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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Germany drubs Brazil ... lawlessness at Copacabana adds to the insult

Many of you would have seen the match; most would have followed and read the result in various media … one Nation is expressing shock – not only in the loss, but more in the manner – here I try to be a little different from the usual reports !!  Copacabana,  is a bairro (neighbourhood) located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Bairro is a Portuguese word and refers to a community or region within a city or municipality.  Copacabana is known for its 4 km balneario beach, which is one of the most famous in the world. Do you remember or heard of Mir Ranjan Negi ?   

Before the match most headlines were about the loss of Neymar. It was its loss of Thiago Silva that has hurt Brazil more. Brazil was embarrassed by Germany in the Semi Finals on Tuesday afternoon, giving up five goals in the first 30 minutes of the match. The team ended up losing 7-1. It was not exactly the attacking prowess of star player Neymar that was missed – more of lack of defence, the solid one provided by central defender Thiago Silva, who missed the game due to accumulation of yellow cards. In the end, Germany scored early and often in their crushing 7-1 win over World Cup favorite Brazil. The German side's passes were quick and crisp as the Brazilian defenders appeared to be constantly confused and standing around as if their feet were stuck in the ground. This left them helpless as they watched shots whiz by their goalkeeper.

One man who would face all the ire would be – Scolari. Luiz Felipe Scolari also known as Felipão in Brazil, former defender- is currently the manager of the Brazil national team. 

Along with being Brazilian, Scolari is also an Italian citizen, since he descends from Italian immigrants. 

After winning the World Cup for Brazil in 2002, he served as the manager of the Portuguese national team from July 2003 to June 2008. As Portugal's manager, he led them to the final of the Euros in 2004, which they lost 1–0 to Greece in an upset.  Scolari also led Portugal in the Euros in 2008, but resigned after losing 3–2 to Germany in the second round. After a return to club management, notably at Chelsea in the Premier League, Scolari was hired again as Brazilian national manager in 2012. He led them to victory at the Confederations Cup in 2013, and was selected to lead Brazil again in the World Cup in 2014.

Now with Brazil’s hopes ending in abject humiliation at the hands of a rampant Germany, the hosts’ manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has to accept full responsibility for the “catastrophic” record defeat. There are reports that German coach Joachim Löw, admitting he had sensed the hosts were “cracking up” after they shipped the first goal and in the end the home support reacted furiously at the final whistle. Brazil’s players briefly convened in a huddle near the centre-circle at the end and, after Scolari addressed his crestfallen squad, saluted the crowd only for the boos to ring out. Many in their number went on to leave the pitch in tears. Scolari refused to address his own future, with Saturday’s third-place play-off to come against Argentina or Holland, though he conceded it would take time to recover from Brazil’s first competitive home defeat since 1975.

Though most games are decided on the field, it is strategy of thinktank that influences many a times – the coach is responsible for strategizing, selecting players – and with big losses, heads must roll.    Statistics may reveal that this was only their third defeat in 28 matches,  but it was a terrible defeat. “It’s hard to explain,” said the beleaguered Brazil goalkeeper, Júlio César. “You can’t explain the inexplicable. It was beautiful up to this point. The players are going to apologise to our fans but they [Germany] were strong and we have to acknowledge that. After the first goal we just had a blackout, nobody expected it. Germany, who were competing in their fourth successive semi-final in this tournament, will now seek to secure a fourth World Cup in Sunday’s final at the Maracanã. 

The soccer crazy Brazil would reel under emotional pains grappling with the loss.  The profound shock might get expressed violently – as media would search for adjectives to write about the loss.  The President of German football federation is quoted as saying that it is a historic day ‘ Sensational, like a fairytale – those are all too weak expressions. That was football from another galaxy.’

The crazy fans were watching World Cup at many a places and the giant screens at Copacabana beach was one among them where thousands were preparing to celebrate…. alas, not only was the loss but more was to haunt them.  Newspaper reports suggest that hundreds of people stampeded as a gang carried out a mass robbery at the Fan Fest viewing area on Copacabana beach as Brazil was being thrashed. A drenching, tropical rain and an early onslaught of goals by Germany deflated the Brazilian football faithful who packed onto the golden sands of Copacabana beach to watch the match ~ and adding to the insult, a gang of young men carried out a so-called "arrastao" mass robbery, running through the crowd, inciting panic and snatching necklaces and bags along the way. It severely blots the hosts which had elaborate arrangements for the match, hoping them to win the Cup another time.  

Way back in 1982, in the Asian Games, thousands of fans at home were anxiously waiting to watch the finals on DD – only to be shocked by a humiliating 7-1 loss to arch-rivals Pakistan.  Mir Ranjan Negi, the goalie, was totally out of elements and was naturally dubbed the villain. Remember it was 3 decades ago, when we had the hang of continuous Gold medals in Hockey and the drubbing at the hands of Pakistan saddened the Nation.  It is another matter altogether that later day film ‘Chak de India’ portrayed his  story of making a comeback helping the Women’s team restore honours.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th July 2014.

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