalism -- the burning of buses – but they seem to have been random acts far from where most fans gathered. All the Sao Paulo residents and media members we came across said it was quiet after the game.

I was still in Rio and at halftime -- the Germans already leading 5-0 -- checked out the bars and restaurants in Flamengo, where the sidewalks were crowded with viewers. Most were already joking about the failure. “Now we all pray for the Netherlands, because we cannot have Argentina win the World Cup!” said one woman.

The taxi driver who worked Copacabana, site of the FanFest, until three hours after the game reported a somber mood. “People were sad and tired and went home,” he said.

On the red-eye bus from Rio to Sao Paulo, the Brazilians are laughing off the loss. The newspapers they read in the morning will take a merciless view of the game.

“Humiliated!” Is the most popular headline word. The front of page of Lance! Is blank, with small words at the bottom: “Indignation, Revulsion, Pain, Frustration, Irritation, Shame, Disillusion …”

Diaro de Sao Paulo grades all of Brazil’s players on a scale of 1 to 10 – and rates each one a zero.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari gets slammed for his tactical approach and mocked even more for encouraging his players to text with a psychologist during the tournament.

Earlier in the tournament, Carlos Alberto, captain of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning squad, had complained: "The team is crying when they're singing the anthem, when they get hurt, when they shoot penalties! Come on... Stop crying! Enough!”

That, it turned out, was just the beginning. On Wednesday morning, besides David Luiz, Oscar, Julio Cesar, Marcelo and Willian were shown in tears or struggling to restrain them.

Brazil’s fans seem to be dealing with the loss better than the players.

12 comments about "Brazil Diary: National Tragedy? No. Massive Shame? Yes".
  1. Greg Morris, July 9, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.

    I tend to agree with the taxi driver. They could have fielded a locally based team that would have performed better than that. Losing to a German team that was superior is not catastrophic. Surrendering 20 minutes into the game is the shame that should follow most of these players for the rest of their career. players like Marcelo, Gustavo, Fernandinho, Dante - should never be allowed to wear the crest again - even for a friendly. They simply quit - stood and watched in front of the world while representing their country. Their players all over Brasil who would die for the opportunity to put on the colors of the selecao. I would take any of them over the lot that played yesterday.

  2. StrikerBob Norman, July 9, 2014 at 2:40 p.m.

    As I watched Ronaldo's cross in our match against Portugal head towards the back post to an unmarked Varela, my heart sank knowing we could be out of the next round. I got over it in about two minutes.

    We can love our teams, and be proud Americans and "Sounders till I die!", but IT IS ONLY A GAME! The beautiful game certainly, but never a reason for sadness or hate. If it becomes that for you, then consider it a wake up call to reexamine your life.

  3. Ali Kayhan, July 9, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.

    I honestly feel Brazil was lucky to get as fare as the did until they met a REALL team and crushed them like cockroaches. Also- in the US it was a big deal when Klinsman made a brilliant decision and not to hire L. Danovan and it seems the media kept it quite when Brazil's coach decided of to pick Kaka and other great Brazilian players?

  4. ROBERT BOND, July 9, 2014 at 4:14 p.m.

    after all the cruzeros they spent on this, instead of schools, hospitals, etc., it is a tragedy..

  5. Ramon Creager, July 9, 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

    Greg Morris: "players all over Brasil who would die for the opportunity to put on the colors of the selecao"--absolutely right. A team of standout domestic players, with the right manager, would have done very well. This is, after all, one of the deepest player pools on the planet. This is also what ailed Spain. Many many young players would have loved to just be there, let alone play. Guys like Bernat, and Jesse, etc. Instead we had Fabregas having a hissy fit because he didn't get enough playing time. In the end, the election results will be influenced by how voters judge the priorities of this government, not this result.

  6. Santiago 1314, July 10, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.

    Quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in article by Randy Harvey of the Houston Chronicle Sports..7/10/14 pgC1&3….”It makes them feel accountable, not just walk away with a bad performance and nothing happens,” he said. “If you have a bad performance, then people should approach you and tell you that, to make sure that next game is not bad anymore and you step it up.”… The Article is about the National Humiliation that Brazil feels and How (THE USA PLAYERS) don’t have that kind of pressure…***JURGEN*** FIRST, YOU Parked the Bus In-Front of the Goal(Didn’t BELIEVE USA Could Win)… THEN, YOU Re-Arranged the Chairs on the TITANIC(No Sub for Jozy)…and NOW, YOU are Throwing the Players OUT of the Bus, for the Dogs to Eat…<<< THROW YOURSELF OUT >>>…OH, but Knowing you, You will Take a Helicopter Ride Off the Top of the Bus, so you don’t have to face the Wolves…I was for Keeping You, Hoping you would Learn some Humility…But Asking for Fans to Accost the Players and Frighten them into Better Performance!?!?!?…WHAT AN ARROGANT, JERK, PRICK, You are !!!!...What a Hypocrite!!!…YOU Left Germany because YOU couldn’t take the Magnifying Glass that YOU were under and because YOU liked the anonymity that Athletes have in the USA… NOW YOU WANT TO HAVE THE FANS DO YOUR JOB !!!… <<<< Come on SUNIL… Enough is Enough…GET RID OF HIM!!!! >>>> THIS IS AMERICA!!! and WE BELIEVE WE CAN WIN and WE CAN DO IT OUR WAY… so PISS OFF back to Germany…Oh, They don’t want you their either…!!!

  7. Albert Harris, July 10, 2014 at 11:24 a.m.

    Fourth time today I've read Santi's rant,,,for those keeping score,,,lol

  8. uffe gustafsson, July 10, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.

    Yes Albert think it's in every article.
    Santiago need a new sport, obviously he don't like soccer.

  9. Santiago 1314, July 10, 2014 at 11:23 p.m.

    Sorry Uffe...LOVE, Soccer, Football, Futbol,Voetbol,Fussball..Etc..Etc...Etc......I hate to see what is Happening to the "Beautiful Game"...Maybe You Missed my Previous Post...***commented on: July 3, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.
    For all you Whiners who don't think it's FAIR to Criticize JK...Take it from someone who has Toiled in US SOCCER, since 1974...Someone with an “A” License, National Championships, and who has been in the Fires of El Salvador, The Pitch Invasions of Trinidad and Pissed-On in the Dugouts of Guatemala…Let me Spell it Out for You... I have been to 6 World Cups, including 2 Finals,’82 and ‘86... THIS IS THE WEAKEST WORLD CUP EVER !!!!… We Could have Won it… Take 9 players from any team, change their Jerseys and You Wouldn’t Notice the Difference... Only Messi, Neymar, James, Muller, Robben, Lukaku, are the Difference Makers… You just have to Man Mark them Out of the Game, and it’s a Toss Up… They don't Hold any Position, They Float.. Dempsey could have been our Difference Maker, Except He was Forced to Play “TIED DOWN” as Hi-Forward...KLINSMANN SCREWD IT UP !!!...HOW you ASK???....... #1. No Sub for Altidore,...Causing Ripple Effect of Dempsey & Bradley out of Position.. Causing YEARS of Preparation of Team Structure and Rhythm, to be Thrown OUT THE WINDOW.......SUNIL, You should ask for our MONEY BACK!!!!!.... Leaving aside the fact of Hamstring Injury… What if Jozy got 2 Yellows, or a Red??? We would have been Screwed for Next Game... What if Jozy got Tired??? Who was going to Sub in for him???... What if Jozy was just being Jozy, and Played Lazy and Crappy???... To not bring a Substitute for Jozy was STUPID!!!... QUIXOTIC is a better expression….Tilting against the Windmills…. No Sub for Altidore and NO Donovan(Doubtful LD would have helped much)... JK was going to do it his Strange way… Ask the People in W.Germany 96 or Bayern Munich...... #2. Starting Besler instead of Brooks… Lukaku was always going to ManHandle Besler…Brooks is also Taller, Besler was getting Out Jumped by Taller Belgians…JK was worried about the Size and Speed of the Belgians...Besler had shown through Cramps and Injuries that he wasn’t up for 120 minutes...... #3. Starting Cameron as Def Mid over Beckerman… I do not like Beckerman as a Player, BUT why do you FIX what isn’t BROKE???... Cameron did OK, But there was a better way to get Cameron on The Field... JK wanted Cameron on the Field for his Defensive Heading, On Set PlayS I guess, Because Belgium didn’t play the Ball UP to Fellaini’s Head during Run of Play...Remember neither Jones or Dempsey could head with Broken Noses......

  10. Santiago 1314, July 10, 2014 at 11:23 p.m.

    commented on: July 3, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.
    #4. Cameron should have started as the “Altidore” forward… Zusi OUT… Cameron was the only one left on the Roster with the Size, Range and Skill to be “Hold Up” Player...Cameron was an Offensive Player coming out of College and when he first started with the Dynamo…He didn’t start Playing Defense, until Kinner forced him to. (Out of Necessity, due to Dynamo Injuries)...This would have let Bradley & Dempsey move into “Normal” Positions.... Go back and watch the Tape,… US was EXCELLENT when Bradley was Deeper… **And why didn’t JK Switch Bedoya and Zusi(who was getting Manhandled),Like he switched Zusi and Davis(who was getting Manhandled in Germany Game)... And if the Cameron Experiment didn’t work, you could have always moved Jones Up, and Cameron Back... It would have been hard for Belgium to Out Head Gonzo, Brooks and Cameron…... #5. Yedlin should have Started for Bedoya. Seriously, The Kid is BIG TIME….Bedoya--So, So--Doesn't hurt you, Doesn't help you...... #6. Why did JK WASTE 45 seconds putting in Green, with One minute left in the 1st Overtime??? ...At that point why not wait until the Change Over....But Really, WHY didn’t he make the Change as soon as Belgium scored the 1st Goal at 2 minute mark of 1st OT... A Good Coach is always thinking;.. "If they score, I do this Sub".."If We score, I do this Sub"… WHY did it take 13 minutes to get Green on the Field??? Watch the Tape…JK was Deer-in-the Headlights...... But what do you expect from someone who has Coached so few REAL games….... The Klinsmann Record before he became US Coach;...Remember he had NONE, before taking over Germany in 94.. All his Games in Preparation for WC96(in Germany) were Friendlies(Exclude Confed Cup95??)…at WC96(as Home team) he beat those “BIG” Powers; Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador, Sweden,… only Toughie was win vs ARG on PKs…Lost in Semi’s to Italy…as for Coaching Bayern Munich??? ++ 22-9-8 in UEFA/Bundesliga before being FIRED with 5 games to go in Season….... Remember, JK was supposed to be the Risk Taker Coach that was going to Change the Face of USMNT…... HAHAHA..JOKER is on US(US SOCCER)...... Having said all that… I would NOT Switch Coaches at this stage… We have Gold Cup next year/The Copa SurAmerica after that, to see if JK has learned anything…... But, Sunil must hold him ACCOUNTABLE, as He did when he Fired the Women’s Coach…... WE BELIEVE WE CAN WIN…. WE ARE THE U.S.A. !!!... If the Coach Doesn’t Believe, GET RID OF HIM….!!!

  11. StrikerBob Norman, July 11, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.

    Santiago 1314, I really enjoy your commentary and your style. What does your pen name mean?

  12. Santiago 1314, July 11, 2014 at 11:21 p.m.

    Thanks Bob...San Diego...13 for Muller(der Bomber)14 for Cruijff

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